Have you ever noticed that your to-do list piles up from time to time? Maybe the list gets too long that you forget about taking time for yourself?
Many of us get so overwhelmed with work, school, life, that is can be easy to lose sight of our own self-care. Carving out just a little portion of your day can go a long way in easing your stress and improving mental health. Whether you have 30 minutes or 1 minute, below are some helpful tips and tricks to take some time out of your day for yourself.
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1. Save your TV shows or Podcasts for when you workout. One of the healthiest ways to release stress is by doing some form of exercise. If you want to listen to a podcast, take a walk around your neighborhood while listening at the same time in order to get your body moving. If you want to catch up on your favorite TV series, do workouts such as squats, pushups, and cardio related exercises in front of your TV (I have gotten through multiple seasons of Grey’s Anatomy during my recent workouts).
2. Adjust your bedtime and morning routine. Looking at your phone when you wake up tends to cause stress as notifications, emails and messages all show up on your screen at once. Try getting up, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and getting ready for the day before you check your phone. At night, do something other than looking at your phone right before you go to bed. Instead, reflect on the day, stretch, or listen to your favorite playlist. Check out our blog on How to Create a Productive Morning Routine or Creating a Relaxing Nighttime Routine.
3. Try Meditation. Meditation has become increasingly popular as a way to decompress from a stressful day. There are so many ways to meditate, whether it's doing some controlled breathing exercises, or watching a guided meditation video.
4. Read a book or magazine. Find a quiet place in your house, a spot that will allow you to not be disturbed for the duration of your read. Put your phone either in a different room or on airplane mode to limit that distraction as well. Reading a book or magazine will not only take your mind off whatever stresses you may have, but also serves as a learning tool. This could be about your favorite celebrity, your dream travel destination, or latest trends in the world. Sometimes a good book can transport you to a place or time that you would not be able to go to otherwise and shift your perspective on a subject.
5. Catch up with a friend. Sometimes having a little social interaction can help get your mind off of what you actually have to do. Pick up your phone and catch up with one of your friends. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, talk and walk at the same time!
6. Clean up around the house. If you are someone who can’t relax until all of your to-do list is done, take a break from your work or school related tasks and do something that is still productive: tidying up. This can serve as a suto meditation, taking you away from your work or personal issues while also still getting things done.
7. Write your thoughts down. Writing in a journal has proven to be beneficial to your mental health. Writing down random thoughts can help to clear your mind to make room for higher level thinking while also helps to process your emotions.
8. Stay Away from Electronics. Especially with the on-going pandemic, everyone is forced to always be on a computer. Straining your eyes can take a toll on your mind. Taking just 5 minutes away from electronics can help to ease your mind. While you are away from your computer or phone, find a quiet spot to close your eyes. Even for a short period of time, this will have an immense impact on how you feel both physically and mentally.
9. Get organized. It is the little things that help you stay on task. Try writing a checklist of everything that you have to do to get yourself organized. The 1-3-5 Rule is great for prioritizing your To-Do list. By doing this, you will not only have an outline of what you want to/need to get done, but also give you a sense of accomplishment whenever you cross something off your list (regardless of how big or small the task is).
No Time at All?
10. Drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated throughout the day helps to keep energy levels up. Drinking a lot of water and keeping hydrated will also help you feel full, thus reducing your impulse to compulsively snacking throughout your day. If you want something more than just a glass of water, stay hydrated with any flavor of recoup!
11. Just step outside. Sometimes getting up from your desk and stepping outside, will refresh your mind. Assuming the weather is not horrendous, getting some fresh air will serve as a great replenishment for you.
Whether it's taking 15 minutes out of your day or just taking a small break from whatever you're doing, you will start to see a change in energy and your mood. Keeping up with your mental health is a crucial part in maintaining a healthy life, so take these tips and put them to good use!
Author: Kayla Zamkov