In a world where multitasking is not only encouraged but also considered a prized skill and long to-do lists come with bragging rights, it’s important to pump the breaks once in a while. You are the guardian of your own mental health. Nobody else is going to do this for you, so make it your top priority. One way to do that is by practicing regular self-care. Along with the usual recommendations of getting enough sleep and eating a healthy and balanced diet, here are some tips I have found to be particularly useful.
Fair disclosure: Do as I say, not as I do. Just like everyone else, I’m a work in progress. Anxiety is a lifelong companion for me regardless of the years I’ve been consciously fighting it. I know these tips are much more easily said than done.
- Do not disturb. This setting on your phone can be your best friend. When you leave work or get done running around doing chores, you need to decompress. You can’t do that if your phone chirps every couple of minutes with new demands on your time. Pick a time when you will put your phone on Do Not Disturb … and stick to it. Here’s a bonus tip: You can tailor your settings so the Do Not Disturb function will also hide the badges that indicate unread messages and notifications on the app icons. That’s a big win if you’re someone who is haunted by the red numbers.
- Sunday Funday. Don’t let all the unknowns of the week steal your Sunday. Take 10 minutes to write out what you have to do in the coming week. That way, you know what you are facing, you can mentally prepare, and you aren’t expecting any surprises. That alone can help ease your mind.
- Be present. I know, I know … this one is a little like saying, “Just be happy,” but hear me out. When you are spending time doing something you love, make a point of enjoying it. The deadline and task list get enough of your time as it is. Don’t let them steal even more.
Maybe most importantly, give yourself a break.