We all lead busy lives, and sometimes life can get in the way of us taking care of ourselves. We always have great excuses such as, I’m too busy, I’m stressed, I have an exam, a deadline, kids, in-laws, and the list goes on. Sounds familiar?
Well, here are a few easy tips that won’t take long that you can do to live a better, healthy life:
Write a daily gratitude list
A daily gratitude list is really helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate life even when things aren’t going your way. It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do. If you keep a gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation. Remember, even being grateful for the most basic things in life such as breathing, sleeping, having arms & legs, will help you shift the way you feel.
It’s okay to ask for help
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. It doesn’t make you less of a person or weak. You’ll quickly learn that most people around you actually love to be asked, and at times go beyond what you needed. It’s a great feeling, as everyone is happy. Don’t underestimate how important the people in your life can be when it comes to feedback, motivation and supporting your self-confidence regarding the important work you’re doing, no matter what it is. Having a support system is only a phone call away.
Listen to you favorite music
Sometimes when you’re down listening to your favorite music will change the state you’re in. Your favorite music will boost your mood and keep you happy. If you’re tired and you listen to classical or nature sounds, or anything else you consider calming, it will help you relax and go into deeper sleep.
We all know what it means to eat healthy, and sometime we pretend that we don’t know that sweets and too much carbs aren’t good for us. Who are we fooling? Only ourselves. We may need extra help in deciding what healthy foods to eat regularly, and having someone hold you accountable for your daily intake, will help you in succeeding to achieve this.
Keep some fruits and nuts close by and snack when you’re hungry. Don’t forget the vegetables, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and carrots are great snacks too. And always remember to drink plenty of water.
Your breakfast, lunch & dinner is your sacred “you” time
Enjoy your healthy food with a little bit of reading, or writing in your journal. Don’t check the news, your emails, or texts. Enjoy every bite, and taste in your mouth. Eat slowly and see it as a way to nourish your soul on several levels. This is your time.
Take five minutes in the morning to stretch and breathe
When waking up, put one foot at a time on the floor and say “thank you.” Start the day with gratitude. Then spend five minutes of silence and ease. Breathe and be grateful for every breath that you take. Stand up and stretch your body to make you as tall as you can be. Then bend over and touch the ground. Stretch again. Try to just feel your body and pay attention to your breath. Starting the day this way, will give you more energy and the day will pass with ease.
Exercise: walk, rebounder/trampoline
Walk as much as possible. Walk to the store if it’s not to far. Go to the park and take a few minutes to walk. Not only will the exercise be good for you, you also get some important fresh air and daylight. If you have to commute, get off public transport one or two stops too early, or park your car further away than usual. The extra minutes of fresh air will save you lots of time when you start working and feel more focused.
If you have a rebounder, jump, jump jump. You’ll enjoy it. Listen to your favorite music and jump/dance to the beat. You get to workout and have fun at the same time.
It’s easier to say “no” than say “yes” and regret it later
What does this mean? If someone asks you for a favor, and you want to be “the nice guy” you’ll say yes, even if you’d be inconveniencing yourself. Then you end up being more stressed, as you’ve added something else to do in your already busy day. It is easier to say, “I’d love to help you out, but I can’t today.” The feeling you’ll have is a lot more freeing than feeling that you piled on something else on your to-do list.
Get enough sleep
This is one of the most basic things you can do in self care. Sleep is essential for you to stay healthy and be able to be focus and function at your full potential. If you try to push yourself when you’re tired at night by saying to yourself I’ll study for one more hour, how successful do you think you’ll be the next day when you take the exam? Your brain does not retain information well, when it is lacking the energy. Go to bed, wake up earlier in the morning refreshed, and ready to conquer the day, by studying and having a healthy breakfast.
Before you go to sleep, make a list of the six most important things you’d like to accomplish the next day. During the day focus your energy on accomplishing those six things. Once you’ve done them celebrate or acknowledge yourself for getting them done. If you didn’t get them all done, put them on the following day’s list and make sure you have six each day. This process will help accomplish your goals much faster.
