Why You Should Incorporate These Basic Self-Care Practices to Reduce Stress Immediately
Overworked, overtired, and overstressed have become the new normal. So how do you prevent yourself from caving into all the pressure? Slowing life down and practicing self-care is a great way to do so. It’s easy too. Check out several ways you can immediately start to incorporate self-care into your day to day below.
Eat Right & Exercise
There’s a reason your doctor is always telling you to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Doing so not only makes you healthy physically, but you’ll feel better mentally too. This means getting your fair share of fruits and vegetables and sticking to lean proteins and whole grains.
For exercise, you should focus on both aerobic and strength training. Aim to hit the gym at least three times a week and no more than six for a minimum of 30 minutes. Remember, giving your body a chance to recover between sessions is just as important as working out.
Powerdown Your Phone
What was designed to make your life easier may, in fact, be a major source of stress. According to the Guardian, smartphones can be a major source of anxiety. Between constant alerts, social media, phantom vibrations, and FOMO, it’s no wonder our phones are doing more harm than good. Try powering down your phone every now and then for a set amount of time to resist the urge to constantly check it. Whatever it is, can wait.
This is especially important at night. Poor sleep is linked to depression, fatigue, and stress. Keep your cell phone off or in another room when you go to sleep. You should also try to avoid your screen an hour before you want to sleep. Phones, computers, and television emit a blue light that tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Try winding down with a book or knitting instead.
Learn to Express Yourself
It is too easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. But being a “yes man” can take a serious hit on your mental health. Learn your limits to keep yourself from burning out — tell your boss when you cannot take on any more extra work, and don’t be afraid to turn down social events.
Do not forget about smaller mistreatments either. For example, if you feel you do more than your fair share of chores around the house, speak up! These small things add up, and nothing will change unless you address the problem. And not only will you feel better, but your self-esteem will get a boost too!
Don’t Be Afraid to Hit Pause
Though it may feel counterintuitive, taking 5-10 minutes a day to stop what you’re doing and meditate has a plethora of benefits. HealthLine lists decreased stress and anxiety, improved focus, and better coping skills as some of its benefits. There’s no wrong way to meditate; you can go for a short walk, lay down, or sit. The goal is simply to empty your mind.
To encourage the practice, consider setting up a meditation space in your home. Find a room that makes you feel good, and create a soothing atmosphere in it. Keep the room simple and uncluttered, and try adding touches of nature like luscious plants or smooth stones. The goal is to create a space you want to retreat to.
It’s a Lifestyle Change
Self-care is about slowing things down and taking care of yourself. It’s too easy to shove your needs to the side and let it build to a burnout, but there are so many ways you can practice self-care throughout the day that barely take any time at all. You’ll be feeling more relaxed and confident in no time.
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