How many people do you take care of? Do you worry about your co-workers? Family members? Are you a leader in your family/community/ work place? Do you feel like the weight of the world and the future of your loved ones depends on you every day? There is growing research, and good common sense, that of all the people you take care of on a daily basis- you should be one of them!! Here are some ideas that you can do today to take care of your self, reduce your stress and renew your passions:
- Take a Bath
This is not about your personal hygiene! I don’t care if you use bubble bath, a bath bomb, baby oil or just warm water. Just take time to sit, recline rest in warm water. Allow yourself to just be for 10 minutes without checking your email, or going through your to do list.
2. Get in Nature
Go for a walk. Sit in a park. Work in your garden. All of us have seen the viral articles around forest bathing- but even if you are not into mindfulness walks, you can find a new perspective that allows you to release some of the worries and stress that you carry.
If you have an adult coloring book tucked in the corner of your book shelf, pull it out and start scribbling away. If you don’t have one pull out whatever art supplies you have (crayons, markers, colored pencils, pastels, watercolors, etc.) and just start something. This does not have to be museum quality of work, but tapping into your innate creative drives will help you find sense of peace and joy that is far too easy to lose in the busy go, go, go of our daily lives.
Sit in your car before your start it to leave from work today, before picking up the kids, going in the house, and just breathe. Force your attention to your breath for 10-20 breathes. Just notice the rhythm of your breath. Recognize that this minute will not actually cost you that much but taking even this little bit of time to connect with yourself can change your attitude for the rest of the day.
5. Eat lunch.
No seriously- take your lunch break and actually eat. This should not have to even be said but way too many people skip lunch and then wonder why they are stressed.
6. Connect with friend
Call a friend you haven’t talked with lately. Plan a lunch date with a friend from another part of town. Skype with a friend from across the country or world. Write a letter to an old friend you haven’t talked with in a while.
7. Go to bed early
Again this is so basic it should have to be said, but most Americans average just 7 hours of sleep a night and we know that we need 8.5 to 10 hours a night to feel rested. Try to go to bed just 30 minutes earlier or set an alarm to remind you to get ready for bed when you planned. Everything can feel a 1000x better with a good night’s sleep.
8. Identify 5 things you are truly grateful for
Stop and think about those things in your life that truly tug at your heart- whatever they may be. Allow yourself to feel that deep tug of gratitude. Research shows that gratitude can counteract symptoms of anxiety and depression. So just relax and be grateful.
9. Indulge an everyday fantasy
Do you dream of having a cup of coffee in the morning on back deck? Do you long to have a cup of tea with a good book? Do you imagine what it would be like to take a break in the middle of the day and just take a walk? Go do it! Whatever it takes to make it happen, give it a try. It may make a rather gray day better.
10. Solve a problem
If you have an identified source of stress in your life, try to fix the problem. Get your car maintenance checked. Take your dog to the veterinarian. Start eating better.
If you are facing bigger problems consider, trying some of our strategies from: http://socialmba.org/2018/11/13/politics-at-work-go-from-surviving-to-triumphing-in-these-10-easy-steps/