So July has been a pretty crazy month. I’ve been traveling nonstop, visiting friends, and (I’ll admit) probably doing a little too much partying. Well…its finally catching up to me. I am totally exhausted, injured (again!), and starting to get sick. Now is definitely the time to take care of myself and get better before I head back up to Oxford.
I found a really great article that lists a ton of simple and quick ways to take better care of yourself during times of high stress or busy times in your life – things I definitely need to start doing every day! Sometimes I get so caught up with work, school, friends, and everything else that I completely forget to take care of myself in even the simplest ways like getting enough sleep or eating three meals a day. (Seriously that happens all the time; I get super busy and just completely forget to eat a meal!) So these are some of the best ways to just take a few extra minutes out of your day and take care of yourself!
1. Drink some tea. I know most people when they get stressed reach for the coffee, but don’t! Tea is a much better option because it won’t dehydrate you or give you a caffeine rush that crashes later.
2. Take 5 extra minutes in the morning and before you go to bed to just stretch and breathe. Even a few minutes a day of breathing and just focusing your mind can make a huge difference in your stress and anxiety levels.
3. Write it down. Write everything you need to get accomplished that day down somewhere. It will help you keep your thoughts organized and can reduce the stress factor if it turns out to be less than you thought it was. It will also keep you from getting distracted from floating thoughts of other tasks.
4. Keep a planner and schedule some Me-Time. Keeping a planner is absolutely essential, and will help you keep track of deadlines and other events that need to get done. More importantly, though, schedule a time each day for absolutely no appointments! No meetings, no appointments, no assignments – that time is strictly for you to do whatever you want. Take a quick nap, read a book, watch a show…it doesn’t have to be a long time, as long as you schedule it somewhere!
5. Light candles or use essential oils. Using shower products or lotions containing essential oils like lavender (for calming) or peppermint (to wake up) will help keep you relaxed and focused.
6. Once a week have a prepare day, where you sit down and figure out everything you have going on that week so you can prepare. If you know you’re going to be busy, consider pre-making some meals so you can grab them on the go.
7. Do the dreaded tasks first. We all have those tasks on our To-Do lists that we keep putting off because they are either the most time-consuming or the ones we are most dreading. Getting those tasks out of the way first, even though its irritating, will help you feel much less stressed without them weighing over your head all day.
8. Eat healthier and snack more. Instead of having large meals three times a day, try snacking on some healthy treats throughout the day. It will help keep your energy level up and prevent overeating due to stress.
9. SLEEP. I know this seems obvious but when people get busy the number one thing we de-prioritize is sleep. You will function a lot better and be much more efficient and productive if you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
How do you take care of yourself when you’re stressed?