I think we all are guilty of sometimes being unkind to ourselves. I know I can get so caught up in my routine that I forget to take a proper care of myself. However, recently I’m trying to be more present by creating more opportunities to do things for myself.
Every day I go through a mental health to-do list that allows me to refocus my mind and actions by bringing more attention to myself. Here’s what’s on this list.
After a long and sometimes stressful day at work, all I want to do it get my mind off things. I try to draw a clear line between working and resting hours which means once I close the office door, I don’t have to worry about work related matters. Doing this takes practice but once you get there, you start wondering why you haven’t done it sooner.
Another way to disconnect is to go offline. Digital world is engaging and stimulating, at times even too much. By stepping away from it for a little while I give myself a chance be more present and that allows me to bring the focus back to myself and loved ones.
If you’re anything like me, by the end of the working day that you’ve spent on the computer, you feel not only tired but also somewhat irritated. That’s why I choose to minimize my interactions with blue screens once I’m home.
One last thing, every evening at least 2 hours before sleep I turn my phone on an airplane mode for the night. Ever since I started doing this, I noticed that I have more time for my hobbies (will speak more about it later). Putting your phone aside for the night also means you get to sleep uninterrupted. I see only positives.
I read somewhere that living environment is a direct manifestation of our inner state. And I couldn’t agree more. I often notice that when my room is messy, I find it harder to concentrate, I become grumpy and unwilling to do anything.
I have a few tidy home habits that help me keep the living space neat at all times almost effortlessly. However, every once in a while the mess builds up. I try to look at tidying as an act of self-respect.
I don’t know about you but when I start tidying up, my actions go on autopilot. I don’t have to think where a certain item should be, I know it. And so while I’m trying to get my home back in order, I have a chance to put my worries into perspective and gain some mental clarity.
Fix yourself a meal and enjoy it
I’m a firm believer that our physical and mental wellbeing has a lot to do with the food we consume on daily basis. Leading a busy lifestyle, however, often gets in a way of taking a proper care of ourselves. And I think it’s fair to say that quite often the first thing we forget to do when we are too busy to care, is eating properly.
I’m probably not the only one who sometimes skips meals throughout the day, and let me tell you, I’m not proud of it. There are also times when I catch myself eating so fast I forget to actually enjoy it. And let’s not forget about distracted eating.
That’s why very evening I take my time fixing a proper dinner for myself and a loved one. In fact. eating the last meal of the day together has now become a sacred ritual without which evenings feel incomplete. Enjoying our meal and catching up often transitions into a tea party, TV series binge or board games evening.
Spend time on your hobbies
Most of us spend the majority of our time doing things for others. That’s why every day I try to do a little something for myself and myself only. That usually means practicing a new skill, perfecting an existing one or deepening the knowledge on topics of my interest.
Depending on the day, I try to spend at least an hour or two painting with watercolors or practicing calligraphy. Since both of these activities require attention to details and takes quite a bit of time, I usually listen to a podcast while painting or practicing writing. However, recently instead of podcasts, I started listening to audiobooks. And I’m currently making my way through On Writing by Stephen King.
Self-care is all about listening to yourself. And sometimes all I really need is to allow myself to do nothing. And believe me, that can be more difficult than it sounds.
Often I catch myself trying to be productive even when I’m taking a break. I subconsciously try to sneak in some activities into my breaks, cheating myself into thinking it’s my hobby, I will rest doing it. While most of the times it is a case, other times it’s just me fearing to be wasting my time and tiring myself out even more.
Stepping over myself, and having 20 minutes of complete stillness, like taking a bath, meditating or simply laying in the bed, helps to let go of things that worry me. Most importantly, it helps to understand that most of these things are so insignificant I should stop caring so much about them.
In my belief, no matter what kind of lifestyle we lead, self-care should be practiced on a daily basis. Little actions of self-love are crucial to regaining inner peace, confidence, and self-respect. And I don’t know about you, but I need to feel that way about myself so that I could continue leading a life that doesn’t fail to follow my moral compass.