6 Tips To Care For Your Mind and Body
With life being as hectic as it is sometimes, we all need to take care of our mind and body. Unfortunately, we can often feel drained, exhausted and stretched way too thin. You have the power to take care of yourself in the best ways possible; you just need the tools to make it happen. Here are six practical strategies to give your mind and body the love that they need.
1. Breathe Deeply
There is a lot to be said for the simple act of taking a deep breath. It’s even better if you use it as a chance to step back and collect yourself. Breath meditation is an excellent example of how this can even reduce tension you have building up. Follow these simple steps to try it out for yourself:
- Find a quiet place to sit or lay down
- Place your hands over your lower belly
- Close your eyes and breathe normally
- Pay attention to your breath (how it feels, things you smell, temperature, the feel of your lungs expanding, etc. )
- As your attention drifts away from the breath, bring it back
2. Normalize Self Care
Self-care has gone by the wayside for too long, and people are starting to realize how bad that is for physical and emotional health. Always doing for others and running from one thing to the next causes burnout on multiple levels. To combat this, normalize self-care activities. Find what helps you recharge, whether indulging in a spa day, curling up with a good book or a dose of daily pampering by applying nourishing face oil.
3. Express Your Creative Side
Now is a great time to unleash it if you have a creative side. Research shows that creative activities can help strengthen your mind and lower stress too. For example, one study found that coloring geometric patterns — like the mandalas in many adult color books — relieved anxiety in participants. However, even if you aren’t very creative, you can still find relief from everyday stress by enjoying hobbies and pursuing your interests.
4. Talk With a Friend
Have you ever noticed how sharing a problem with a friend can make you feel so much better? There’s a good reason for that. Spending time with people you care about alters chemical production within the body, so you feel more relaxed and are better able to cope with life’s ups and downs. Ask for a hug if you need an even bigger boost. The oxytocin produced as a result starts a chain reaction associated with higher levels of happiness.
5. Take a Break From Your Phone
Technology keeps you connected to friends, family and the larger world in general. For the most part, that is a good thing. However, too much of anything — even a good one — can be harmful. Always being available by phone doesn’t give you a chance to be alone. Add the constant bombardment of social media messages and news stories, and it’s no wonder you can get overwhelmed.
The solution is both simple and really difficult — put your electronics aside for a day or so. That’s right, no phone, emails, social media. This has several benefits for your mental health. First, you remove that constant state of alertness. It also allows you to focus on yourself and things that matter to you. Now make it a regular habit.
6. Practice Saying “No”
No is a small word with a tremendous amount of power. That is why learning to use it judiciously can lighten and elevate your mood. Instead of agreeing to every request or demand on your time, establish limits for what you can realistically take on. Then, weigh whether things fit in those parameters. Find a tactful way to decline and move on if they don’t.
Is this a challenging skill to master? You bet. You could always look at it this way: if you could step away from your phone for a day successfully, then you also have the power to master this technique.
You can care for your mind and body, but you might have to experiment with these techniques to find a few that work well for you.