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In the era of the cult of work, there is an expectation that during the day, we focus mainly on our hustle. Self-care is simply a method of recharging ourselves to rev up for another crack at the daily grind. But self-care should never be merely a bandaid. True mental wellness comes from consistent mindful self-compassion. You need to remember that every day, from morning routine to end of day wind down, is part of not just your work but part of your life as well. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ll provide some tips to easily include mindfulness and mental self-care throughout your day.
We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, your first meal isn’t just vital because of your morning nutrition. A good morning routine should always include some downtime. You’re only going to increase your stress by running out the door at the last minute or forgetting to nourish yourself. Giving yourself extra time to prepare a meal, enjoy it, and meditate or journal will set you on the path to a better day. Try to avoid social media or other sources of distraction and stress in the morning. Focus on yourself and feeling ready for the day, not on other people.
Feeding and fueling your body is directly connected to healthy brain activity. Ensuring that you’re having a balanced breakfast before a busy work day as well as packing a healthy snacks and lunch will benefit you throughout your day. No time to prepare your lunch bag the night before? Dining out with friends or coworkers doesn’t mean that you’re falling off track. Some times a lunch out to your favorite restaurant is more about feeding your soul and it’s not always about keeping track of your nutrition.
On the subject of nutrition for better mental health, nothing can have quite the impact like remaining hydrated. It’s easy but can significantly affect your energy levels, health, and overall mood. Having your water bottle at your desk will be a visual reminder to take a sip and is easy to grab and go if you have to jump into a meeting. Bringing your own water bottle means that you’ll always be ready to hydrate when you start to feel drained and helps protect the environment as well.
Many of us understand that how we dress has a significant impact on how others perceive us. However, perhaps it’s time that some of us start dressing for ourselves as well, as an expression of self-care and mindful self-compassion. With the emergence of working from home, our fashion choices have evolved as well. Many clothing brands have created dress pants and suit jackets made out of more comfortable and breathable material. Try putting on a nice shirt for your next zoom meeting or new comfortable and stylish shoes, being mindful of how what you wear makes you feel. If your office tends to be cold, take the time to consider picking up a sweater to bring along. Increase your awareness of how the mind and body are interconnected.
It sounds counterintuitive, but one of the better ways to boost your productivity at work is to sometimes stop working altogether. Taking a break and clearing your head is one of the most vital mindfulness skills. What’s even better is if the break can involve fresh air or some physical activity. If you are one of the people now working from home, it’s vital that you take the time to get out for walks, call a friend or do a leisure activity. Breaking up your work day will clear your mind and lower your stress levels. A mindful walk where you notice the sights, smells, and sounds around you, will help you return to work feeling recharged.
These are just a few of the ways to help start walking a mindful path in preparation for Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond. If you’re looking for more guidance on self-care, make sure to check our options for mental wellness classes.
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