Being busy or not having enough time is always the top reason for why we stop taking care of ourselves. Self care can be priority, easy simple and best of all cheap. Being mindful of the little things we do each and every day can help build our self love and increase our self care.
College has been taking me for a roller coaster ride and not letting me off the path of assignments, stress, and teacher expectations. For those who are unfamiliar, I am currently in my Junior year of remote learning and my professors have revitalized what it means to be in an online college.
Needless to say as a science major that my course load is intense. As I gear up for finale exams and projects, it has been a journey to understand what taking care of myself actually means.
My grades are important to me, I have big goals that revolve around maintaining a high GPA. For me it makes the difference between being accepted into a graduate school I can pay out of pocket for or one that will need a massive loan.
That's enough pressure to keep anyone on their toes. It's important to me that I go to bed knowing portions of my day were dedicated to my mind, body, and soul since college has ramped up the stressors in my life.
Keep reading to find out some of the self care things I do during a busy day to make it through a stressful time.
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Go to bed at a specific time
The more rest you can give your body the better. You can't expect to be your best productive self while running on 4 hours of sleep.
Use an app to remind you when it's time for bed, and wake you up the next day.
Make up your bed
It helps to get your body out of sleep mode and the room looks more organized.
A decluttered room can declutter your mind.
Wake up earlier
I wake up an hour before my alarm has to go off to ensure I have time to journal, read my book or sit and do nothing. The time before your shift starts, or your family wakes up is precious and should always be spent catering to your needs.
Take a nice shower
If you read 18 money lessons I wish I knew before 18 you got a glimpse of just how nice a mindful shower can be
Be mindful while you're in the bathroom
Pay attention to how your hands react to cold water as you wash them, how the water makes your skin tense and wake up, and how bright your eyes get after you have been awake for a few minutes.
A few moments to rub your feet and hands hydrates your skin and can relieve stress.
Brush your hair
Appearing put together can help you to feel confident and ready for your day.
Change your clothes
Changing my pj's, although I stay home to work, allows me to have the illusion of getting ready to head outside.
Have a morning beverage
Tea, coffee, water, orange juice. Sip until your belly is content.
Pick an activity you enjoy
Read , journal , exercise, meditate, speak with a friend. Everyones definition of what gives them joy is different.
Take breaks during your work shift
Time flies when you are busy so make sure you give your mind a break. 5 hours straight of staring at a screen or interacting with others can leave your head feeling fuzzy.
Turn off your video camera so that you can eat
Having back to back classes allows for a small break that gave me time to make my food but not eat it.
Give yourself the space to eat without feeling like your classmates or meeting colleagues are watching.
Splash some water on your face
It wakes up your skin and mind before you continue with your task.
Water, Water, Water.
Check in with your body
Ask yourself if you are hungry, thirsty, how your body feels etc.
Treat yourself like you would a friend.
Clean up the room
No need to bring yesterdays clutter into tomorrow.
Organize your space so that it is productive
A clear space helps you to work better and stay focused without distractions.
Make a list of what you want to do the next day
Saving time by preparing for the next day helps you to feel more at ease and ready for what is to come. You can chose to time block your day or simply write a list of task that will be done.
Meditate before bed
Sit on the bed, close your eyes and breathe. Lay down and let your body feel the cushion of your bed and the warmth of the blankets, before you ease into sleep.
Meditation can look different for everyone, before saying that it isn't for you, experiment a bit, you'd be surprised what works.
Touch your toes, reach up toward the sky, reach behind you and allow your chest to open up and as you fill your lungs with air. Feel the warmth as the blood rushes around your body and the mini burst of energy or contentment that engulfs your body.
Limit your social media usage
It can be addictive to go on Instagram and scroll. This is why it's important to follow pages that fit your core values and promote your growth as an individual.
Gossip sites are entertaining but filling your mind with financial tips and ways to cultivate joy and motivation can be replenishing.
Unplug from social media
Turn off notifications, move the app from its usually spot and stay in the present moment.
Put the technology away
Some days you need to just sit and watch tv or interact with your family, instead of working on the projects that seem to occupy your time. The days I take a break from working on a blog post feel foreign, but they allow my brain to rest so that my creativity can reign.
Learn a new skill
There are endless free resources out there from Youtube to a book, a conversation, or even course websites.
On Skillshare, my interest and love for journaling was groomed by Yasmine Cheyenne
Let go of some responsibilities
Self care looks like saying "I'm stretched too thin, I am going to step back from this position".
Begin to set boundaries
Start doing what feels right to you and limiting interaction with things and people that do not. It's not impossible to create a circle full of people who respect how you feel and what you believe in. Give it time, change happens gradually and not instantly.
Aromatherapy smells different for everyone. A fresh set of washed clothes, a clean floor, a candle or incense can change the mood of the room.
Go for a walk
Fresh air can wake you up and clear your head. If it's late I settle for sticking my head out the window and breathing deeply.
Focus on your breathing
Deep belly breathing where you allow your belly to rise instead of your chest is one way. Another way is to breath regular but place a hand on your chest and stomach so that you feel the gas exchange.
It calms your sympathetic nervous system and makes your body know it is safe.
Remind yourself of past challenges that you made it through
You are a winner and what you are facing now will soon be one of the many obstacles you have overcome. Write a list or simply reflect over a cup of tea or dinner.
Pat yourself on the back, be kind to yourself.
Ask for help
Ask for help from someone reliable whom you trust.
Overfunctioning can be the result of feeling you are the only one that can make something happen or do it correctly. However, there are usually different people sprinkled in our lives that would be more than happy to return the favor of lending a helping hand. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness it in fact is strength.
Think of one positive thing that happened before bed
Helps you to stay grateful for what you have whether it is big or small
Begin your morning with an affirmation
"I will conquer all challenges that I come across today and I will stand strong in my faith"
"Nothing will ruin my mood unless I allow it too and I do not give any situation that much power over me"
"I declare that I will flourish and that my light will attract the right people."
Listen to a feel good playlist
Happy music is must.
Find a podcast
There are so many different voices and topics that listening to them minute after minute can become routine. Instead of blasting music in your ears you can hear a conversation between two old friends to boost your mood or help you feel less isolated.
SMART goals help you to conquer things you didn't know you could do. Financial goals like saving $1000 keep increasing until you can save for an entire year of expenses with your emergency fund.
Make a 20 year plan
A 20 year plan is random things you want to do over the span of time.
Starting broad can help you to narrow down a few things you can work on now. Sometimes we realize that we don't need to do more of something but in fact need to do less. Spend less money on eating out during the week so that we can have more experiences during the weekend.
It can also help to bring back the power of imagining. Being able to picture the future in vivid detail can help you to plan for things you deeply desire like more vacations, financial stability, and freedom.
Take a break
Doing work 24/7 is not a sign of success but in fact a step closer to experiencing burn out. Allow yourself to have moments where you don't have to focus on a task. Grow your mind by giving it a rest.
In conclusion you deserve time to relax and unwind without the pressure of societal standards. You can achieve your goals without working all day everyday and depriving yourself of fun.
Take a break, and resume when you can. You are doing fantastic, I see you, I hear you.
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