The other day I was talking to one of my girlfriends and we both admitted we were exhausted & overwhelmed with all the things we needed to always be doing for other people and how hard it was to do things for ourselves.
As a wife, business owner, business mentor, and mom to pups and (many) houseplants, I know how tough it can be to prioritize your own personal well-being.
Oftentimes, it seems like I have time for literally everyone and everything but myself.
What if taking care of yourself is the best gift that you can give to those you love most?
What if there where three simple self-care techniques that can be integrated into our daily lives?
I am here to tell you, there are!
It may seem far-fetched, but hear me out: When we’re stressed out, your body releases a chemical called cortisol, which helps you focus on dealing with the immediate crisis; however, if you’re as consistently stressed as most of us are, cortisol can actually impact memory, attention span, and organization skills.
At its worst, high levels of cortisol may even physically change the way your brain looks (and guess what, women in the study were more likely to have higher cortisol levels than men)!
When I first heard this data, I was SHOCKED. At the same time, though, I thought to myself: Obviously, this is an issue, but I can’t pause my life every time stress pops up!
This is exactly why I wanted to share with you three simple self-care techniques that can be integrated into even the most hectic superwoman’s schedule:
1. Take Five (for yourself)
Right when you wake up in the morning, take five minutes to take deep breaths and tune in to how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
If I wake up immediately feeling like I have a million things to do, I will take those five minutes to write my to-do list so that I get those anxious thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I always draw checkboxes next to each item on my list so that I can physically mark-off & see my progress throughout the day.
You can do this lying in bed, but I recommend taking this time before you hop on your phone to avoid getting distracted.
2. Shift Your Language
Starting the sentence with “I” forces you to pause and figure out what you’re actually experiencing, and it’s much easier to deal with stress when you can name it. Sometimes, even just saying “I am stressed” or “I am frustrated” out loud helps me better acknowledge and address what I’m feeling in the moment.
Using language that specifically asks for what we need and want will also help us communicate to others exactly how we are feeling. Instead of saying, “YOU make me feel…” or “THAT is making me act…” say “I feel…”
Instead of politely accommodating everyone else’s wants and needs, you might be encouraging them to treat you like a doormat. People are going to always expect you to do what they want & need because you have not given them guidance on where they can and cannot step.
Be sure to communicate boundaries and ask for what you want in life. When I started doing this I noticed my daily experiences and interactions change immediately!
If I am struggling I just remember the Office & the episode where Pam Beesly starts asking for what she wants; “So, look out world, cuz ole’ Pammy is getting’ what she wants. And, don’t call me, Pammy.”
3. Say “Thank You”
A Berkeley study showed that simply expressing gratitude does wonders for mental health. Whether you share your thanks in a note or in person, gratitude can detach us from toxicity and has demonstrated, long-lasting, positive impacts on our brains. Psst: Thanks for reading 🙂
Give some of these suggestions a try, and let me know what you think! Trust me, your body and loved ones will thank you.