You are super mom or dad, you feel like you are constantly running around, saving your kids world, one laundry basket at a time. You are helping with homework, making dinner, putting out fires, and trying to also spend quality time with them on a daily basis. Hard, right? Sometimes we notice that a whole day goes by and we haven’t spent even 5 minutes with our kid outside of homework, dinner, or getting upset with them for not doing the dishes. Sometimes, things really start to go down hill, and the next thing we know, we totally forgot to eat dinner ourselves. Instead, we ended up on the computer-checking email, finishing up work, or trolling Facebook. Not too mention, you look like a zombie, because oops, you forgot make up this morning because you only slept 3 hours.
You are busy.
Maybe you don’t even have kids and you are still desperately trying to make time for yourself. Lately, you have been wrapped up in extra stuff at work, your yoga group has started new weekly classes, and your sister is now living with you. You barely have a moment to catch your breath. You want to be part of all of it, but at the same time, you are burning the candle at both ends.
Parent or no kids, life gets busy. It’s easy to miss a meal, forget about hygiene, or even skimp on sleep. But, the importance of these things is vital to our health and happiness. Here are a few ways to unwind, de-stress, and relax.
- Turn off the phone at 9:00 PM every night- Its pretty important that we focus on sleep when its time to sleep, not Instagram. Its really easy to go trolling social media late at night, while in bed, getting ready to sleep. However, this not only distracts you but it is also actually keeping you awake. The light from your phone signals your brain that it is ‘day time’ and acts accordingly, keeping you awake longer. Not only is this tip helpful to falling asleep, it allows you to unplug earlier and avoid racing thoughts.
- Wake up between 5:00-6:00 AM every morning- If this is possible, do it. Aim for bed time to be around 10 PM and wake between 5-6 AM, which is roughly 7-8 hours a night. This is not ideal for everyone. Some people need less and some people prefer more. However, research shows 7-8 hours is an ideal number for adults. Why am I asking you to wake up at 5AM when you don’t need to be up until 7? This is why. Having extra ‘you time’ in the morning will help improve your quality of life. You can do whatever you want in this time. Catch up on your trashy romance novel, do some yoga, grab breakfast with a friend, meditate, or just veg-out. Try to avoid jumping into the work grind this early and save it for ‘you time.’
- Do some journaling and reading everyday- Take 10-15 minutes out of your day to do some journaling. I try to aim for 15 minutes of journaling every morning. I write about whatever comes to mind. Sometimes, I write my goals, other times I may write poetry, and then there are times where I simply write about how I am feeling. Don’t feel like writing? Read. Personally, I pick up a daily meditation book every morning and read a short passage. Typically, these passages are lessons, morals, or messages about inspirational or thought-provoking content that gets my brain moving and my day set off right.
- Unplug throughout the day- Do you sit at a computer all day? Get up and take a walk. Do you find yourself on Facebook in your down time? Bring a book around with you instead. Try to train yourself to not pick up your phone throughout the day. Try putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode and find a new activity.
- Breathe- Meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing may sound ‘hippie-dippie’ but do your research and learn about the transformative power of simply paying attention to your breath. Take two minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing and simply pause for a moment and be present with yourself.
Maybe some of these tips seem out of reach. Maybe its impossible for you to be asleep by 10 PM because you just don’t have enough time in the day to finish everything you need to finish. Maybe waking up at 5 AM sounds dreadful. I get it. Slowly start making small changes first, such as getting to sleep 30 minutes earlier, waking up 30 minutes earlier, writing for 5 minutes, and getting rid of the Facebook app for a week. See what happens!