Here are some of my favorites:
- Say no to anything that is not important to you
Laundry, phone calls with your mom, demanding girlfriends – this is not the time to be nice and “responsible”. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s important. Getting the unessential responsibilites off your schedule will not only create som extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it.
- Ask for help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and you’ll quickly learn that most people around you actually love to be asked! It makes them feel useful and important. What usually helps the most is to get help to do the normal things; cooking, shopping and regular every-day tasks.
- Get enough sleep
An oldie, but a goodie. This old advice is not only essential when it comes to self-care, it is also absolutely essential when it comes to being able to do your best.
- Drink tea
Coffee will only get you that far, before it sends you down into
tiredness again. While still being hot and comforting, tea (and
especially the herbal kind) won’t make you dehydrated and shaky. If
you’re feeling tired and think you need a coffeine boost, go for cold
water (or iced tea) instead. Cold water will help wake you up!
- Listen to your favorite music
Calm music will help you calm down and upbeat music will help you up
- Eat healthy and green food
I know it’s tempting to order pizza, but it really pays off to take your time to cook and eat nutritious and healthy food. Not only will it help you achieve better, it will also boost your mood!
- Take 5 minutes in the morning to just stretch and breathe
If you start your day in a stressful way, you’ll probably feel
stressed for the rest of the day as well. Make sure your morning starts
with 5 minutes of silence and ease. Stand up and stretch your body to
make you as tall as you can be. Then bend over and touch the ground.
- Walk everywhere
You might be busy and think that every minute is valuable time to put
into your work, but some extra minutes of walking might be a better way
to spend some time.The extra minutes of fresh air will save you lots of
time when you start working and feel more focused.
- Make sure you keep in touch with your friends
Just a few text messages, tweets or the occasional coffee will make
sure your friendships don’t suffer. You will feel much better when you
focus on something else entirely, and it will prevent you form becoming a
workaholic hermit. You don’t have to keep in touch with everybody, most
people will understand that you’re having a busy period. Just make sure
you stay in touch with the people that make you happy and inspired.
- Make room for rest
This one’s important. Make sure that whenever you plan to rest –
really rest. That means that you will have to make a conscious effort to
push all work-related thoughts and worries away. It’s also important
that you rest your mind as well as your body. 5 minutes of stillness is
better than 30 minutes in front of the TV!
- Surround yourself with inspiring photos
Put up some of your favorite photos where you can see them when you
work. Whenever you get unfocused, you will feel much better if you can
rest your eyes on something pretty, rather than everything that reminds
you of how busy you are. If you can’t put up photos at work or in a
study hall, bring a scrapbook or use Pinterest on your computer.
- Write a daily gratitude list
A daily gratitude list is really
helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate the situation. It
doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do. If you keep a
gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries
whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation.
- Wear your pretty clothes
… and be busy with style! If you dress nicely, chances are you’ll feel better too. All it takes is 5 minutes in the morning, and with your most powerful, wonderful and pretty clothes on, you’ll feel like a million for the rest of the day.
- Go to a yoga class
…Or do some yoga at home. Even ten minutes of savasana is better than nothing, and will recharge your batteries (and your mind).
- Take a hot bath
Nothing helps you relax like a hot bath. Use your favourite bubbles,
turn off the light, light some candles and you’re good to go. One hour
in the bath in the evening may be the best way to relax because of this
simple fact – you can’t take your work and your computer with you.
- Light candles
Candles have a relaxing effect, especially gently scented ones. If
you can’t light candles in your workplace, make sure you light them when
you get home. Lavender and cedarwood are scents that can help you
- Breathe Do I need to say more? When stress builds up, take five seconds off and just breathe. Deep.
- Do something silly
Don’t forget to have fun! Who said you can’t laugh, even though
you’re busy! Make jokes, engage with you co-workers, read comics and
just allow yourself to be silly for a little while. I promise it will
boost your mood, your co-workers’ moods and a little laughter every day
will help you through a really challenging time.
- Accept a little clutter and mess
Just let it be. Some dust and a little dirt has never hurt anyone.
Focus on what’s important to you, you can always clean up the mess
later. Just don’t go around and feel bad about it on top of everything
- Resist the urge to be productive all the time
You can’t be equally productive every single waking moment, so you
might as well schedule some off time right away. Be nice to yourself and
don’t expect to accomplish as much in the late evening as you do in the
- Reward yourself
Maybe not the best overall habit to get used to, but desperate times
call for desperate measures. If you need it to get through – reward
yourself with gifts, chocolate and breaks whenever you finish a task.
Just don’t make it a habit to kick yourself if you don’t make it. Maybe
you need the treat anyways?
- Accept yourself as you are
Let yourself off the hook and accept that you are only human. You are
doing your absolute best, and you are doing exactly what you need to
do. Trust your instincts and keep doing whatever you’re doing. You don’t
need to change anything about yourself – trust that you are perfect
just the way you are.