Pamper yourself: take a bath, massage,light candles
Nothing helps you relax like a hot bath. Use your favorite scent for bubbles, turn off the light, light some candles and you’re good to go. Ahhh…20 -60 minutes in the bath during the evening may be the best way to relax because of this simple fact – you can’t take your work and your computer with you, and don’t take your phone either. Candles have a relaxing effect, especially gently scented ones. Make sure you light candles when you get home. If you have crystal lamps, so are healing too. Give yourself a hand massage, or a foot massage during the day. You can relieve your own stress like that.
Get some Sunlight
The sun is a source of energy. We all need it. Even if you take just five minutes and have the sun shine on you, you will feel so much better.Even during the winter, make sure you get your daily dose of sunlight if you’re spending a lot of time indoors working.
If you’re not having fun with what you’re doing then why are you doing it? Life is about making things fun. You can turn to-do lists into games and when you’re done reward yourself. Yes, situations arise in life, and you may ask: “How can I make this fun?, This is too serious.” In those cases it’s a matter of changing your perspective on the situation at hand. When you speak to people in their seventies, eighties and nineties they all say, make sure to have fun in life, because you only live once. Let go of anger, and live life to the fullest.
Honor your limits
Having healthy boundaries with yourself is a great thing. You will see that you will accomplish more and have more energy.
Set some limits and stick with them. A lot of tasks when we’re busy don’t have a set limit, such as when you’re studying and being creative. It’s easy to feel like you’re never quite done. Set some clear limits for yourself and honor them. Say to yourself; “when the time is up, I’m done”.
Take rest breaks
Take a five minute break every hour if you’re able to do that. You can’t stay focused all the time. No matter how efficient you work, you’ll always get distracted, let your mind wander or end up spending time reading e-mail, blogs or surfing the net instead. A better way to spend this time is to get up from your chair, walk outside and take a 5-minute break. The change of place, the change of physical posture and the movement will make it easier to start again when your break is over. You’ll also give your brain a chance to relax and process information, which is essential for your well-being.
Turn off the TV
Research shows that watching too much TV heightens your stress level. If you’re watching the latest catastrophe, how the economy is collapsing, and the world is coming to end, this will cause you unnecessary stress. It’s one thing to be informed and another to follow every event. In addition, constantly watching soap operas, “reality” TV, distracts you from living your own life. You’re spending a lot of time watching someone else live their life and getting involved in their drama, which may not necessarily be real. According to the Nielsen Company, the average American watches 35 hours of TV per week and almost 60 hours of content each week across TV, radio, online and mobile in 2012. That’s over a day spent watching TV per week. Think of all the wonderful things you’d have time to do if you reduced the time you spent watching TV. You’d probably accomplish a lot more important things in life.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
You become the people you spend the most time with. If you spend time with people who are sad and depressed, that’s what you’ll become. If you spend your time with people who are positive, happy and goal getters, that’s what you’ll become. Think about it for a moment of who are the people that you spend the most time with.
Celebrate your accomplishment/successes
No matter how small or large it may be make sure to acknowledge yourself and celebrate your accomplishment. Positive self speech can seriously impact your mood. Instead of adding to the monkey-brain thoughts of not good enough, too stressed and panic, tell yourself you look good, that you’re doing great and that you can manage everything that comes your way. Take yourself out and have frozen yogurt, enjoy a salad in the park, but yourself something small. Acknowledging one’s self is an important part in your personal growth.
Let yourself off the hook and accept that you are only human. You are doing your absolute best, and you are doing exactly what you need to do. Trust your instincts and keep doing whatever you’re doing. You don’t need to change anything about yourself – trust that you are perfect just the way you are. Look in the mirror and tell yourself what a great job you did today, ” I’m proud of you and I love you.”
Wishing you all the best, and may you accomplish all your goals & dreams. Here’s to your success in every area of your life.