It’s been a crazy year for everyone …. The devastation of bushfires and the uncertainty of Covid19 has many of us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. So many things are out of our control and it’s hard to keep up with all the changes happening around us. No wonder the collective mental health and emotional wellbeing of our nation is at a low ebb.
And now we are heading into the busyness of the Christmas Season! Before getting caught up in the next set of deadlines, events, family and work commitments and generally putting others first, isn’t it time you did something for YOU? Isn’t it time you paused, took a deep breath (or two, or two hundred) and focused on your own wellbeing?
There’s no need to feel guilty about taking some time out to self-care, to see to your own needs. On the contrary, looking after yourself enables you to manage EVERYTHING else better, including looking after those you love. Replenishing mind, body and soul will have a profound and positive effect on your resilience, ability to cope, and your general happiness.
So how do we fit self-care, that very important reset and recharge, into our busy lifestyle? Make YOU a priority and schedule time to clear your mind of worry and come at life from a place of calm and strength – it’s worth it, YOU are worth it.
Take a walk
Head outside, look around, observe what’s going on. Focus on being in the now and feel the warmth of the sun, smell the fresh cut grass, splash in a puddle and seek out the things you love for example flowers or butterflies. You will return home with a smile on your face, ready to face the world again.
Meditation helps your mind find calm and lose worry. There are many ways to meditate, and many meditational aids including music or spoken words. Guided meditations are often much easier, particularly for those new to it.
Immerse yourself in nature
Take the time to get back to nature to revive your tired spirit. Being near water is particularly effective so head to your favourite beach, running brook, waterfall or lake to enjoy some serenity.
Connect with friends
Having fun is a great way to reset and forget your troubles. Hang out with positive people you can relax and be yourself with, who uplift you and make you laugh. Playing sport or board games or other activities together can give you the break from the everyday that you need.
In through the nose and out through the mouth. There are many breathing techniques that bring calm and focus to your mind for example square breathing where you breath in for the count of two, hold for the count of two, breathe out for the count of two, hold for the count of two, repeat.
Nutritious food helps keep your body in a calmer state. Eating junk food and other highly processed foods can cause sugar spikes and other metabolic disturbances that negatively impact how we feel.
Get some sleep
Sleep deprivation makes everything seem worse and harder to deal with. Try and get into a sleep routine with screens off. Do something that relaxes you before bed so it’s easier to get a good night’s sleep. Physical exercise during the day often improves how well we sleep at night – a daily walk can do wonders on many levels.
Mindfulness is mental and emotional self-awareness. It’s a calming technique achieved by focusing on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting your feelings and thoughts. Mindfulness can be very powerful in breaking the habit of worrying and helping you reset your mind.
There are lots of options here – the important thing is that you take action in looking after yourself and your wellbeing. Your life, and that of your family, will be better for it.