In today’s society, being driven to overachieve is more than just common; it’s the norm. We’re all expected to burn the candle at both ends, so to speak, especially when it comes to the work necessary for our goals and dreams.
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With all that pressure and natural inclination to push harder and go 24 hours a day, self-care often gets put off for lack of time. But you need to nurture yourself in all areas, from emotional to mental health, to truly enjoy life for what it is and to avoid hitting a brick wall eventually.
If you’re not giving your body, mind and spirit the care it deserves, try these eight ways to slow yourself down and ease your stress.
1. Take Responsibility For Your Wellness
Owning your responsibility for your own health is a significant step you must take to practice complete self-care. This goes beyond simply taking a break when you feel overwhelmed, run-down or exhausted.
Establish some healthy habits so you’re getting yourself into the practice of self-care. Improve your diet, schedule time for regular exercise, and do other things that are good for your body, your mind and your soul.
2. Fully Commit To Better Care
If you want to keep your health good on every level, you’ll need to commit and have some discipline. First, decide what practices help you function at your very best. It could be taking walks in nature or just a brisk walk around your block or a meditation session.
To do this, use some trial and error; do the practice, note the results and then compare them based on that. Once you’ve decided what activities recharge you the best, you can schedule them into your days.
Should you struggle to get off the ground, consider starting off with activities that are just five or ten minutes long. The important thing here is that you at least do one thing for yourself in this area each day, no matter how small it is.
Find at least one thing to start off with, and work your way up from there until you’re really starting to feel the effects.
3. Work On Mindfulness
Mindfulness – the state of being fully present in the moment – is a self-care building block. You can’t really identify your needs until you’re completely present in your body, and when you’re rooted in the now, you’re nourishing your spirit and fully engaging with your surroundings, too.
One of the most popular ways to practice mindfulness is by using meditation. You can find resources online to learn about the mindfulness-meditation connection and practices to try for free, including videos, guides and forums.
Also check with local community centers, as they may have meditation classes that involve mindfulness available for free or at a low cost. Sometimes, working directly with a teacher and group can help if you’re new to meditation in general.
You’re also less likely to stop practicing when you have a set time to do your meditation and a group providing support and a sense of community.
4. Take Breathing Breaks
Breathing is held by many as a way to connect spirit, body and mind. Taking just a handful of deep breaths over the day can help energize you, and it also decreases stress, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Find some free time in your daily schedule to slot in a few deep breaths. This is an easy and simple practice you can do wherever you are, and it offers a lot of benefits when it comes to your self-care. You can do this at work, at home or even during a brief restroom visit at your kid’s soccer game.
5. Nourish The Spirit
Self-care isn’t just limited to eating right and exercising, as your spirit needs nurturing, too. You may have to experiment to find what works best for you in this regard. For some people, it’s things that can connect a person with nature. But for others, it could be time spent in silence or some type of mantra. Whatever it is, you’ll know it when you find it!
6. Don’t Feel You Need To Be “Busy”
People wear busyness like it’s a badge of honor in today’s society, but being busy tends to just create the illusion of personal success. You’re not really all that successful when you’re physically and mentally worn, stressed, incredibly tired and missing out on joyful opportunities in your life.
There’s really no way, short of moving on top of a mountain and selling off all of your worldly possessions, to live a life that is completely free of obligations and responsibilities. But what you can do, however, is start to scale back so you’re not so busy all the time. It’s not going to be easy, especially at first, but the result is entirely worth it.
7. Try Staying Simple
Once you slow down, you’ll probably start to notice how much chaos is in your life. Keeping your life simple should be a priority when it comes to your self-care. Take a close look at all the unnecessary obstacles you’ve managed to place in your own way, and determine where you can scale back or simplify.
Look at where you’re creating unnecessary drama or stress in your life, and work on removing those sources of chaos and frustration.
Once you’ve managed to find those little things in your life that are under your control but cause stress or complications, you can start making your life simpler and easier to manage.
8. Get Rid Of Energy Drains
Whenever you are run-down from a challenging situation, you need to manage and replenish energy – which is from your mind, body and spirit – so that you will recover more quickly. But it definitely helps if you can reduce the number of situations that drain your energy, and to do this, you need to identify them.
Don’t invest energy and time into things that will never give you a positive return. Start managing your daily energy just like you do your finances, with minimal waste.
Ask yourself what is draining your energy right now. Are there activities, habits or relationships that just aren’t any good for you? What things, if you removed them from your life, would give you a giant sense of relief? If you need to, make a list.
Consider what you can eliminate and what you can’t, and work from there. The sooner you start losing the energy-draining faucets in your life, the better off you’ll be.
Proper self-care isn’t always easy to get used to, especially if you’re always on the go and under stress. Start making positive changes to your life today so you can treat yourself in a way that your body, mind and spirit deserve.
When you take care of yourself, you’ll be much happier and satisfied in life and more present and helpful to those around you.