It is that time of year where it feels as if all of the busyness of life is taking over. We are finishing school or have recently finished school for the year, work seems to drag on when it is so beautiful outside, and life is returning to "normal" meaning more in-person obligations are happening. You might be feeling rundown, which is completely normal for anytime, but especially after the last year or so that we have endured. I get it. I am completely there with you! After having only 6 weeks to prepare for the state competition, juggling a huge influx of last minute orders for other state competitions, work, and appearances... yeah I am feeling a little run down too.
But there are ways to prevent us from completely burning out. If you are feeling the same way I am you'll want to test out some of these self-care strategies to maintain your mental health. Self-care is NOT a one size fits all situation. What helps one person recharge will not be the same for another. So feel free to try a bunch of different methods and listen to what your body needs! I also cannot forget to add my favorite saying- self-care is more then bubble baths and face masks. It is doing whatever your body needs to function at its best physically and mentally.
Make sure you’re meeting your basic needs. Are you drinking plenty of water? Are you getting enough sleep? When was the last time you got your body moving? Did you take your medication today? All of these basic daily activities can take a toll on our body if we are constantly ignoring them.
Head outside. Spending time outdoors is proven to reduce stress, plus summer is coming and the weather will be gorgeous! The next time you’re feeling frazzled, go to your nearest green space or other outdoor area and just... hang out.
Cut back on caffeine. I know that is much easier said than done. I completely understand, but caffeine is a stimulant and can keep your body feeling as if it is constantly "on". Trying to cut back on the iced coffees, energy drinks, and certain teas could help you feel more relaxed.
Snuggle a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone cortisol and boosts oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates the feelings of happiness.
Create a gratitude list. Studies have shown the effectiveness of writing down what you are grateful for on stress levels. Try keeping a notebook handy or even using the notes app on your phone to jot a few things you are grateful for at the end of the day before you head off to sleep.
These are only a few of the many techniques that can help us refill our cups so do not be discouraged if they do not work for you! We all need something different at different times, but listening to our bodies is needed to maintain and improve our physical and mental health.