By Bailey G
Good afternoon Ramblers,
As the holidays approach and things are starting to get CRAZY busy before the break, it’s important to remember to carve out time for you. While exercise, healthy eating, and staying physically fit are important, good health is so much more than just that. Mental well being, mindfulness, and practicing a healthy dose of self-care is just as vital in keeping yourself in tip-top shape.
The biggest thing you can do to increase the mindfulness and mental well being in your life is to prioritize it into your schedule. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Google calendar, which helps me manage my time for everything from work and fun to self-care. Just like carving out time to exercise, you have to prioritize time for self-care or you will burn out. Maybe it’s a hobby you have, a show you like to watch, or getting in an extra hour of sleep...whatever it is, make sure it’s planned into your schedule so it doesn’t get overtaken by other things in your life.
Count All the Sheep
Something that I live by and I think is super critical to practicing self-care, is ensuring you’re getting enough sleep. The impact of sleep deprivation is serious, from affecting your mood and relationships to actually shaving years off your life. I know that as a young adult it’s easy to stay out late and successfully try and live off of 3-4 hours of sleep. I too have been there. However, overall, you really need to incorporate getting 7-9 hours of sleep on average into your night. There are many health benefits beyond self-care that stem from hitting your target sleep goal.
Being a native Coloradoan, thriving in the outdoors has been ingrained in me since birth. When I’m outside, I feel connected to the world around me, and I finally feel at peace. If I go too long without a hike or other outside activity, it greatly impacts my anxiety and overall well-being. My favorite self-care practice is to make sure I’m spending time outside. Getting close to nature can help improve your physical health, mindfulness, and help you seek clarity in the issues that plague your life currently. Even if you’re not a skier, biker, or outdoor enthusiast at all...just a walk around the block can help you practice self-care.
Movers and Shakers
Along with getting outside and breathing the fresh air, I also believe that movement, in general, can help to expel negative energy and bring your mind to peace. Exercise has many physical benefits, but it also releases a ton of positive endorphins that make you feel better overall mentally. Again, even if it’s a quick walk, it can greatly impact your mood. Personally, I find that exercise is great for clearing out my anxiety and negative thoughts.
Connection and Contact
Self-care also involves making time to connect with those in your life that matter to you. Check in with loved ones, call your mom, and make time in your schedule to catch up with those in life that make you feel good. For me, I practice self-care through face-timing my friends like Anne or my boyfriend Tomas, calling my family, and keeping in contact with loved ones on a regular basis. Remain involved with people who bring you up, who shed positive light into your life and remind you why you’re awesome. Those people are key to nurturing those positive self-care vibes.
Indulge (But in Moderation)
Last but not least, I am a true believer in letting yourself indulge occasionally on the things that make you happy. Life is WAY too short to not celebrate with Ben & Jerry’s once in a while or go out for drinks with friends. My dad always says if there’s something simple that can make you happy right then, just go for it. Obviously, all good things come in moderation, so don’t over indulge...but also realize that at the end of the day it will not matter if you want to do something FOR you. Indulge in self-love and the passions that make your heart sing. The best thing you can do for yourself in practicing self-care is to full heartedly believe in YOU and love yourself.
There you have it ramblers, I hope these tips I shared will help you to find the peace of mind and mental well-being that you’re looking for. Obviously, if major issues are persisting in your life, talk to a doctor or a therapist. But for those regular blue days that appear, remind yourself to practice self-care. And with that being said, I think the ice cream in my freezer is calling my name. ;)