The problem plaguing many of us as we get older, and as more of life’s challenges arise, is truly keeping our own needs in mind. Whether your attention has been whisked away by children, work, caregiving, etc., additional happiness can stem from spending time with yourself and making self-care a priority. It’s time to get rid of the taboo that choosing to prioritize yourself and your mental health is a selfish thing. Let’s talk about some ways you can take back some “me time” and unwind.
Photo by: Benjamin Child
Carve out time for yourself
Juggling work-life balance can get tricky and monotonous, especially if you’re working remotely. Focusing intently to power through tasks during your workday instead of spreading things out will ensure you’re more productive and allow you to take more prolonged breaks. Taking some time to clear your head during the day can alleviate some restlessness you may feel. Start with carving out 15 minutes for yourself as a little break. This time spent focusing on something else will actually improve your productivity. Taking time to stretch, go on a little walk, or just take your eyes off of a screen will help you retain more information and stay motivated.
Address the root of your stress
Sometimes the best way to alleviate stress is to address the root of it directly. If something is weighing heavily on you in your personal life, it can help to talk things out with family and friends. Seeing a therapist is another great way to consistently prioritize your mental health and ease daily burdens. If your career isn’t fulfilling or your work environment only adds to your stress, it may be time to explore new options. If you’re overwhelmed financially, you may want to look into cutting expenses – try out a budgeting app to understand your expenses, look at the cost to refinance your mortgage to gain immediate extra cash, or consider speaking to a financial advisor to make a solid plan.
Be sure to acknowledge that you’re doing your best and give yourself grace. Staying in touch with your feelings and making sure that you are not beating yourself up during the day is a start to self-love. You may need to work towards making conscious changes to your internal dialogue so that you’re regarding yourself in a more positive, rather than negative, light.
Photo by: Nathan Dumlao
Stay in touch with what you need
It’s truly miraculous what our bodies can do, and we should always be aware of any signals that say we’re not treating it right. If you’re feeling sluggish or uneasy, you may want to take a closer look at the foods you’re eating or your activity level. Consistently having healthy meals and regular exercise can work wonders for your body.
In addition to these daily occurrences, planning other activities to improve overall wellness may end up being a much-needed experience. A trip to the spa and a massage could benefit your stressed-out muscles and a visit to the hair salon could be the greatest confidence boost you’ve had in a while. These can actually be therapeutic steps in the right direction to treat your body right and improve your wellbeing.
The next step is getting off of social media and away from your text messages and emails. Part ways with the blue light that comes along with all of your devices, as this attachment can be harmful to your mental health when it comes to anxiety and stress. Spending time away from the short-lived happiness and constant comparison that comes with social media platforms will also be beneficial in the long run. When your electronics are out of sight, they’re out of mind!
Find your relaxation method
The most important step to maximizing your “me time” is figuring out what you want to do with it. If you don’t know where to start, you could try meditation, reading, yoga, cooking, or just sitting outside and clearing your mind. Taking a few more minutes in the bathroom at night to pamper yourself can be another easy, at-home option for stress relief. Whether you’re pursuing one of your passions or finally getting back to a beloved hobby, this can be a relaxing or exciting part of your day.
If you want to go all-out, you can create a designated space in your home that is your own sanctuary of sorts. This could be a small area that you convert into a book nook or a studio space. Upgrading your bathroom to a spa with a jacuzzi tub or just adding some soothing eucalyptus could be a refreshing change. Some simple home renovations can create a more tranquil environment for those times when self-care is especially needed.
Oftentimes, self-care is approached as a quick fix to a particularly stressful situation or day, but having a consistent routine of self-care is very important. Making sure to take time for yourself should be a regular part of your day because it will strengthen your mental and physical health for years to come.