In todayâ€™s hectic world itâ€™s so easy to let yourself get lost in the process and forget to take care of yourself. Maybe youâ€™ve been so busy worrying about other people you donâ€™t even know what taking care of yourself looks like.
If that sounds like you, Iâ€™d like to share with you some ways to reduce stress and get back some â€œmeâ€ time.
But before I do anything else, letâ€™s first define what self-care really is: â€œ
Any intentional activity that you do that in some way contributes to your emotional, physical, mental health and well-being.â€
So simplistically, it is any activity that soothes and satisfies your soul. Â
Let me repeat, itâ€™s not getting spa treatments, itâ€™s anything that makes you feel good and feel like a human again.
If you arenâ€™t the touchy feely type, let me break it down in machine terms. Every piece of machinery needs some periodic scheduled maintenance to keep it working correctly â€“ think oil change! If not, over time that piece of machinery will fail to perform its function. Your car will leave you on the side of the road!
You need that same type of scheduled maintenance too (or you will eventually fail) itâ€™s called SELF CARE!
I hear you with all the other priorities you have in your life right now scheduling in time for self-care can feel like an obligation. Flip the script and think of self-care as one of your non-negotiables and for the love of God make it something that you enjoy!
Different things work for different people. You have to find what works for you.
I work from home running an online business and I know how hard it is to break free from the hustle. I love what I do and want to keeping working. It can be tough to find that balance.
I know that when I donâ€™t have the balance Iâ€™m junk, I canâ€™t keep â€œhustlingâ€.
If you are already maxed out on time, you may have to give up something to have time to add in self-care. Do you really need to spend a half-hour a day on social media to see what others are doing? Instead, take that half-hour for yourself occasionally and spend it on self-care. Maybe itâ€™s taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower and applying a bath oil with essential oils. Maybe itâ€™s waking up 10 minutes earlier and enjoying your cup of coffee or tea vs taking it to go.
Setting Boundaries at Work If Necessary
If you are coming home from work drained every night, or bringing work home with you, maybe it is time to set some boundaries. This one was huge for me when I worked in corporate. I found a kickboxing class that I LOVED, and it forced me to stop working exactly at 5pm so that I could make the class on time.
Sit down and look at what you must do and things you could give up, trust me you have something that you can give up. Maybe you have some responsibilities that can be shifted to a co-worker that isnâ€™t as overloaded as you. The important thing here is if you do not initiate a change, everything will stay the same â€¦ and you will still come home drained every night. Grab the bull by the horns and make change happen.
Feeling Happier with Your Life
Good mental health – one of the keys to happiness – starts in part with good physical health. By taking care of your body, you will get in better shape, which in turn will improve your self-confidence and how you view yourself. Feeling good about yourself will always improve your mental mood!
You donâ€™t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits from exercising. Lord knows I only run when chased! Even something as simple as a 20-minute walk during your lunch hour will not only help you manage you weight, but will improve your mood by the release of endorphins in your brain
Focus on eating healthy nutritional food in the right portions â€¦ like a colorful small plate of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add in some whole grain and lean protein, while avoiding sweets and processed foods, and you will be well on your way to looking good, feeling good and bursting with energy.
Set a bedtime so that you can do your best to get 7+ hours of sleep. Maybe you spend 5 minutes writing down 3 things you are grateful for. This one of my favorite ways to do that, the 5 Minute Journal. Maybe you diffuse some lavender to help you sleep a little better.
None of the above lights your heart. Here are a few other ideas.
Warm bubble bath
Massage â€“ Groupon is my jam for these
Reading for pleasure
Walking in nature
Playing with animals
Playing with children
Dance it out
Don’t Forget to Schedule Self-Care
So many want to focus on diet and exercise as the only way to get healthy and fit. Yes, thatâ€™s important, BUT if you arenâ€™t taking care of your mental health, you won’t be able to get the most out of your balanced work and personal life.
Self-care keeps you sane. Keeps you from running around like a wild woman!
As the saying goes, you need to put on your oxygen mask first before you check on the other person.
Of the list above what looks like something that can start doing today?