We all need to take some time for ourselves. Here are a few tips on how you can take care of your mind and body in small daily steps. Develop the skills to calm mind, spirit and body while getting rid of stress and fatigue. Get to know yourself, learn new things about yourself and breathe. Take a few deep breaths right now, and read on.
Check in with yourself emotionally every morning and evening
Many of us don’t enjoy meditation (I struggle to get my mind to be still) but try taking a few moments in the morning and evening to sit down, close your eyes and observe how you are feeling. Breathe deeply and turn your mind inward:
- Are you stressed or relaxed?
- Which emotions do you feel? Are you sad, worried, content or happy?
- Are you rested or tired?
Start your day with day with movement
It doesn’t sound like fun, but set your alarm 15 minutes earlier, get up and do some stretches, tai-chi or yoga:
- It gets the blood flowing
- It’s 15 minutes of me time
- Improves focus and energy throughout the day
- Helps to start the elimination process
Life is tough but we make it harder on ourselves when we focus on the negative. We assume that something is going to be horrible or difficult before we’ve even tried.
- Actively stop yourself when you start thinking negatively about yourself or a situation.
- If something goes wrong, don’t automatically try to place blame on yourself or someone else. Sometimes things just go wrong. Ask yourself how you can learn from the situation, fix what you can and move on.
- Jen Sincero says in her book “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” that instead of thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do something you should say to yourself ” I just want to see what I can get away with”, I just want to see if I can make a YouTube channel work, I just want to see if I can sell a painting, I just want to see if…whatever it is that you want to do. Take the pressure off.
Don’t play hate tapes in your head. If the outside world could hear our self-talk, they would think we are lunatics for the horrible things we say to ourselves.
- When you look in the mirror, do you say nice things to yourself or do you focus on the features that you do not like so much? Instead of focusing on a nose you don’t like or the size of your hips, compliment yourself and your body.
- Say these nice things to yourself out loud. Just thinking it isn’t always enough. It might feel weird to compliment yourself out loud but it is much more effective.
- Journal about all your good points. All the things about yourself that are positive or admirable. Read them to yourself out loud when you feel low.
- If you get a compliment, write it down on a dedicated page in your journal. Draw hearts and pictures around it.
Challenge your mind
The human mind loves a puzzle. We like to solve things or pick and idea apart into it’s smallest pieces. It stimulates the little grey cells like Hercule Poirot used to say!
- Try Sudoku or crossword puzzles. Not on your phone! Buy a book full of them or do the ones in the paper.
- If you must use your phone, try word games that improve vocabulary.
- Learn to play a new sport, activity or game. Try a new class at the gym where you can meet new people and get fit at the same time.
Spend Time in Nature
Fresh air and beautiful surroundings calm our minds and provide our bodies with fresh air, sunshine and relaxation.
- Go outside at least once a day to get some light on your skin and some fresh air in your lungs.
- Outdoor exercise is great for improving mood and overall health.
- If you struggle to get outside, try bringing nature inside. Put plants in the areas where you spend the most time. On your desk, in your kitchen and living room and even in your bedroom. Personally, I like having plants in the bathroom as well.
Avoid the slump
We all get to a point around mid-afternoon where we feel tired and concentration becomes a problem.
- Don’t reach for sugar and caffeine in the afternoon. It will just spike your blood sugar and make you feel even more tired.
- Get up from your desk and go have a big glass of water instead.
- Take a walk outside if you can spare a few minutes.
- Go to the bathroom, wash your hands and touch up your makeup. Literally, freshen up.
- Use some peppermint or rosemary oil in a diffuser on
your desk to improve concentration and focus.
Cook Something for yourself
If you are used to grabbing a takeaway on the way home from work you are probably not getting enough fresh veg and nutrients.
- Prepare a meal for yourself at home at least a couple of times a week. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something nutritious that you made yourself.
- Even better, pick a recipe you’ve never tried before, buy the ingredients and try something new. Start with simpler things and gradually try more complicated recipes.
Create a bedtime bath ritual
It is a good idea to have a ritual before bed in the evening that signals your mind that you are winding down and getting ready for a good night’s sleep.
- Run a warm (not too hot) bath and add some Epsom salts to relax your muscles after a long day.
- Read in the bath or scrub and pamper your body.
- Put a mask on your face, clean your nails, use a pumice stone on your heels – Take care of your body.
- Add lavender or rose oil to your bath to soothe your mind after a long day.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea to help you sleep.
- Switch off phones, tablets and computers – read a book instead.
Make Time for You
Do you rush from appointment to appointment? Are all the time slots on your to-do list full of tasks that need to be completed? Is there a time slot for you?
- It is important to leave at least 30 minutes a day for yourself
- You can spend that time doing anything you like but don’t turn it into a time for chores or tasks. Don’t cheat yourself.
- Use your time slot to read, watch a program you love, listen to music, dance, paint your nails, meditate, do some yoga. The point is to make sure that the time is spent on you!
Go for a meal on your own
Do you ever feel slightly strange sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant on your own? If you are like me you probably scroll through your phone to occupy yourself and feel less awkward.
- By regularly going out on your own you will learn to be more comfortable in your own company.
- Spend some money on the experience, go to a nice restaurant and order foods that you haven’t tried before or that you have really wanted to try. Order a glass of wine with your meal and really enjoy it.
- Get dressed up for the occasion. Wear something that makes you feel wonderful.
- If you really feel awkward, take a book with you to read and ask to be seated in a booth or somewhere a little more private.
- Leave your phone in your handbag!
The enormous to-do list in our bullet journal can become so all-consuming that we forget to be social creatures. We may have so many Facebook friends and Instagram followers that making a real-world friend seems like a lost art.
- Try a new exercise class or boot camp where you can exercise, get fit and meet new people.
- If you are artistic, find an art class or join a book club if you enjoy reading
- Go to talks about subjects that you find interesting. Hang out at the meet and greet afterwards. Make an effort to speak to a stranger about the subject or anything really.
- Find people who enjoy walking or biking in your area and join them for a walk or ride.
Have you got any self-care tips of your own?