Tiny ways to take care of yourself
Hello my dear listener! Welcome back to yet another motivating episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. Welcome to the brand-new month, we are on episode 90, just 10 more episodes to go for the 100th episode of Morning Cup of sunshine podcast. I am so grateful to this wonderful community, you kept me going with your unconditional support and love. I sincerely hope that I can bring useful and helpful content for you, week after week. Alright, let’s start this week’s episode. Episode 90 - 5 Tiny ways to take care of yourself today.
As you all know, my word of the year for 2022 is “simplify”. This year I am trying to find ways to simplify my life. I am finding simple ways to take care of myself better and today I am going to share 6 such tiny ways that you can implement in your daily life to take care of yourself. So, let’s start, shall we?
Surprised? You might be thinking, we were supposed to talk about the ways to take care of ourselves. Why am I talking about organization? Wait, let me explain. When we see visual clutter, our mind tends to feel burdened, stress levels start to increase. When we have a calm and peaceful surrounding, our mind functions much better. Of course, I am not asking you to take on a full-fledged organizing project. I am not asking you to organize your entire home in a day. I am asking to pick one small area every day and just tidy up, organize that area. You can pick just a single drawer today and organize it, declutter it. Maybe organize your purse tomorrow, throw away those piles of receipts gathered in your purse, of course if not needed. Throw away those empty wrappers of kid’s snacks. Just pick one small area each day and see the difference it makes on your mood. Seeing a clean, organized place makes you feel better and lifts your mood up.
Give your eyes a break -
I read about this rule of 20 somewhere. The rule says, if you are looking at the screen for 20 minutes straight, then take a break for 5 minutes and look at something which is 20 feet away from you. Give your eyes a break from looking at the screen the entire day. It strains your eyes and again increases your stress level. Taking short but frequent breaks is the way to take care of yourself. If your day job needs you to be in front of a screen, then you cannot put a time limit on your total screen usage but at least you can take breaks in between to rest your eyes.
Eat healthy meals -
Simple right? Our body needs nutritious food but most of the time, we are in so much rush that eating a well-balanced healthy meal during a workday is our least priority. We tend to grab whatever is easy and finish off our lunch. If you are working from home, the pendulum shifts in two completely opposite directions. One of my friends was telling me the other day that ever since she started working from home, snacks have become her best friends. She tends to snack the entire day, is it healthy, of course not? My other friend was telling me that she forgets to even have lunch most of the days and eats only after all her meetings are done and that happens mostly after 3.30. So, essentially she starves herself for almost the entire workday. Is that right? Of course not. Eating a healthy, well balanced meal should be a priority. It is the most important way to refuel your body, it is the way to take care of yourself. If you are busy preparing your lunch in between your meetings then plan ahead, prepare it in advance. Even if you work from home, pack yourself a lunch box and snack box if you need to refuel yourself in between the calls and meetings. But starving yourself or filling yourself up with mindless snacking is not the way to take care of your precious body. I am a big fan of meal prepping but it does not work out for me to prepare the entire meal. Our Indian cooking and our eating habits and patterns do not allow me to cook an entire meal for all 5 workdays well in advance. But I do meal prep, I pre-cut my veggies for the week, keep my basic preparation for actual cooking ready. I meal plan and write down the meals for the week well in advance to cut down the decision fatigue every morning. I do not have to think about deciding the school lunches, breakfast menus every morning because I already made the decision at the beginning of the week and now my only task is to actually make them. See, if this helps you too. Having a well-balanced, nutritious food is the way to nourish your mind, body and your soul.
Slow down -
I have an entire episode on ways to slow down. I will put a link to that episode in the show notes for you. This was one of my most favorite episodes. I highly recommend you listen to that episode when you are done listening to this episode. I have been trying this lifestyle deliberately. This is not an easy task for someone like me who is always on the go. But I have noticed the difference ever since I started implementing some small but intentional changes in my daily life. Taking a deep breath every now and then is not difficult but it needs to be done intentionally. Every time you feel stressed just take a minute to focus on your breathing, take 5 deep breaths, unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, maybe take a sip of water. Checking in with yourself, your feelings, your emotions should be a priority. Busy life is not a badge of honor. It is rather a burden so try to slow down, be the best friend of yourself and ask yourself, how are you feeling, how is your day going? Try to be more mindful, slow down to take better care of yourself.
Stretch it out -
A very simple yet effective technique to take care of yourself. Every day as soon as you wake up or in between your meetings or after your workday or before you go to bed, pick the time that suits you. Just do some quick stretches. Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed or anxious, your muscles tend to tighten up? When you are uncomfortable or worried you tend to be stiff. As soon as you notice it, try to do some simple stretches. There are countless videos on YouTube for you to refer to. Try some of those stretches. I think this is one of the most underrated things that you can do for your mental health. It relaxes your muscles, your body and your mind, it sharpens your thinking, boosts your mood. Those 5 minutes put everything in perspective, our big stress trigger suddenly feels smaller. It relieves your tension. It makes you more calm and peaceful. I highly recommend starting and ending your day with quick 5 minute stretching.
It is your right and responsibility to take care of yourself. I have said this so many times but you really can not pour from the empty cup. Just remember, it all begins with you. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything or anyone in your life.