The highly motivated people are the same people who tend to burn out. We are so obsessed with working hard and chasing our goals, that we forget that it’s okay to rest. Sometimes we get overwhelmed. Life feels chaotic, busy and too much to handle. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect all the time, to be productive, and busy. We are constantly judging ourselves and finding our worth in how much we do. Our society encourages us to hustle and put in the work. Sometimes it’s at the expense of our well being. It is okay to slow down and take a break. In fact taking time to practice self care actually nourishes your body and mind so that you feel refreshed and ready to tackle all of life’s obstacles. It’s time to start listening to what you need and stop feeling guilty for those moments when you slow down. Work hard, but rest well. Make that your mantra for the rest of this month! Here are some great ways to practice self care:
Mediation is a great way to feel into your body and mind. Often times people feel like they “don’t know how” to mediate. I am here to tell you there is no right or wrong way. Simply taking the time out to sit in stillness and focus on your breath will help you in tremendous ways. I like to use Insight Timer to meditate. They have 20,000 free guided meditations. The goal is not to stop thinking, but rather allow thoughts to pass through as you calm your soul and feel into yourself. It is a great tool to help recognize the way you feel and then simply let it go. Yoga classes that we offer at our studio allow space for meditation as you practice. Your goal is to simply be present as you link breath with movement. Find a spot maybe in your house, in a yoga class, or outside where you can begin to practice meditation. Even 5 minutes a day can offer so much. We live in a fast paced world where sometimes the best way to move through life is to learn the art of slowing down.
2. Move Your Body
Ever notice how amazing you feel after a workout? We all experience some days when we dread the idea of getting up for an early morning Yoga or Barre class but then leave feeling extremely accomplished, motivated and ready for anything. Moving your body is the perfect way to practice self care. Its so wonderful to be able to take 60 minutes truly just for you: for your mind and your body. Taking care of our bodies and being grateful for the movement that we can do is something that will always lift your mood. Sometimes you need to just dance it out, go for a run, roll out your mat, anything! Movement is empowering, and it is guaranteed to lift you up. When life gets busy we tend to omit physical exercise from our routines when that exercise may actually be extremely important to your overall wellness. Take that hour to focus only on yourself and be grateful for what your body is capable of doing.
3. Go Out In Nature
My favorite way to refresh and reset is to get outside. Some people enjoy biking or running and the Rail Trail near the studio is a perfect way to feel connected with the earth. I also love to travel and visit new places. I always learn so much by traveling because it puts life in perspective. This world is so big and beautiful and we are all so lucky to live on this beautiful planet. Problems tend to shrink and stress tends to fade when you engross yourself into the beauty of this earth. Nature has a way of making us feel so small. Standing in front of the ocean or at the top of a mountain has a way of washing your troubles away. If you haven’t felt the sun on your face today, maybe eat lunch outside or plan a weekend getaway. There is something magical and refreshing about discounting and becoming one with nature and its solitude. I love to use Airbnb to find secluded cabins in the woods for the perfect weekend reset. For $40 off your first stay you can use this Airbnb link! Be daring and take an adventure. The break will only refuel your motivation in your everyday life!
4. Read a Book
For my fellow book lovers out there, reading a book is a great way to slow down and practice self care. Set up a spot to read that is relaxing. Maybe you cuddle up in bed and light a candle, or sit outside in the sun or in a bath tub. Create a soft ambiance where you can sit and relax and enjoy a good book. If you aren’t much of reader, Netflix can also serve as a good way to relax. We tend to judge ourselves for watching TV, but one or two episodes of your favorite show can actually serve as a good way to relax after a long day.
All in all we tend to omit self care from our lives as we often look at ways to practice self care as a waste of time. In the end your happiness and well being is far more important than your productivity. I find that I am much more productive when I allow myself space to breathe. That recharge can actually lead to better work, and a happier life. After all isn’t happiness the ultimate goal?