We are fast approaching that time of year when we start to wrap up our summer activities, get the kids back to school and begin transitioning our outdoor spaces. During these busy periods when so many other things in our life demand our attention, it’s easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. There are times where it's a good idea to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life and recharge with some “you” time.
Self-care is the act of taking time during the day to focus on and improve our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Taking care of ourselves first, so our “tanks” are full and our souls feel alive to thrive, is perhaps the best way to take care of those around us. We’ve all heard that familiar saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” The next logical question becomes: What do we need to do to keep ourselves happy and healthy?
Self-Care Is Not Just Bubble Baths
Making time for yourself and finding ways to relax and de-stress is crucial. This may involve self-indulgent and “decadent” things such as spa days, quality chocolate, or a shopping spree—anything that can help trigger those happy feelings. It can also mean setting lofty goals that demand hard work, consistent action and maybe even a little bit of “punishment.” Some people’s idea of self-care requires discipline for things like maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Self-care may require regular routines that push us to grow, but it's really about doing things that make us feel good overall, whether they are challenging, rewarding or just plain fun. The goal is to trigger hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin that make us feel good, while reducing levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Self-care isn't just for those days when things seem overwhelming; it should become a regular part of your daily schedule. It's even more important when you're feeling stressed out or anxious. The key part of developing self-care routines is to create a plan that works for you. Make sure goals are realistic and achievable. If they are too hard or impossible to achieve, they won’t work as well as if they could be accomplished with a reasonable amount of commitment and effort. Be kind and patient with yourself while trying out new habits. High expectations can lead to feelings of failure instead of celebrating progress and success along the way.
Try These Great Self-Care Ideas
A morning routine is the best way to get yourself on track for a positive and productive day. One of the most recommended ways to start the day is by avoiding your phone when you wake up. If you are like us, perhaps a quick peek at emails to make sure there are no pressing matters, then put your phone away… at least until you have created your own “healthy” mental zone. Some people really benefit from waking up very early and having a few precious, quiet uninterrupted hours.
Make time for yourself throughout the day. Whether it’s a few minutes at lunch or an hour every evening, spend some time doing something for you, even if this means going for a walk around your neighbourhood, reading a chapter of your book, or writing poetry. You’ll feel better for getting away from work or other responsibilities for just a little while.
According to Patricia Albulescu and Coralia Sulea, researchers and co-authors of a recent university study on “micro breaks”, People who take regular breaks experience statistically significant boosts in their wellbeing—making them feel more vigorous and less fatigued.
Here’s a link to a TIME article all about it : https://time.com/6210430/micro-breaks-work-productivity/
Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally. Exercise is great for both body and mind. Staying active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Drinking water consistently throughout the day is one of the best ways to stay healthy and energized.
Yoga Classes, Meditation and Journaling
Yoga is a great way to relax and de-stress. It can help you feel more grounded, and more connected to your body and mind. The best part? You don’t have to be good at it! Just show up, breathe deeply, and try your best—that will be enough. There are several styles of yoga, so make sure the class you show up to is right for you. Some yoga classes can be quite intense and demanding, such as “power” or “flow” classes, while others can be very calm and relaxing, such as “yin” yoga.
Taking time to meditate has become increasingly popular. With meditation apps and streaming services available at our fingertips, it’s easy to listen to inspiring visualizations or enjoy a guided meditation to help reset mentally. Self-care can involve taking time to write out your thoughts, goals and feelings too. Journaling is an amazing way to dive inward, creating connections within ourselves to truly bring out our best.
Reach Out To People Who Inspire You
We all need support from time to time. Finding individuals who are on the same path of personal growth and self-improvement will help you stay on track with your goals. It's a lot easier to share an activity with someone who is equally, if not more, motivated than you, rather than someone you’ll have to regularly drag off the couch. Surround yourself with positive people who are moving in the same direction and have similar goals.
Sometimes the best thing to do is just sign up for an activity where you have no expectations or pressure to succeed, like art classes, cooking courses, or a book club. Or try something new like bowling, archery, or dragon boat racing.
Find What Works For You
Think about what would make your life better without making massive personal changes. Maybe all you need is an extra hour in bed so that getting up at 6 a.m. isn't such a struggle. Maybe all it takes is drinking more water and cutting one unhealthy food item from your diet each week. Whatever change seems easiest for you to implement personally may be best suited as part of your plan. It may be as simple as playing catch with one of your kids, or going on a long hike alone or with others.
We hope you’ve found some inspiration from these self-care ideas. Balance is key! You may not have much energy left after a long day at work or school, but making sure that self-care is integrated into your schedule will help ensure that you're able to stay on top mentally throughout any situation.
At TEAM BROADY, we try to ensure your real estate transactions are as stress-free as possible, to allow you more time to relax and do the things you enjoy. Please consider us for your home buying / selling needs. We can be reached at 514-613-2988 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.