You’re slimming down, building muscle tone and getting stronger every day. But that does not necessarily make you healthy, especially if you’re feeling stressed out and tired in between workouts. It could be a sign that you need to devote some more attention to your mental well-being while keeping the body in shape. That’s what real self-care is all about, and here’s how to do it.
It’s the foundation of self-care and health, without which a positive mindset is all but impossible. A quiet night’s rest, however, is becoming harder and harder to achieve in our frenetic world filled with traffic jams, bright lights and buzzing handheld devices. There are ways to cut out all the noise and distractions and trick your body into a long deep sleep.
One such hack involves a little reverse psychology by trying to stay awake as long as possible, which your body will rebel against. More traditional methods include reading a novel or taking a mental vacation to a quiet place far away. Your efforts will be more quickly rewarded by turning on a noise machine, adding some fluffy pillows and keeping your bedroom as dark as possible.
Make Time for Hobbies
Set up a relaxing routine to settle your brain and ease your way into a state of deep relaxation while doing something you love. That could be knitting, quilting or even coloring, which is growing in popularity among the artistic-minded thanks to its therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety and put adults in touch with their inner child.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to turn on the music, as it has a calming effect on both your mind and body, according to Psych Central. The site adds that it even aids in slowing down your pulse and heart rate, as well as lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of stress hormones. Music also serves as a great aid to meditation.
Calm Your Mind
If art on the walls of ancient settlements in the Indus valley are accurate, meditation has been practiced for over 7,000 years and is only gaining in popularity in the modern world. It’s all for good reason, as numerous scientific studies have shown how sitting in the lotus position breathing rhythmically with upraised palms calms the mind and reduces anxiety in a matter of minutes.
You do not need a guru to tap into these benefits. In fact, the Chopra Center teaches you how in six steps, beginning and ending with your mantra. However, a quiet place free from distractions is a must, or you’ll never enter the zone. HomeAdvisor suggests finding a room where you feel comfortable, freeing it from clutter, and adding a touch of nature and some scented candles.
Try Yoga and Pilates
There are similar practices with an added touch of physicality. Yoga, which has a history almost as old as meditation, involves the same sort of rhythmic breathing while executing a series of poses that enhance strength, flexibility and coordination. It is celebrated for its effectiveness in reducing stress and even providing relief from lower back and joint pain.
Pilates is a similar outlet for stress that also improves core strength and muscle tone. It was created by German gymnast Joseph Pilates while he was seeking new ways to enhance both his physical and mental health. He was successful in his efforts, as the millions of practitioners of his art form would attest. Like yoga, it can be done at home in the same space that you use for meditation.
Learn to Cook Healthy Meals
A bad meal at the end of the day will leave you feeling bloated, struggling to sleep and wondering why you did that to yourself. But a good one? You’ll get a kick out of your taste buds along with the sense of accomplishment that you made it yourself. What’s more, you can choose your own nutritious ingredients that fill you with energy or put you to bed.
If you put these tips into practice, you should find some relief from stress and a little peace of mind in the modern world. Relax and enjoy it.
Image via Unsplash.
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.