Sustaining a busy life is not always in our best interests, physically or emotionally. Feelings of overwhelm, stress and anxiety shouldn’t be considered normal. Issues with insomnia, headaches and constant fatigue are triggers that something isn’t right.
It doesn’t fix the problem to take a pill and keep going. When you are at the point you can’t fit everything in, it’s a red flag moment. You are being signaled to slow down and take a look at how you can care for yourself. We all need to ‘switch off’ and have ‘me time’ every once in a while.
There are a few things we can do to encourage our bodies and minds to switch off and rest. These don’t have to cost money. They do require time and a smidge of self-discipline and self-love. We need to nurture and nourish, so the mind and body unwind. They are even better if you can make them habits in your daily routine.
Most people should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. The one where you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Sleep is rejuvenating. Even just being able to take a 90-minute nap can be revitalizing to the soul. However, you can’t sleep when your mind is racing. Try these to get a good night’s sleep.
- Turn off the computer and other devices such as mobile phones by 8.30pm. The screens emit a blue light tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
- Get the television and mobile phone out of the bedroom. You don’t need either in the room to sleep.
- Have a glass of hot water, chamomile tea or turmeric milk an hour before bedtime.
- Have a warm bath. Add some lavender essential oil for relaxation.
- Make sure your bedroom linen smells and feels fresh.
- Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Get to sleep before 11 pm. The earlier, the better.
- Make sure the bedroom is cool and dark.
A lot of people struggle to keep a regular meditation schedule. Most excuses focus on being too busy, not having enough time, or having too much to think about. When you notice these reasons coming up, it’s a warning sign alerting you to establish a regular meditation practice.
Research has found meditation improves your mental and physical wellbeing. Even if you do just 2 minutes a day. The result is an incredible sense of wellbeing and grounded base. With consistent practice, you’ll find it easier to return to a centered feeling in the middle of chaos.
Most people think meditation means sitting for hours, changing your diet and giving up your vices. But actually, a beginner can start just by focusing thoughts and attention on one thing. It’s that simple.
Put a timer on for 2 minutes, close your eyes, and concentrate on the breath coming in and out, at the tip of your nose. Or, focus on the rise and fall of your chest. Your mind will wander. Just notice your thoughts, then go back to the physical sensation of the breath. As your thoughts wander again, just bring it back to the awareness of your breath. Simple. The timer goes off. You thank yourself for doing one small act towards your health.
Stick with the easy techniques to start, then move onto the more advanced practices. Don’t complicate it. The benefit is in silencing the mind and bringing it back to one thing.
Eating healthy foods
This is the greatest act you can do to nourish and care for yourself on a daily basis. You may have to make a mind shift to appreciate the benefit entirely.
We need to comprehend that when we’re cooking up the big pot of soup, making the roast, or putting on the slow cooker in the morning for a beautiful meal; it’s the epitome of self-care.
Be mindful as you are chopping the vegetables. Get organic when you can. Wash the non-organic vegetables in apple cider vinegar and water before preparing them. Add more vegetables to the mix. When you eat, sit down and acknowledge you’re nourishing and nurturing your body from the inside. We are often missing opportunities to really connect and appreciate ourselves by looking after our body through food.
Reading for pleasure
Get a cup of tea, turn the television off, run a bath or sit down, become uncontactable for 30 minutes. Pick up a book or magazine and read for pleasure. Make sure it isn’t for work. Something you enjoy. Pure relaxation and enjoyment. This is when your mind regenerates and taps into its creativity.
This list is definitely not exhaustive, but they are activities you can do right now to help you nurture and nourish your body and mind. They’re attainable and will help you give yourself back some long overdue love.