It’s ok to rest.
I was notorious for beating myself up if I didn’t have a productive day, didn’t accomplish my to do list, didn’t get that workout in, guilty for being lazy, you see where I’m going here.
You know what? It’s ok to rest, physically and mentally, it’s ok to skip a workout because you just weren’t feeling it, it’s ok if you didn’t accomplish every single thing on your to do list, IT’S OK! You are human! I’m not saying go sit on the couch for a week and do absolutely nothing, but I am saying it’s ok that things don’t always get done in the time frame you want them to.
Here are 7 ways to help you slow down, clear your mind and are great for self care.
1. TAKE A HOT BATH
This is probably my most favourite thing to do to slow down and clear my mind. Turning off the lights and lighting a few candles can bring you to a whole new level of relaxation, almost like being at a spa. Having a hot bath is also a great way to also relieve achy muscles, I like to add epsom salts to my bath for this purpose. This is the ultimate self care for me.
If you are having trouble calming your mind, sometimes getting your thoughts down on paper is the best way to release that. Journaling doesn’t have to be daunting either, for example, write down some things that brought you peace in your week, or a memory you want to cherish, or maybe this is your alone time with God and you want to write out some of your prayers. Whatever it is, spending time journaling can be a great way to break up a fast paced day and spend time reflecting on what’s important.
3. READ A BOOK
Snuggling up with a good book can do so many great things for you! Aside from getting that alone time and getting your mind off things, it is said that reading also has some amazing health benefits including reducing stress and helping with depression. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. Your mind is focused on the pages, taking in the information, or anticipating the plot to come, which then leaves your mind free from any stressors in your day to day. While your brain is engaged in the story, your heart rate slows down and your muscles relax.
I’m starting to think I should probably read more ….
4. TAKE A NAP
Who doesn’t love a good nap? The ultimate recharger right here! I’m sure I’m not alone in my love for naps! Although naps are magnificent, try to avoid taking a long daytime nap. Studies have shown that taking a 30 min or less nap can be beneficial to your daytime function, but anything longer can cause you to have difficulty sleeping at night.
5. SPEND TIME WITH GOD
For me this comes in many forms, my favourite is cranking the worship music in the house. Put on your favourite artist and just be still, let the worship music speak to you. This is a wonderful time to let the Lord minister to you through the lyrics and to let go of the stresses of the day. Another great way is spending time in the word, which ties in to reading as I mentioned earlier!
6. FACETIME WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS
Being in a pandemic makes it hard to see and connect with your loved ones. However having social interaction is very important to your mental health. Picking up the phone and calling or facetiming a loved one can help clear your mind and is good for the soul. A lot of my family is in Winnipeg so I’m used to facetiming with them as our main form of communication.
7. SPEND TIME WITH PETS (this one’s for the pet owners)
When feeling anxious or stressed, having a pet to comfort you can be so beneficial for the heart and soul. They make us laugh, comfort us when we’re sick or upset, and are always there for us no matter what. Pets manage to bring so much joy into our lives and are great at reducing stress and promote wellbeing. Going for a walk with your pet can be a wonderful way to wind down from a busy day and get in some exercise and some well needed vitamin d!