So, I’ve taken up a new hobby, cycling—if you can even call it that! But, I’ve realized the huge impact this one thing has had on my life over just a few short weeks. I find joy in not only riding by bike, but accessorizing and just making it a part of my lifestyle. My bike has inspired this blog’s topic: self-care. So many of us are constantly on the go, and we are neglecting to see the importance of self-care into our survival. No matter how many tips I give you on organizing your life and prioritizing different items, we still struggle if we are not implementing self-care.
So, this week, I’ve going to give you a few things that I have tried—some more successfully than others—to help me relieve stress and stay focused.
Get moving! I know this looks different for different people. I have a friend who loves to enter walk, run, bikes; while there are some people who love to go to the gym and work up a good sweat—I am not that person. I usually view those as a chore, but I did take up cycling—and not in a competitive way. I simply invested in a bike and committed to riding it to work everyday, as well as to places nearby to run errands. This simple investment has been a game changer for me. My colleagues have commented on how serene I look when they see me on my bike. I find that it helps me to decompress, enjoy my environment, and get my blood pumping. I maintain a steady pace—focusing not on pushing myself, but enjoying the experience itself. This simple change has helped me tremendously!
2. Take lunch. Last year, I worked through every lunch that I had. This year, I committed to eating lunch everyday and not working through it. (Most days it works!) If the day permits, I’ll ride my bike home, and eat a hot lunch on a nice plate while sitting with my dog and watching a few moments of tv. My day is generally packed with events, but taking a few moments from the day to focus on something as simple as eating helps me reset and push through the rest of the day. If you can find 15 or 20 minutes to yourself everyday, do it!
3. Meditate. I know this is one that people often say, but a few months ago, I downloaded an app on my phone to help me meditate. It’s not a long process as I just don’t have that much time, it last only a couple of minutes. When my alarm goes off in the morning, instead of hopping right out of bed, I take five minutes and just meditate. It’s enough to help prevent that rushed feeling that we inevitably have as we begin our day. It useful for me because when I wake up feeling rushed, that feeling impacts my entire day.
4. Sleep. I know this sounds bananas, but when I am really working a lot, I neglect sleep. When there is just too much happening, I shut everything down and make sure I get a full night’s rest. I’ve found that in not forcing myself to stay up EVERY day (I don’t get to do this all of the time now!) it helps me to reset when I’m at my most stressed.
5. Take a day! That’s right take an ENTIRE day to yourself and do things that you want to do. Don’t let the worries of the day get to you, just enjoy yourself and do something that you enjoy. Go to that coffee shop you’ve been meaning to visit! Go to the park! Take a long drive! Just enjoy being in the moment!
6. Modify apps. Some apps make us accessible 24/7–limit them. Set a time limit on your calendars or simply remove some apps from your phone. Sometimes stress is simply transferred through apps—not reading emails or checking messages. Modifying apps allow you to create a necessary barrier and respect your time.
I hope that you put these tips into use! Although we are all busy, you can’t be as productive as you’d like if you refuse to take a minute for yourself!