Supercharge Your Mental Health: 5 Self-Care Tips for Busy Bees
During particularly stressful times, I often daydream of being whisked off to a private island and escaping from it all.
However, since this is real life and I'm not a Kardashian, I have to resort to more practical measures.
Self-care can be especially challenging for the side hustlers and general goal-getters, as we are often balancing multiple projects on top of a full-time job.
With our work taking first priority, how could we ever imagine taking time for ourselves?
While it may seem impossible, it's critical that we give ourselves permission to make room for our mental health. Otherwise, burnout is pretty much inevitable.
Here are my favorite ways to take a breather and reboot:
Ditch the screen, and kick it old school.
As a PR pro and blogger, it's safe to say that I'm in a serious relationship with my laptop.
However, excessive screen time is like overbearing inseparability in a real-life relationship. Eventually, you need to remind yourself that there's more to life.
When I find myself getting too caught up in my computer screen, I shut it down and open a book.
Sometimes, it's really as simple as breaking free from technology and appreciating the simplicity of a story.
Plus, reading can provide a temporary escape from that project you're currently stuck on. There's a good chance that you'll return to your work feeling rejuvenated and re-inspired.
Try a guided meditation.
When my anxiety was at an all-time high a few years ago, I was initially skeptical about the recommendation to give guided meditations a try.
I'm glad that I pushed through those hesitations, because I'm a huge proponent of them now.
In a guided meditation, a trained practitioner helps you reach a more relaxed and positive state through a series of verbal instructions.
These meditations help you re-shift your focus from your worries and workload to your breath and body.
While there are many misconceptions about meditation and mindfulness, these practices aren't overwhelming or time-consuming.
My all-time favorite meditation podcast is The Meditation Minis Podcast by Chel Hamilton. Specifically designed for busy people, each session is 15 minutes or less. (Perfect for my work commute!)
As a regular victim of brain clutter, guided meditations are a great way to break through the noise and keep my mental health in check.
Escape the dungeon.
As my roommates are well aware, I'm not the most social person on weekends (or ever.)
I often stay secluded in my bedroom to write, emerging only to go to the gym and cook dinner.
Although my particular lifestyle involves utilizing weekends for productivity, I try to remind myself to "see the light" once in a while.
Even if it's just a short walk to the shopping center, fresh air can make more of a difference than you would expect.
The same holds true for my day job, as I catch myself regularly working through my lunch break.
Recognize when you're feeling imprisoned by self-induced pressure, and remind yourself it's okay to break free.
Laugh your ass off.
Confession time: If you've ever recommended a documentary or intellectual TV series to me, there's a 0% chance that I have checked it out.
This is because my viewing material follows a strict protocol. It has to be humorous, and it must require minimal concentration to follow.
That on-edge feeling can often linger after a stressful day is over, and a little comedic relief can turn things around for the better.
That's why I always enjoy unwinding in the evenings with a funny show or movie, even if I've seen it countless times.
Because sometimes there's nothing like Michael Scott's antics to melt the stress away.
Work it out.
As many of you know, I'm pretty passionate about exercise. However, you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to experience the benefits of a good workout.
Let's just say that Elle Woods was certainly on to something, because that post-workout happiness is too real.
I love to hit the gym after work, because it helps me let go of the daily stressors and lose myself in the music and movement.
Rather than treating the gym as another item on your to-do list, start viewing it as an opportunity to take care of your wellbeing.
Leave your expectations and calorie goals for another time, and just focus on showing up.
Along with improving your mood, the long-term results will boost your confidence. And suddenly, that whole self-love thing might get a whole lot easier.