The Importance of Taking Time out for You
Life is full of stresses. Bills. Deadlines at work. Family. The world we live in. If you take a look around you will find there are stresses everywhere. No matter who you are, at some point you will start to feel the pressure from all this stress. You may feel emotionally drained at work. You may not have as much interest in your hobbies. Or you just may feel completely burnt out. This is OK. You are not weak. It is normal to be a little down or blue every now and then.
Maybe you just need a little time to unwind after a busy day at work. Perhaps you need alone time after spending your day taking care of your kids.
What can you do? Well, that depends on you. Maybe you just need a little time to unwind after a busy day at work. Perhaps you need alone time after spending your day taking care of your kids. What works to help me may not work for you. But, there are a lot of activities that can have a positive effect and help you feel rejuvenated.
What Can You Do?
- Get a massage
Massages can be a little pricy, and depending on your budget and financial status you may need to plan head in order to schedule them. But, the health benefits you can get from a massage are well worth it. Feeling the tension in your shoulders disappear, the lowering of your heart rate, and decrease in blood pressure will help you to unwind. There are plenty of local spas that offer massages as well as national chains.
- Get a pedicure or manicure
Much like massages, depending on where you live a pedicure or manicure can be a little pricy. However, I've found that when my nails look good, and my feet feel softer I tend to have a better view of my appearance. This in turn makes me feel more confident. Depending on your life style and the type of polish you get a manicure can last from 4-12 weeks and a pedicure can last nearly twice as long. