Mental health, Self help

5 ways to take care of yourself

mental strength, motivated

We find basic wisdom everywhere. For example, the airlines have been telling us for years to put on our own mask first and THEN put the mask on your children. What do they know that we know intellectually, but seem to forget anyway? That we must take care of ourselves first in order to have the energy and stamina to take care of the others who are depending on us.

To that end, here are 5 simple things to do on a daily basis to help keep you motivated, centered and available. Please note that while simple, these activities can also be easy, but we must get used to the idea that we deserve to enjoy these activities. In fact, they are critical to our ability to serve others.

Exercise/Move

Couch potatoes are so named because, as a rule, potatoes just sit there. Until you pick them up and exert your culinary expertise on them, they are like giant slugs. While there are times when we need to ‘veg’ out, it is essential that we get physical activity into our day. And by the way, housework, stairs, gardening, up and down in the office all count. Try to increase your stamina a little bit every day.

Meditate/Pray

Just as physical activity is crucial, so is some down or quiet time. It’s not just sitting quietly, although that is a start. The best way to incorporate this downtime is to meditate or pray, to connect to a power higher than yourself. It may be your affirmation time or time for self-growth reading, but it’s got to be something that makes our spiritual selves sing.

Relax

Different than meditation or praying, this activity is designed to refresh and energize your body. It might mean a catnap or just sitting quietly in the bathroom for a few extra minutes. It is important to have these ‘non-stress’ moments throughout your day, to keep yourself constantly renewed. However, if your schedule is so hectic that you can’t comprehend multiple times, at least pencil in 35-minute ‘ I break’. You’ll be surprised at how effective a morning, afternoon and evening mini-vacation will help your frame of mind.

Be productive

Among the gifts, we’ve been given are the skills and talents to do productive work. No matter the setting (home, office, plant floor, classroom, etc.), it is essential to our well-being that we produce meaningful work. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it to the very best of your ability.

Connect to Others

Very few of us really prefer being alone to being connected to other people. Whether it’s a mate, a family, a neighborhood, a community, a specialized group (I love all quilters myself and know I’ll be at home with them even if I’ve never met them before), it is important to be with people who feel some level of connection and caring to you. Obviously, we don’t expect the same connection with a quilting acquaintance as from a family member, but each level of connection brings value to your day and your life.
I hope you’ll find time to incorporate these 5 essential activities into your life. They are crucial in allowing you to build your mental strength and self.

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