In today’s society a lot of emphasis is put on the importance of contribution, of volunteering your time and skills to help others. But the idea of helping yourself, looking to your own needs, once in a while, is somehow frowned upon. However, it’s vitally important to be kind to yourself when you can, otherwise you run the risk of stress, anxiety, illness or depression. Here’s a guide to how you can look after you in 2015…
Few things lift the spirits more than getting together with old friends, or meeting new ones. Sharing experiences with other people staves off loneliness, so if you’re feeling down, meet a friend for coffee and a catch-up, get yourself down to the Mecca Bingo for the evening, or think of a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, then find people who share the same interest.
Cut the overtime
Do you often work through your lunch hour, or late into the evening? So many of us put in overtime in our jobs, often unpaid, just because we feel we have to, especially if we see others doing the same. One in five of us put in around seven hours a week – that’s pretty much a full day! But ask yourself what’s more important, clearing a bit of paperwork that could wait until tomorrow if you’re honest, or some time to yourself? Unless you really need the extra money, maybe this year aim to spend a bit less time at work.
It can be hard to let go, especially if you’re an efficient person who’s always on the move. But constantly taking on more responsibility in life drains the energy and is the shortcut to a burn-out. Learn to let go of some things, and find people you can trust who you can delegate certain tasks to, both at work or in your personal life.
It’s a constant refrain after the Christmas period, but eating better and taking more exercise will rapidly help you feel better about yourself. Cut down on your meat intake; avoid processed foods, and either join a gym or take part in a sport regularly that gets you moving about. Healthy body, healthy mind.
…and better. A good night’s rest is very important to a sense of mental wellbeing, so if you have difficulty sleeping at night, make some changes. Switch the tablet for a book; cut out daytime naps; avoid caffeine and heavy meals late at night, and try to relax before you go to bed.
Bottling up your emotions causes stress and anxiety, so try to let go and express them to loved ones. You may be surprised at the relief you feel if you’ve been keeping things to yourself for years and finally get them off your chest!
Try to find an hour every day where it’s just you alone, enjoying what you like to do, whether that be soaking in a bubble-bath, meditating, reading in bed or going for a solitary walk. It helps you organise your thoughts and emotions when you’re away from the pressing demands of work, household chores or family obligations. Just a short time by yourself can totally refresh you.
Nowadays in Western society we all seem to be obsessed with our devices – is there a home in the UK that doesn’t have at least one smartphone or tablet? We spend so much time checking our screens for emails, social media updates or the latest online shopping bargains that we don’t take any notice of what’s going on in the world all around us. So why not try once a week putting all of your devices in a drawer, and spending the day outside away from any form of electronic communication? Disconnect, to reconnect.
Cut back on the amount of work you do, and spend more time with your family instead. After all, when you’re older it’s not those extra hours you put in at the office you’ll remember, but the fun days on the beach helping your children to build sand-castles.
Do you feel that your days just tend to run away from you, with one thing following another so rapidly that you never have time to get things together? You need to structure your day better, so you can make time for everything you need to do. Buy yourself a personal organiser, and stick religiously to your itinerary.
above image found here