- Create Routines:
My mornings go 100% better when I follow a routine. The reason being is that a routine doesn’t require you to make a lot of new decisions. Decisions and anxiety are correlated; the more decisions you have to make in the morning, the tendency for anxiety and stress to start creeping in earlier in your day. If you can fend that off in your morning, you’ll have more energy to deal with daily stressors later in your day. Even the littlest decisions such as what to wear or what to eat, will make a difference if they are decided upon the day before.
- Create Boundaries:
Take control by not taking on more than what you can handle. Identify what your boundaries are and ensure the people around you understand them. This is not a selfish act; this is an act of self-care at its core. Don’t be afraid to say no – boundaries are what allow you the time to re-charge. Don’t allow yourself to feel selfish or guilty for taking this time for yourself. This is vital time that you need in order to put your best self forward. Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
- Foster Good Friendships:
Friendships with other women help to support and protect mental health. It’s healthy to talk to trusted friends, especially during hard times. Everyone’s social needs are different. Try to appreciate how much time you need to devote to your relationships and then plan it out within your week. An easy way to get this time in is by planning an online video call or an outdoor walk.
- Meditate or use mindfulness practices often:
There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. Simply take some time to be in the present. Start by sitting in silence for a few minutes whenever you can. Notice where the mind takes you. Notice the voices and messages you hear. Don’t judge anything – simply observe. And by being the observer, you can start to take control of what you want to listen to throughout your day and life. If meditation is not your thing, there are countless mindfulness practices that assist in training your attention to achieve the same mental state of calm. Some examples include:
- Taking a series of mindful breaths and feeling the breath move within your body;
- Using your 5 senses to navigate an activity such as walking, eating, waking in the morning, or going to sleep at night;
- Progressive muscle relaxation where you move through the body, tensing different muscle groups before allowing them to relax;
- Setting a daily intention, and
- Declaring daily gratitude.
- Spend time in nature:
Get out of the house. Better yet, get out of the city. Nothing quite recalibrates the mind and body like getting out in nature and moving. Step outside on your lunch break or take a hike on the weekend. There’s nothing worse than stagnation. Getting the body moving in our natural environment brings the body and mind into the present moment, fills it with energy and increases productivity throughout the rest of the day.
- Just change ONE thing:
It’s not about reinventing your life in one day. Surrender one habit or preference by creating one new habit. Switch things up for a week or two to see how your day or life looks a bit different. This could mean getting up 10 minutes early for inspired reading or meditation, or replacing your second cup of coffee with tea instead. Just try something new and see how you feel.
- Stop chasing perfection:
Being perfect sets the stage for a lot of stress and limits our ability to see everything else for what it is. There is no such thing as perfect. Chasing your definition of perfection is just a way to mask your true self. Let go of comparing yourself to others. Push yourself to be the best you can be, but not at the expense of your health and relationships. Listen and learn about yourself, your body and your mind – what your likes and dislikes are. The more you get to know yourself, the less you’ll need to look outside for the answers.
- Trust yourself:
When we’re faced with an uncomfortable situation, the tendency is to go outwards for the answers. There’s this outwards rush that seems to temporarily relieve our anxious and uncomfortable minds. We take a trip to the store for something new or we look at our phones for instant gratification instead of just sitting and reflecting on why we feel this way in the first place. Allow yourself to sit in this state of uncertainty and then reflect. Be gentle with yourself and the answers will come to you.