Imagine this: You are preparing for a very important meeting which will end with you having to do a lot of fine-tuning afterwards, you have to attend a training session, you have to hold a job interview at an inconvenient time for you owing to conflicts in scheduling and time differences, etc. To sum up, you have a lot of things to do.
How are you planning to finish it all? You may skip a meal or two, no big deal, right? Maybe lose a few hours of sleep, because, how can you even think of sleeping when there is so much to do? You avoid taking breaks because they just waste the little time you do have. The result of all this? You’re in an endless cycle which makes you become overworked, exhausted, and moody.
Most people do not notice this cycle easily. They only realize the situation they’ve landed up in when someone points it out to them or they’ve collapsed of exhaustion. The biggest reason for this exhaustion is stress.
Taking care of your body and mind is crucial for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are some simple self-care habits which will help you keep your body and mind healthy.
Some simple habits that will help you with your stress and thus make a healthier and happier you are:
Why did I include sleep? Lack of sleep is the long-term path to insanity.
Sleep is a basic necessity for our bodies. It may not seem as important as food or water, but sleep allows our body to revitalize itself. When we sleep, our body shuts down and all the organs get a well-deserved break. This helps them function at optimal conditions when we’re awake.
Mentally, sleep reduces stress. Sleep makes you forget about your problems for a period of time so that when you wake up, you are able to approach your problems to clear your head.
In order to sleep better, you might need to make changes to your nightly routine.
For instance, it is best to avoid consuming caffeine in any form. Caffeine tends to keep you awake, which is not something you want when you are trying to improve your sleep cycle. Also, avoid using electronic gadgets before going to sleep.
Try not to actually think about your day when you’re going to sleep. Any stress-inducing event will automatically keep you awake.
Daily exercise not only allows you to have a fit and healthy body but can also reduce stress and other stress-related disorders. It is better to start your day off with exercise (before consuming anything. NEVER exercise right after eating.), but if you lack time in the mornings, you can try to incorporate exercise into your evening routine. Just make sure you have not eaten anything for at least 2 hours.
Some simple exercises to do include yoga, walking, etc. These are quite healthy and also offer a lot of benefits.
3. Eat Healthy
The food we eat is very important. It can either keep us healthy or cause various disorders such as diabetes, ulcers, etc. It is necessary to choose the right kinds of food to eat in order to keep ourselves healthy.
Did you know the food you eat also affects your mental well-being? Eating the right kinds of food can prevent memory loss, etc. When deciding to eat healthy, it is important to include all food groups – including fats. Some options are: Different types of meat, vegetables, greens, fruits, dairy, eggs, etc.
4. Go Outside
It really helps clear the mind. It also has the added benefit of being a form of physical exercise. When your mind gets filled with stress, you will begin to feel enclosed. Going out for a walk often helps get rid of the ‘enclosed’ feeling, giving you a chance to approach your problems with a clear mind.
You can also do some gardening, go for a run, play with your friends for sometime, etc. By putting your mind to doing something physical, you are able to get rid of the mental stress.
5. Take A Bath
The feeling of being surrounded by water is relaxing. Taking a bath can not only ensure you feel clean physically but also mentally.
It also has the added benefit of ensuring you feel fresh. This freshness will revive your spirit without reviving the stress. Warm water also tends to relax your muscles, making any sore feeling go away. With any muscle aches that came with the stress either gone or considerably reduced, your body tends to feel more energetic.
With you being completely refreshed, you can approach your problems with a clear mind.
The state of the things around you reflects the state of your mind. If your space is cluttered, then so is your mind. If your space is clear, then so is your mind. This tendency is usually subconscious.
When we are stressed about something, we do not think about where we put our things, how we move our things, etc, causing a mess. However, when you are calm, you tend to do things calmly and patiently.
Cleaning will give you the time you need to calm your mind down. Also, seeing a neat and tidy space brings you a lot of satisfaction, especially knowing you’ve done it yourself.
Cleaning can also help you sort things in your mind.
There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. There is a place for all the stress and bad thoughts you have and that is not in your mind. So, cast them out and analyze your problems without the influence of negativity.
Do I even need to explain this one? Playing music helps you calm down. The type of music you play usually tends to reflect your mood. When you’re happy, you tend to play happy songs or your favorite songs. When you’re sad, you tend to play sad songs, and so on.
Playing songs or music that you really like can help take you to a good state of mind.
Playing some music provides an external stimulus to your ears which reaches your brain. It is said to provide a brain workout. Studies have shown that music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain and improve your sleep quality and memory.
Writing down your thoughts can really help get a better perspective on certain events. A journal also acts as a source to vent to when you’re stressed or anxious. It’s like talking to someone who will never judge you. No matter what you do, your journal will be on your side.
Sometimes, this outlet for your feelings is exactly what you need to let go of stress. A journal, as mentioned before, acts as an impartial listener, which is also a good form of therapy.
Maintaining a journal will help you put your thoughts down on paper and then go over them once you’re calm.
9. Planning for the next day
You can relax better when you already know what you’re going to do tomorrow.
Planning for tomorrow may involve something as simple as packing your school/college/office bag so that you do not have to rush through packing it in the morning, deciding what to cook/eat in the morning, etc.
Activities that you would normally spend time thinking when you don’t really have that much time to waste. Planning all these in advance will make your day that much easier. It removes a burden from your shoulders in the morning.
Now, everything mentioned above deals with how to reduce stress. Unfortunately, it is impossible for our lives to be stress-free, but the closest we can come to that is keeping our mind and body healthy.
In order to keep our mind and body healthy, we must not stress out. It seems like an endless cycle where you’re constantly worried about your stress, which only causes more stress. This is why these tips are to simply take your mind off your stress and help it function better.