We all have times when it feels like life is stacked up against us. Sometimes everything goes wrong at once. Other times things go wrong one after another and we can never catch a break. Either way, it feels like we’re drowning in sorrow, uncertainty, anxiety, and exhaustion. It feels like the bricks are piling up and it’s getting harder to find our way round. But the harder, darker times will pass – because we will pass through them. We don’t need to wait for those times to pass, because that would mean mean letting life pass us by too. We have to remain optimistic of the brighter future. We have to remain resilient and agile to search for that future. Don’t give up. One day, we’ll climb to the top of the brick tower we didn’t realise we were building and look out at how far we’ve come and how far we can still go.
Taking care of ourselves is highly undervalued. Perhaps we do not measure it as important against the visions we have of our future selves or perhaps we somehow perceive it as selfish and shallow. But taking care of ourselves is instrumental to anything we want out of life, because our success ultimately comes down to us, the health of our mind and body. Here are three ways to help us take better care of ourselves:
1. Take your own advice –
How many times have we given our best advice to a friend or acquaintance but blatantly ignored it when we find ourselves in the same situation? Those of us who are guilty need to stop. Why do we have different rules for ourselves? We need to start seeing ourselves as worthy of happiness, love and strength. Give yourself some credit and let yourself have the best chance.
2. Sleep well –
Getting enough sleep isn’t just a matter of recharging for the day ahead. Our energy levels have a huge impact on our susceptibility and sensitivity to negative emotions. Feelings of worry, despair, anger, stress are all heightened by exhaustion. Sleeping well keeps us more alert, grounded and positive; any degree of this can be extremely beneficial to keeping ourselves from drowning.
3. Take a day at a time –
It might seem obvious, but we have to stay present, not only so that we can get as much out of the day as we can, but also to put life into perspective. We cannot do everything in a day, so we shouldn’t even put that kind of pressure on ourselves. Our best is enough, and we need to remember that it’s okay to take a breath, to have a bad day, and to treat ourselves. Create a life that you love, not one that you find is a chore.
We’ve all had those exhausting days, where we’ve been dreaming about our beds the entire time we sit at our desks, only to come home and stay up until an uncivilised hour; it’s like the minute we have some time to ourselves, we try to grasp every ounce of freedom before having to face the monotony of everyday life. Then, when we finally convince ourselves to sleep, we lie there, mentally watching the time set on our alarm clock tick closer and closer. Repeat the next day. But getting enough sleep is so important, not only for our bodies but also our mentality, for increasing our positivity, productivity and passion. And let’s face it, sleep feels good when we can actually do it. So here are some rules for sleeping better:
- Establish a sleep schedule and honour it – it can be difficult to stop procrastinating on sleep when we finally have some time to do something enjoyable and effortless, but going to bed at the same time every night will help our bodies relax and prepare itself for sleep at a certain time, and therefore you’ll get to sleep much quicker.
- Give yourself enough time to sleep. Don’t cheat by starting your sleep schedule super late at night – we all need different amounts of sleep, but try to aim for around 7-8 hours a night. That way, you won’t be stressing about how little time you have to sleep, because all that will do is generate the adrenaline that keeps you awake.
- Watch your consumption – maybe you’ve downed a couple energy drinks to finish that paper but now you’re wide-eyed. Maybe you’ve just had too much food, and now you have a stomach ache. Try to avoid the caffeinated drinks and large meals no matter how desperate you are before going to bed; herbal teas, such as peppermint tea, which have calming properties, are good for your pre-sleep routine.
- Avoid work before bed – try to avoid doing your homework or extra work right before sleeping, because otherwise your brain will be in a stressed and wired state that it needs time to recover from. Try to also avoid technology at least half an hour before bed, because your brain will still be hyped by all the information it has been consuming and wanting more and more. Try to do something more relaxing like reading a book or magazine or writing something.
- Finally, don’t worry about tomorrow – you cannot do anything about the loose ends and unsolved problems of today. You will never tie or solve them without resting and looking at them afresh. Tomorrow is the time to deal with them. Focus on calming yourself, having positive thoughts and getting a good night’s sleep.
Got any of your own tips? Leave them in the comments!