Our lives are so go-go-go sometimes that we forget how to take a moment to chill out and prioritize ourselves. And it sure stinks.
The difficult thing about it is that we know we should slow down and take better care of ourselves. We know that we can’t maintain a good job, stay healthy, and do all the things society expects of us at the same time without going crazy. But still we struggle to find time for self-care, and even when we do, it’s a constant internal battle not to feel like we should be doing something else.
It turns out, it is dang hard to teach yourself to relax frequently in a way that is truly beneficial. It’s hard enough to find the time and stick to it, but its even harder to mentally train yourself to make it a habit. However, the key is to keep working on it and find ways to slowly integrate self-care into your daily life. You may not be able to go to the spa every week, but maybe a weekly yoga class or daily run is do-able.
Here are 5 small tips on how you can start learning to relax more:
Explore something new.
When we get too into our comfort zones, we often shut down new possibilities that would take us out of them. Maybe kickboxing has always caught your eye, but you tell yourself that you’re not fit enough for it or you can’t imagine how you would fit it into your schedule. Even if it’s only for an hour a week, find time to try a new activity that benefits you, and more importantly, believe in yourself that you can do it.
When you find something you like, lock in a time for it.
Self-care often gets pushed on the back-burner because we treat it like a second-hand thing. If something important pops up, self-care activities are the first to be pushed aside or abandoned. But I challenge you to lock in self-care activities like you would anything else important in your daily calendar. Treat that time like a non-negotiable.
Try meditation or yoga.
While there are lots of activities that force you to slow down and focus on your breath and movements, I’ve always found yoga to be the most effective. Find something that gets you out of your head.
Learn to say no to things that don’t work for you.
If you don’t give a flying f**k about something, why on Earth would you waste precious time on it, physically or mentally? I hate that book that’s all about ‘the year of yes’ because honesty, I’ve been happier with my life since I’ve learned how to get better about saying no to things, people, and places that just don’t give me joy or really anything at all.
Mentally train yourself to be a little bit more selfish. And don’t feel guilty about it!
The word ‘selfish’ really whips us into a guilt frenzy, doesn’t it? But sometimes you have to be selfish in order to become a stronger person. If you don’t take care of yourself first, then how can you take care of anybody else, right? Training yourself to become more firmly self-promoting is tough work though. Not only will you have to convince yourself its okay to put yourself first sometimes, but you might have to go head to head with others that don’t understand your new point of view. The good news is, its not your job to explain it to them. Just keep doing you.
Learning how to take better care of yourself mentally (and sometimes physically) takes time. It’s been quite a road for me, but now I can’t believe I didn’t toughen up sooner.
Next week, I’m going to talk a little more in depth about my self-care journey and what happens after I spend a full week putting myself first. Trust me, I think its going to be quite an interesting experience and I can’t wait to share it!