The Take Care of Yourself Series Part 3: Nurturing the Mind
Sometimes it’s hard to find the “happy” in “Happy New Year.” December may be draining due to the pressures of being “the most wonderful time of the year,” and January can often bring up new challenges along with the reminders of goals that we fell short of. Everyone around you may look optimistic and successful, but having the ‘New Years Blues’ is actually quite common. Sometimes, becoming aware of your current emotional state is enough to kickstart some good habits and make sure that not only your physical body, but also your mind, is taken care of. We’ve broken down a typical day and listed some easy tactics that can be incorporated to help combat whatever stressors you may be facing.
Staying sane may seem impossible when everything in your environment forces you to feel otherwise. Incorporating something new in your daily routine can keep your mind feeling fresh and innovative which will help combat any nuisances you face throughout the day. Take it from Betty Liu, the executive vice chairman of the New York stock exchange, who swears by varying her daily routine regularly. Liu told Business Insider that she almost never takes the same commute to work on consecutive days as a way to not get too ingrained in habit. By welcoming a bit of change on a frequent basis, it helps you naturally grow and adapt, so when unexpected change occurs, you feel more prepared and in control. Whether it’s changing your daily commute, listening to a new song when you wake up in the morning, or just changing the order of what you do to get ready; there’s plenty of benefits to forcing change in your life that will help you take on each day with confidence and determination.
This is the time where your fatigue may really be kicking in. With what feels like an endless number of hours left at work, this is when you can make the pivotal decision of crashing or powering through to the end. Be proactive when planning your day so you can avoid the burnout many of us feel shortly after lunch. A few tactics we use include:
• Limiting your caffeine intake: whether you switch the timing of your daily coffee to the afternoon or substitute a few of your energizing beverages with less caffeinated options, such as tea, your body can focus on recharging when you most need it most.
• Take 10 minutes out of every hour for a quick break with no distractions: staring out the window can help your eyesight if you work on a monitor all day. Or get up and stretch desk-weary bones and joints. Take the long way back from a bathroom break. By knowing that you have a break coming up, you’ll be more likely to focus on completing the task at hand.
• Break up your to-do list into manageable chunks: looking at everything you have to do all at once can lead to feeling overwhelmed and incapable of completing your tasks, but breaking up what you need to do into bite sized chunks and only focusing on one thing at a time makes you feel much more capable of staying productive throughout your day.
You’re in the home stretch. You’re near the end of your work day and are counting down the minutes until you can leave the office, but you know that what’s waiting for you at home may be equally as stressful. This is a great time to pause and reflect. Mindful meditation is a great technique that can help realign your mental state and make sure you finish off your day on a strong note. There are many types of meditation techniques available that can best suit your needs, but one we’d like to emphasize is Transcendental Meditation (or TM for short).
According to MYDOMAINE, TM is a method for achieving a greater sense of peace and calm into daily life while benefiting the present. TM can be performed by doing the following:
• Set 20 minutes aside
• Find a comfortable and quiet spot
• Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax the body
• Focus on finding your sense of calm when repeating your mantra
• Your mantra is used to help the mind settle down and is comprised of meaningless sounds, not words
• After 20 minutes, begin to move your fingers and toes to reintroduce awareness back into the body
• Open your eyes and take a few moments to yourself before carrying on with your day
TM teaches you how to create a space between you and your thoughts and become an observer. By incorporating a meditation technique into your daily life, you can help combat any stressors you face and approach any obstacles with a calm and clear mind. You can learn more about meditation techniques here: https://www.mydomaine.com/how-to-do-transcendental-meditation
Just as it’s important to start your day on a positive note, it’s also key to finish your day on one, too. Your morning should be focused on staying motivated and productive, but your evening is all about winding down and being reflective and appreciative of everything you’ve accomplished in your day. Find a way to turn your gratitude into a tangible form so you have physical evidence of the way you feel.
One of our favourite tactics is to start a gratitude journal by finding a book and writing 3 things down that you’re thankful for each night before bed. This allows you to think more deeply about the things you’re truly appreciative of and acknowledge their importance. By writing it down, you begin to create an archive of positive things you have in your life so when you find yourself facing a tough circumstance, you have your gratitude journal at your fingertips to remind you of all the wonderful things that surround you. It also helps set the mood for the next day if you start your morning by reading the previous day’s entry!
By finding methods that work for your lifestyle, taking moments throughout the day to focus on your well-being will ultimately lead to a much more happier mindset. Everyone can benefit from self love and it’s important to always maintain yourself as a priority. 2020 is surely to be your best year yet once you take control of nurturing your mind and body!
The recommendations and opinions listed in this article are written with the intention to support healthy living and are not medical claims. We do not endorse any of the sources listed in the article, we are only presenting them as considerations and not actual fact. These are not claims to help solve any forms of mental illness nor are they considered options to combat diagnoses. Please consult a medical professional for any questions or concerns regarding the medical implications that exist with each recommendation in this article.