Between work, family and everything else there is, it seems that we sometimes forget how to take care of ourselves.
We all know that resting and relaxation is important but truth is that we often don’t take enough time to actually rest or straight out don’t know how to relax in the first place.
Our world just deep dived from one crisis into another, from a global pandemic to a war bordering Europe. Living in this amazing world of internet and constant global communication also means that it’s difficult to escape it all.
This is a little guide to help you focus on yourself for a bit and moreover take care of yourself. Even if it's only for half an hour.
DO know what relaxes YOU. No one relaxes the same way and if taking a bubble bath or meditating is not yours, find out what is. I for once am not a fan of meditating because it just fuels my overthinking whereas sewing really relaxes me because I can put my entire focus onto it.
DON’T make the mistake to think that resting and relaxation is purely about the activity. It is about the outcome and how the activity makes you feel afterwards. If running relaxes you because of how you feel afterwards you should definitely go for it. If you relax best with a glass of wine in your tub, that's great as well. Whatever makes you feel best afterwards.
DO take a look at your childhood. What did you enjoy most doing back then? It's a great first step in finding out what relaxes you and makes you happy. Did you enjoy baking in the sandpit? Maybe some real baking will be your thing to relax? Playing in the forest? Maybe taking long walks will help you unwind.
DON'T think for a minute that taking a break is selfish. How are you supposed to take care of others when you are exhausted? If you need 15 minutes to yourself to feel ready again take them. The world will still be spinning after those 15 minutes.
DO schedule time to rest and relax. Make time for your time-out and make it part of your routine. We can be so occupied with our work and family that sometimes we just forget ourselves in the midst of it all. Start small and schedule a 10 minute break or an evening where you watch your favourite movie and eat all the snacks you crave. It does not always take a 10 day vacation on the beach to recharge your battery.
DON’T force yourself to earn rest. You’ve earned it already. So don’t feel guilty when taking a break, because they are not luxurious goods but a necessity that both your body and brain need. Listen to them.
DO remind yourself that resting is actually helping you. Resting does not mean you are not productive. It means that you are giving your brain rest and increase your performance. A car without gas does not get you far, does it?
DON’T be afraid to ask for help if you need some. Taking care of yourself does not mean you have to do it alone. Find someone to talk to or get advice from loved ones. It might seem like a silly thing to ask someome for advice on how to rest, but it's not.
DO some research. I love looking things up and could scroll for hours through Wikipedia reading about the most random things. But it's also a great tool to look for articles about how to relax. You might find some more inspiration that I did not provide in this little guide.
And lastly, DON'T forget to be kind to yourself. You deserve it.