16 Apr My Self-Care + Stress Management Tips
Meetings, errands, appointments; they add up fast! We’re all balancing a lot, and while our tasks and deadlines fill the pages of our planners, often we forget to make time for one very important person: ourselves! It’s usually after a long day when I realize I could have used a little pick-me-up, a moment to think, or a chance to recharge.
While these moments of self-care can happen spontaneously, don’t leave them to chance! Actively making self care a priority eases those overwhelming and long, stressful days!
Self-care can sound like a big, selfish word.
We all need an opportunity to prioritize ourselves. You’ve heard it before I’m sure, but it’s true; the benefits to your physical, emotional and mental well-being are well worth developing the habit.
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
So where do you start? How do you actually make it happen?
I started by taking note of the little and big things that made me smile and the ones that helped me disconnect from the stresses of work and motherhood.
Here’s what made it to my list. I hope it helps inspire you to start one too!
Drink water! It’s SO good for you and is one of the simplest ways to improve your health and well-being. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily should be your goal. Easier said than done, right? Artful Agenda has a spot just for this because we know how important it is for your health and to keep your energy levels up. Water makes a big difference!
Sleep. I know we do it every night, but is it a good night’s rest? The National Sleep Foundation reports that adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night or they are at risk of the effects of sleep deprivation. Try getting to bed on time and making your bedroom a comforting place that is dark, quiet, and cool. Set a recurring alarm on your phone so that you remember to start your bedtime routine on time each night. I started doing not too long ago, and it’s a game changer.
Spa minute. Is that a thing? It can be! You may not be able to make it to the spa for a luxurious day, but you can certainly recreate that relaxation with an at-home face mask, pedicure or bubble bath. My go to is a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of wine!
Time for friends. Actively schedule some time to hang out with your best friends. Take a class together or keep it simple with a coffee chat. Don’t just leave it at “see you next time.” Make it happen!
Listen to a new podcast or catch a local show. Binge watching a Netflix series on your day-off can be a great way to kick back. If that’s not your style, take a break and listen to a new podcast or get tickets for a live show that may be in town. One of my favorite things to do on a nice day is walk my dog while listening to a podcast.
Play! Do something carefree. Explore a new hobby, have a board game night with friends, or pull out a coloring book. Do an activity that puts you at ease and makes you happy.
The little things. Recognize the small things that make you smile, and have them on hand. Keep your favorite lipstick, hand-lotion, tea, or even a good book in your bag so you can reach for them anytime you need a quick pick me up. If I’m feeling maxed out, a bright lipstick and an essential oil hand lotion makes me feel just a bit better instantly.
Move your body. Incorporate time for daily movement in your day. Whether it’s at your desk, right before bed, or when you wake up in the morning, take some time to stretch or go for a brief walk. Park a little farther at work or the grocery store. Small efforts really do add up.
Do nothing. Nothing at all! “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.” – Calvin & Hobbes. There is so much value in breaking away from productivity. Take a quick nap, a hot bath, sit in a grassy area or turn off the notifications on your phone for a few minutes. Clear your mind and re-focus.
Record the little joys in your life. Practicing gratitude is the simplest way to start your day feeling happy. Best of all, it’s easy and it’ll boost your mood in big ways. It’s amazingly rewarding to find things in your life to be grateful for and to be able to reflect on them as well. Make your Artful Agenda “My Custom List” your very own digital gratitude journal. What are you grateful for today? Tip: Keep it brief with your top three for the day to avoid making this little habit overwhelming.
Start, continue, and end your day with a happy heart!