I was lying in bed the other night overwhelmed from the exhaustion I was feeling after a long day at work.
It seemed like it had been forever since I had been able to do nothing. I didn't want to move. 'Do I really need to take my makeup off? Do I really need to shower?' I felt so tired. I just wanted rest. But I knew that a shower would actually make me feel better. So in that moment I decided to get up out of my bed and head into my bathroom.
This simple decision was made in a moment of realization. I needed to take care of myself. And it was okay that I did.
I had no obligations, and work was done for the day. I could have easily just skipped the shower and turned on a Netflix show (which I often do). But in that moment I realized what I needed wasn't care for my mind but care for my body. And the funny thing about that is when you care for your body it in turn takes care of your mind.
The mind body connection is a very real thing. I know that as I've taken care of my physical self my mind feels less anxious and more sharp. This in turn leads to a clearer mind and a healthier spirit with which I can face my days better.
Most importantly though, I realized I had put myself on the back burner for a while, making myself my last priority. And as I laid on my bed I could feel the results of that. As I took that step, just a simple shower, I told myself that I was worth that time and energy. I started to move forward and put a stop to not caring.
We all have the choice to take care of ourselves, body and mind.
So the next time you don't think you have time or energy to take care of yourself, just remember you are important and worth any time you spend on taking care of you. Here are 10 simple ways to start taking care of yourself today.
1. Get Some Sleep
Long days at work are exhausting. You'd be surprised at how much a good night's sleep can change how you handle things mentally. Even if it's not every day, start with trying to get a full 8 hours two days a week. You'll love how it makes you feel.
2. Take a Warm Shower or Bath
There is something about having the warmth and pressure of a nice shower or bath. It's relaxing, revitalizing, and soothing.
3. Go For a Walk After Work
Fresh air and movement. There's nothing like it. It's definitely one of the best ways to decompress from your day of work.
4. Talk to a Good Friend
It's true that people can be one of our greatest sources of stress, but good friends can also be one of the best sources of comfort, stability, and happiness.
Sometimes our stress can come on simply because we have unprocessed emotions. Journaling is a great way to get everything out of your head.
6. Read a Book
It can help to step into the world of fiction from time to time. It's a great way to take your mind off of work for the evening.
7. Listen to Soothing Music While Taking Deep Breaths
There is something about soothing music that just speaks to the soul. And deep breathing is an instant stress reliever. It takes your mind off of anything you've been stressing about and keeps you busy focusing on your breathe.
8. Clean Your Room and Make Your Bed
I know cleaning is the last thing you'd think of as a stress reliever. But we started this conversation talking about taking care of ourselves. Having a clean room is you telling yourself that it's important to take care of your space. Things that are yours are important.
9. Make a Home-Cooked Meal For Yourself
Cooking for someone is one of the best ways to show that you care. So take it a step further and show yourself that you care for you.
10. Take That Long Overdue Vacation
It can be out of the country, out of state, or just out of town. But do it. Taking a little bit of time off of your normal routine can help calm any storms and just give yourself the time to focus on you.