THE LITTLE THINGS: FINDING TIME FOR SELF-CARE
In today's world is go-go-go, Monday-Friday goes by in the blink of an eye and suddenly it's the weekend.
How exhausting is that?! At times, it can feel empty living this way, lost in the hustle of high expectations, to-do lists, and responsibilities. Stress levels can build up and cause emotional and physical responses such as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.
It's important to know that you are human and have limits. If you are feeling "burnt out" and overwhelmed, it may be time to make some changes in your life. Humans are not meant to sit in office buildings, stare at computers and consume endless Starbucks cappuccinos.
Finding time for self-care has become more important than ever before. These small preventative health measures which you can do every day can improve not only mental and physical health but also your overall quality of life.
Here are some tips on how to find time for self-care in your daily life:
PHYSICAL HEALTH FIRST: Physical health should be a priority on your self-care list. Eating healthy, exercising and getting a good nights sleep can make a drastic difference in your mental and emotional health. It's always fun to challenge yourself when it comes to physical health maybe try a new workout class, Whole 30 challenge or get a Fitbit to track your steps. These small changes make a big difference in the long run and leave you feeling and looking great!
SCHEDULE IT IN: Seriously. Taking care of yourself should be your top priority on your to-do list! As the famous quote goes: "You can not pour from an empty cup." In order to be effective in your work, relationships and life in general, you have to have energy and be able to give your best. But how can you do that if you are feeling depleted? You can't. That's why it is so important to make time every single day to do something small that rejuvenates you and fills up your "cup." It is always helpful to write down or put reminders into your day planner, calendar or to-do list. Writing it down helps you remember and holds you accountable, plus it feels good to "check" something off the list.
TRY SOMETHING NEW: Breath deeply, go for a walk, work out, notice beautiful colors around you, take a photography class, listen to music or savor some delicious chocolate. It is important to be open and experiment with new things that may bring more balance to your life. Meditation is always an amazing way thing to try out, there are endless options online to find a practice that is unique to your needs. Journaling is also a great way to take a time-out and reflect on your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Whatever you choose, just remember this is supposed to be "you" time and that's it.
DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF: There is NO right or wrong way to incorporate self-care into your life! How awesome is that? No matter what, you can not mess up because you set the standard. Sometimes we just can't do everything and that is ok! If things at the office were crazy and you didn't have a free moment to go for a short walk around the building today, there will be a time in the evening or tomorrow. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself. In fact, just being compassionate and aware of not completing your self-care can be enough! Acknowledgment can go a long way... and maybe even encourage you to be a little less critical of yourself and guess what?! That's is self-care too!
GET EXCITED ABOUT IT: Find something you love and do it! If it's something as small as a friendly head nod to a few strangers or big like training for an ironman marathon, it really doesn't matter. Either one can have a tremendous effect on quality of life and well-being. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing and it brings you a sense of peace, connection, and fulfillment. Your passion will also spread to those around you and encourage them to find their own way of disconnecting from the stress. It truly will cause a domino effect that will transcend to others and emit good vibes.
START SMALL AND WORK YOUR WAY UP: Whether it's a 1-2 minute guided imagery exercise, a 10-minute stroll in the garden area of your office or 20-seconds of you closing your eyes to really take in the taste and smell of your morning coffee, it's a good place to start. We are so busy and always on the go, taking a few seconds to slow down and be present makes an impact. Start small and work your way up to what you are comfortable with. Just make sure that you do SOMETHING.... Anything is always better than nothing.
Hopefully, this article inspired you to take a moment to reflect on how you can begin taking pro-active steps to take care of yourself.
A good place to start is to write down a list of goals you have, hobbies that interest you or new habits that you would like to incorporate into your life.
Really think about and imagine how these small changes in your daily routine can make a big impact on your overall well-being.
Then take action! Set small goals for yourself and stick to them. Only you have the control to change your life. Be patient, take risks and challenge yourself.