Taking good care of one’s own body and mind is never a selfish thing to do. A strong and healthy body and mind are essential for an easy, carefree life. A healthy mind and happy spirit combined with good physical health can make you a complete individual. Follow these 13 easy ways to take care of yourself and witness your life soar from satisfactory to exhilarating.
1. Spend quality time with yourself
If you are in the habit of waking up, showering and dashing to work, this easy way to take care of yourself will appear very hard. However hard it might seem set your alarm clock and try to get up half an hour earlier than usual. Go for a short walk or just spend some quality time with yourself. Meditate, practice deep breathing or do some simple Yoga stretches. If you like reading the newspaper, you could do that too-preferably with a mug of your favorite hot beverage. Spend some time in solitude without thinking of work, kids, or other routine matters. Especially do not think about commitments to family/friends. Just spend the time breathing easily and doing something that you love and will take your mind off of negative thoughts.
2. Eat breakfast everyday first thing in the morning
Most of us don’t skip breakfast but we often try to finish some chores or a bit of office work before we actually sit at the table and eat. Do not start your day by checking your emails or packing snack boxes for kids. Have your cup of coffee/tea and eat a heart-healthy breakfast. Once this is done, you can start with your emails/conference calls/snack boxes and other activities that typically mark the start of your day.
Exercise is one activity that most of us want to do but never find time for. Initially, spend 15 minutes a day exercising. You could just brisk walk, do a few rounds of stretches or Yoga poses, run on the treadmill, or sweat it out on the stationary bike. While strengthening your muscles, these intense activities also help calm your mind. This is one of the best ways to love your body. So go ahead and invest time in it. This is easily one of the best ways to take better care of yourself.
If you want to take good care of yourself and live happily, learn to meditate. You will find it hard at first. Your thoughts will wander and you might end up thinking about your worries and chores. But with daily practice, you will easily be able to empty your mind of thoughts and fill it with love and compassion for yourself and for the people around you. The most important thing that comes out of meditation is love for yourself and respect for your own abilities. This will increase your confidence and prevent burnout in a stressful situation.
5. Say no when you have to
Many people find it hard to say no. They end up doing things they don’t like or committing to stressful jobs just to avoid saying “no”. It is because they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. When you feel that you are being asked to do things that make you physically unwell, stress you out, or otherwise don’t boost your enthusiasm say no. Do not worry about hurting the feelings of others. Many times, the other person might understand. You might find it hard in the beginning but you will be much happier having a burden free day and a stress-free life overall.
6. Go outside everyday
Even if you are a stay-at-home mom/dad or a work from home professional for most of the time, take some time out to go outdoors. You can do your grocery shopping, or take the kids to the park or just take a slow stroll around the block. A breath of fresh air will do wonders to the oxygen level in your body and brain and trigger positive thoughts and emotions. You can also get in some healthy dose of Sunshine vitamin for stronger bones. This is especially important to keep depression away.
7. Avoid eating when you are worried or stressed
Comfort food is exactly that-it comforts us. But snacking on comfort food every time you feel irritated or frustrated with the circumstances will have the opposite effect. Instead of increasing your dopamine and serotonin levels, these items pile up empty calories and salt in your system often leading to other physical maladies that are hard to kick out. So if your resolution this year is taking better care of yourself, stay away from comfort eating.
8. Be mindful when doing mundane chores
Whether you are cleaning your car or washing the dishes, focus on that task at hand instead of letting the mind drift elsewhere. More often than not, our mind drifts to areas that concern or cause worry. Most people begin to think about work or the installment that is due on the mortgage. So stay with yourself no matter how mundane a task you are involved in. Drive out thoughts unrelated to the task on hand. This will empty your brain off thoughts for a good half an hour and leave you feeling refreshed mentally and happy.
9. Drink more water and watch what you eat
Drink enough water throughout the day and cut down sugary and caffeinated beverages as well as carbonated drinks. Practice mindful eating and drinking instead of simply counting calories. Even if you switch 1 item of your diet from fried/processed/salted to fresh/healthy/fibrous once a week, by the end of 3 months, you will be eating healthy and feeling lighter. You will also learn to control stress eating and cravings.
10. Quell stress with mindful-breathing
Always practice mindful-breathing-inhalation taking your belly outwards and exhalation pulling it inwards. The slower you inhale and exhale, the greater the amount of carbon dioxide you expel from your system and more the oxygen you pull inwards. This will boost your kidneys, liver, heart as well as your brain. Further, it will take your mind off of unpleasant thoughts and worries.
11. Get adequate sleep
Sleep for at least 5 hours a day. A sound, dreamless sleep ensures you wake up full of vigor and energy to face the day. Disturbed sleep will not get rid of the fatigue from the previous day and makes you irritable and susceptible for further strain as you go through your daily activities. Sleep well and wake up happy and energized.
12. Read every day
Pick a good book and read, every day. Reading a good fiction or a non-fiction piece that interests you can calm your mind and help you sleep better. It will also take your mind off of worries and other thoughts.
13. Submit and surrender-Just let go!
We all have problems and worries-but you must learn to submit them to the Universe or Divinity-whatever you believe in or have Faith in. Know and believe that only the best will come your way. This is indeed one of the easy ways to take care of yourself in order to live a fulfilling life filled with Gratitude and Joy.
By learning to take your mind off of irrelevant thoughts and worries, you will feel happier, healthier, confident and in control in every walk of life. Take good care of your mind, body and soul and you will be equipped to take good care of your loved ones. Taking care of yourself is nothing to feel guilty about. Think of it this way: you can only make your loved ones happy by being healthy and happy yourself. We hope these easy ways to take care of yourself help you live an enriching life.