Everyone has that defining moment in their life that drastically changes who they are as a person, whether it be for good or for bad. For me, 2016 was stock full of those moments. Undoubtedly the hardest year I’ve faced to date, everything that could go wrong, did. But in the midst of personal and professional struggles, I learned a valuable lesson: I cannot be of service to others unless I’m doing right by myself.
It seems simple enough, but it is easier said than done. Until your back is pushed up against the ropes with no exit strategy, you don’t fully realize just how much taking care of yourself plays in your emotional well-being. Truthfully, I was never one big on routines. I prided myself on being able to go go go without much stopping and still excel in pretty much all areas. But there is nothing wrong with needing a moment to yourself. You’ll find that you’re not only a better person for it but you can make better life decisions ultimately. Making my personal health a priority has been one of my saving graces in the midst of the turmoil that has been everyday life for quite some time.
That’s why I wanted to share the love and let you all in on the 5 tips that have helped me bounce back over and over. Check them out below:
I’m a social media manager, so my coins are pretty dependent on staying ahead of what’s happening around the globe. But just because I get paid to be glued to my phone 24/7 doesn’t make it any less difficult. Having to constantly stay one step ahead and know all the trending topics at a moment’s notice is exhausting. And it’s not healthy. I’ve found that once my work is done, instead of waiting for yet another breaking news story or monitoring previous posts, just putting the phone down and taking a breather is super beneficial. It helps me brainstorm better ideas and take note on what I did well or could work on from the previous day.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t get nearly enough sleep. I have a bad habit of pushing myself to work on one more assignment or cross one more item off my to-do list. If that means I get two less hours of sleep, then that’s the price I normally pay. But I slowly started to realize not only was it damaging my mental status but my professional life was suffering as well. I was turning in work on auto-pilot. Now, I give my brain and body the chance to reboot. Getting some shut eye, even if it’s just a 45 minute nap, keeps my mind clear to be more alert and on my A game.
3. Soak in a Bubble Bath
Is there a better feeling than letting all your stress and worries practically float away in a relaxing bath? I think not. It’s easy to make the mistake of just wanting to jump in a shower for the sake of time. I’m guilty of that when I get caught up with work and want to hurry up and get in bed. But actually sitting down and tuning out the world is peaceful all on its own. The key is to find a bubble scent you love, light a few candles and just allow your mind to go somewhere else. I like to imagine I’m sitting beachside in Hawaii with Idris Elba. But, you know, whatever works for you…
4. Invest in a Quality Journal
One of the most productive and helpful habits I’ve picked up on has been writing. Even if I just write something as simple as one word over and over again, it serves as such an important release. Sometimes you don’t know you have the words to say until you get a chance to put them down on paper. I try to journal every night, but you can set your own pace. Whenever you find the words, whether it’s about your day, your overbearing boss, your boyfriend, or whoever, just grab your pen and get to work. Your journal can end up being the best friend you didn’t know you needed.
5. Move Your Body With a Fun Workout
When I find the time to burn a few calories, it makes a world of difference in how I feel. But with my hectic schedule, I try to be as realistic as possible when setting workout goals. I know that I probably won’t hit the gym five times a week and that’s okay. I also know that I hate running so spending time on the treadmill also probably won’t happen. Again, it’s okay. What helps lift my spirits is finding a fun workout that doesn’t actually feel like work. I love to dance, so learning a new routine helps me clear my head and work up a sweat. It’s all about finding the most seamless way to incorporate exercise into your everyday schedule and sticking with it.
What do you do to keep your mind, body and spirit in check? Any tips you want to share? Let me know in the comments!
Briea L. Curington