Tired of the daily grind? Don't feel like you have enough time for yourself? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are like many people in our fast-paced society. We are always pushed to do more. Your best isn't good enough. Well, I got news for you, your best is good enough. You need to start believing you are enough.
It's 6:30 in the morning and your alarm starts blaring. All you want to do is hit the snooze button, but the alarm won't go away. You get up and the day begins. Wake up the children, make sure they are ready for school. You also have to get yourself ready. Then, you're off to the office. There are a million questions. Is the brief ready, did you schedule the conference room, etc.? The next thing you know the day is over and you didn't squeeze one minute in for yourself.
As human beings, we aren't designed to go all day without a break. If you watch children they will play until they collapse, if they are allowed to. Usually, a parent will stop them before that happens. As adults, it's up to us to slow down. We no longer have a parent to help us with that. If you continue at this pace, it will start to come out physically and emotionally. Here are seven tips that will help you take care of yourself:
- Start your day with meditation. Schedule ten minutes of mediation every morning. I know you are thinking that you don't have the time to do this. But, in the big scheme of things, ten minutes is not a lot of time. Schedule this time to be alone, preferably before anyone else has gotten up. This will do wonders for your brain.
- Wake up slowly. You don't have to check your phone or read your emails the minute you get up. Relax, have a cup of coffee. You won't feel so rushed. I've learned to read my emails after I shower, and it has made a world of difference in my attitude.
- Schedule specific time slots when you don't work. It's easy to focus on work and family. This means that you don't focus on yourself. In the long run this can cause burnout. Schedule a time for yourself, at least once a day where you don't think about work or family. This can be in the morning, lunch time, or after dinner. Put all electronic gadgets away and clear your mind. I know this may sound difficult or even crazy for some. But, you can do it. Once you start you'll be glad that you did.
- Get enough sleep. We all need a good nights rest. This is how our body recharges. It's like a car, you can't run on empty. It's important to know how much rest you need, generally 8-9 hours is enough. But, if you need more, then sleep more. Your brain and your body will thank you for it.
- Take a music break. Listen to music that you like and that is also relaxing. This is a great time to step outside your office and put your headphones on. I started doing this earlier this year and it has made a world of difference. Instead of going for that afternoon mocha, which is loaded with sugar. I've swapped it for a music break. It helps give me energy and clear my mind, without the extra calories.
- Take a yoga class. Yoga has the mind and body connection. Go to a class and shut off your phone. This is another great way to focus on yourself. I see many yoga studios popping up all over the place. There should be one nearby for you to go to. Start today.
- Make time for play. Yes, it's important for adults to play. We played all the time when we were children. Why do so many adults stop. If you have children, then play with them. I love to visit my niece and nephews and play. We go to the park or wrestle around at home. It's good for all of us.
It really is true, you can't take care of anybody else unless you've taken care of yourself. When you are taking good care of yourself, your attitude will change. You will feel more positive and people will respond to you differently. I guarantee it. Self-care isn't something you only do once a month. Work it in every day and enjoy the physical and emotional benefits.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She can help you reduce stress and create the life you want. For more information please reach out. Lianne is available for a phone consultation as well as therapy services in San Mateo, CA. You can reach her directly at (650) 892-0357.