Self-Care Tips for the Busy Mind: Relax and Recharge
In life, you’re constantly pulled in multiple directions. You’re working at your 9-5 job, while trying to keep up with your relationships, pay your bills, and take care of yourself all at the same time. You might feel like you’re trying to balance too many plates at once. There may be days where you feel like you don’t know what to do. When making decisions, you need to make sure that you are putting yourself first, otherwise your plates are going to come crashing down. We only have ourselves at the end of the day. It’s not a sign of weakness to need a self-care day. In this article, we are going to give you some tips on how you can give yourself some proper self-care. Let’s get started!
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Why Self-Care is Important
With chaotic days, you might find yourself having racing thoughts about all the things that you have to get done. It might be hard for you to find the ‘off’ switch in your mind when the workday is over. This might worsen your depression or anxiety. It’s important for your mental health that you take time for yourself.
When you take breaks, you may still think about the action items that you’re pushing off. There is no need to feel guilty about taking a self-care day. Taking that designated time for yourself will help you be able to come back with a fresh mind. With a fresh mind, you’ll be able to put out better work than you would have beforehand.
Making Time for Self-Care
It is important for your mental health and well-being to take off one or two days a month.
Studies show that having that day written on the calendar brings just as much psychological reward as the actual vacation. Whatever you need to do to get that time off, do it. Knowing that relief is just around the corner will carry you to the end of the workweek and combat burnout.
If you can’t get that day off, you should start creating your own self-care rituals to incorporate into your daily routine. So many people think that self-care is self-indulgent and selfish which is far from the truth. Everyone could use some time to prepare themselves before a busy day ahead, or unwind after being in front of the computer all day.
When picking out an activity for your self-care time, you want to make sure that you are going to feel refreshed afterwards. For example, everyone enjoys going out at night with their friends after a long day, but if you’re going to be left feeling sleepy the next morning, it isn’t the best self-care activity. Everyone is different when it comes to things that fulfill them but think about doing activities that truly energize you.
Self-care is a daily practice and really shouldn’t be left to one day a month. It can be as simple as working out for 45 minutes before work or taking a nice warm bath relaxing against a bed pillow in the middle of the day.
Self-care can be split up into 3 categories:
- Physical Self-Care
- Emotional Self-Care
- Spiritual Self Care
Based on the three categories are are some activity suggestions for your self-care:
Physical Self-Care: Think about activities that help you stay healthy, and have energy for the rest of the day.
- Prioritize getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night
- Take your lunch breaks at work
- Join a sports team
- Workout before or after work regularly
- Aim for a healthy diet
- Join a workout class
Emotional Self-Care: Find yourself a space where you can experience your full range of emotions.
- Have a non-work hobby
- Turn off your notifications outside of work hours
- Join a peer-support group at work or at school
- Know your boundaries in your work life
- Prioritize the relationships in your life
- Go to the movies
- Watch your comfort show or movie
- Listen to music
- Take a warm bath with a bath bomb and bath bed
- Say “no” to things that won’t fulfill you
- Update your wardrobe or home decor
- Weekly coffee dates
Spiritual Self-Care: Look for activities that clear your head and help you find perspective beyond your day-to-day life.
- Keeping a reflective journal of your day
- Volunteer in your community
- Go to a service at your church/mosque/temple
- Spending time in nature
- Practicing mindfulness
Creating a Self-Care Plan for Yourself
Now that you have seen some examples of what you can do for self-care, it’s time to think about how you can incorporate them into your daily routine. When looking at these lists or finding other activities that resonate with you, you’ll want to have a mix of those three categories; physical, emotional, and spiritual self-care. The activities should also challenge you (even if just a little bit) in order to help you grow as a person. Make sure that you make a plan that is holistic and individualized to you and your needs.
Here are some things to think about when making your plan:
Activities You Enjoy
- Just because it’s on one of these lists doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to help you on your self-care journey. Start with activities you enjoy, like getting coffee with a friend or working out, so you can enjoy your self-care time instead of dreading it. Then move on to trying activities that challenge you.
Keep Your Plan Visible
- Having your plan physically written out and placed on your desk every day will help you to remember that you need to take some time for yourself. You can even share it with your friends or family to have their support to back you up on your self-care journey.
Find What’s Getting in the Way
- Just like any other appointment on your calendar, you need to show up for yourself. If you are constantly pushing yourself to the side for other things that can wait, then you’re just going to get burnt out and won’t be your best self. Find those barriers that are keeping you from your self-care routine and see how you can get around them. You only have yourself at the end of the day and so start making yourself a priority.
Evolve Your Plan
- We’re sure many people would love to just cut off the outside world and hibernate for a month straight. But at the end of the day, that’s just not realistic. Plan to have a monthly check-in with yourself and your self-care routine to see how you are doing. Are there activities that are not working? What other habits would you like to develop? Would you rather take a bath with a bath bed and bath salts, or listen to your favorite music? What about doing them both at the same time? These are some questions that you should be thinking about when it comes to self-care.
Self-care is an important thing for everyone to take a part in. So, what are you waiting for? Take the break you greatly deserve after those long hours of getting pulled in multiple different directions. Before you can take care of other people, you need to take care of yourself. Doing so, you will become stronger and be more present in life.
Contributing Writer: Madeline Collins