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If feeling exhausted and burned out is part of your everyday norm, it’s time to make some changes. Taking the time to take better care of yourself will not only help you be more productive, it will also improve your mood and keep you healthier, both mentally and physically.
You’ve probably heard the saying “You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.” This is true. If you don’t take good care of yourself, you won’t have the energy you want and need to take care of the people you love.
So how do you take better care of yourself when you’re already too busy and can’t find time? Well, start with making time. This is your health and well-being we’re talking about. Making time for it is important.
HOW TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF
Here are some great self-care techniques that you can easily employ to help you take better care of yourself:
SET A NO WORK SCHEDULE
This is especially important if you work from home for yourself. It can be easy to find yourself working all the time from early in the morning to late at night. Schedule some time that you are not allowed to work or even check email. For instance, no working past 6 PM or on the weekends unless there’s a special reason.
Get in the habit of blocking out this time in your planner so it becomes a habit that you are engaging in “me” time.
START YOUR DAY WITH MEDITATION
Just a few minutes every morning will help you get your day off to a great start and help you be more productive. It’s important to take time to slow down your thinking, visualize what you want for yourself and for your day, and be grateful for all you have. It will also greatly improve your mood.
There are some great apps you can find on both your iPhone and Android phone that can help to not only teach you the basics of meditation but provide guided meditation if you’re just starting out.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE
If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. As an added bonus, regular exercise also helps to improve your mood and your sleep quality.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND REST
Speaking of sleep, it’s important to get enough sleep every night. 7-8 hours is the recommended amount to allow you to be happy, productive, and improve your decision-making.
DITCH YOUR ALARM CLOCK AND WAKE UP NATURALLY
Ditch your alarm clock and start going to bed early enough so that you wake up naturally and on your own once you’re fully rested. Plus, who wants to be jolted out of bed by the sound of a buzzer going off?
Allow your morning to be slow and peaceful. Instead of jumping right into your email inbox, take some time for meditation, stretching, and getting your morning coffee or tea. This will help set the tone for your day.
START THE DAY WITH A CUP OF HOT WATER AND LEMON
Drinking a cup of hot water with a wedge of lemon every morning will help to detoxify your liver from whatever you ate the day before. In return, your liver will thank you – A LOT and will make you naturally feel more energetic, before you’ve even had your first cup of caffeine.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Drink at least 64 oz of water each day so that you stay hydrated and don’t end feeling the effects of dehydration which include feeling tired, foggy and sleepy.
Spending time outdoors is beneficial for your brain and can be meditative and relaxing. Breathe in some fresh air, run your toes through the grass, and get your Vitamin D intake from the sun. It’s a great happiness booster.
PAY IT FORWARD
Helping others boosts your mental health and even helps you live a longer life. Volunteering for your favorite charities will also improve your self-confidence and your overall well-being.
Focusing on the present moment without letting your thoughts wander to something else is a great way to reduce stress and depression. It also improves your happiness.
LAUGH A LOT
As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Laughing has been shown to reduce stress and even prevent disease. In fact, stress is a leading cause of disease so if laughter reduces stress, it’s great preventative medicine.
GET UP AND DANCE
Dancing isn’t just great exercise, it also improves your mood and your body image. Turn on a great song, turn it up, and get your body in motion!
EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Fruits and vegetables are natural resources for all your daily needs of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They boost your brain health, prevent disease, and seven portions a day can boost your happiness levels.
GRAB A BOOK AND BE A BOOKWORK
Reading is good for your mental health and keeps your mind sharp as it ages. While non-fiction books can help you learn something new; fiction books improve your creativity and make your more open minded and empathetic. Turning off the TV and reading before bed can even improve your sleep. Here are a few of my favorite books.
Physical chaos and lead to mental chaos causing you to feel stressed, unorganized, and unproductive. Organizing helps you clear your mind, feel calmer, and encourages productivity. Take a few minutes to clear off your desk or clean up that pile of junk mail on your kitchen counter.
Yoga is a great way to combine several things that help you take better care of yourself; stretching, exercising, and meditation. Your mind is focused and calm while your body is relieving any built-up tension. It’s also great for relieving joint pain and improving your sleep.
Turn off the devices, take a social media break, and turn off the TV. Especially an hour before bed. Time to unplug helps you recharge your mind and body and offers you a better night’s sleep.
Cuddling up reduces stress and boosts happiness. We all need a little physical contact once in a while. Snuggle up for a movie or in front of the fire with someone you love. Don’t have a special someone in your life right now? Grab your cat or dog – or better yet go get a furry friend!
GET A MASSAGE
Along with the benefits of physical touch, a massage relaxes your body and mind, reducing stress and even improving your sleep. Enjoying the peaceful time while being mindful and present in the moment is also meditative.
Aromatherapy is a great way to relax, improve productivity, and feel more energetic. Citrus scents are great for the morning and help you feel energized while lavender is perfect before bed to help you relax. Rosemary boosts your memory, while peppermint helps you to focus so they’re both great for a midday break.
Taking the time for a little self-care is the best way to reduce stress, improve your energy levels, improve your sleep, be more productive, and be happier. With all of these great benefits, there’s no reason not to make more time in your schedule for taking better care of yourself.