Today, we are featuring a guest post written by Brad Krause from Self Caring. This is an exciting collaboration, focused of promoting self-care and sharing education around how to incorporate it into your daily schedule at work. Who couldn’t use more self-care throughout the work day!?
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How often do you take time for yourself each day? If you are like most people, the answer is that you may take an hour or two each weekend — if you don’t already have any other commitments. Self-neglect is a global epidemic that is leading to record levels of stress and dissatisfaction with life in general. The solution, however, is very simple. By incorporating a small amount of self-care into each day, you will do yourself a great service. Self-care can help to boost your mental well-being while supporting good physical health and even leading to a more successful work day and social life. Here are some easy ways to start practicing self-care.
Do Something You Love
One of the simplest ways to practice self-care is to do something you love each day, such as going for a walk in nature or building a model train set. If this sounds overly simple, consider how you feel when you are working on your hobby or favorite activity. You most likely feel content, relaxed, or excited — all positive emotions that lead to equally positive effects in the brain. When people take the time to do something they are passionate about, the amount of stress hormones in their bodies drops significantly, and they are replaced with positive, mood-boosting chemicals like endorphins. This is why a 15-minute walk in the middle of the day can work wonders at calming you down and clearing your mind.
Keep Your Meals Interesting
On busy days, lunch often becomes a dull routine where you eat a package of processed food or a container of take-out from the local fast-food restaurant as quickly as possible so that you can have time to get back to work. However, this is dangerous — rushing your meals can lead to heartburn and other similar conditions, disrupting the delicate balance of your digestive system and making you feel sick. Fast food and processed food is also full of preservatives, salts, and oils, none of which support a healthy mind or body.
Instead, why not try to cook your own meals to take to lunch each morning? It doesn’t have to be a large proposition — meal delivery services will provide you with the ingredients necessary to cook a unique, delicious, healthy meal each day. They can also help you liven up your lunches thanks to the variety of meals they offer. When you aren’t eating the same thing each meal, food becomes much more exciting, which can help lock in your new healthy habits.
Clear Time Each Day
You can help to provide yourself with enough time to practice your favorite hobbies by taking breaks throughout the day. Breaks, far from being a demonstration of laziness or neglect, are one of the best ways to keep your spirits up, even on days where tensions are running high. Breaks are a way of letting your mind step back from the drama and the stress and get back to a more reasonable, balanced state. Once that is done, you will find that you are more able to deal with the situation than before, when you were stressed and on edge.
The Value of Naps
If you have the time for a longer break, you can even use it to take a quick nap. While the greatest effects of sleep come from getting a full night of quality sleep, you can also give yourself a boost by shutting your eyes in the middle of the day. This provides effects similar to those of simply taking a break, but also can help remove the fog from your mind and reduce pain and stiffness. Watch the length of your nap — if it’s too long, your sleep cycle will shift and you may be groggy when you get up. Five to 15 minutes is generally ideal. If napping during the day proves problematic, invest in a good sleep mask or blackout curtains to block the light.
Self-care is far from complicated. All it requires is that you take the time to follow through with several healthy habits that will make you feel better on all levels.
Brad Krause is dedicated to helping others discover their best selves through self-care practices and a variety of self-care resources. You can find more of his writing on his website, Self Caring.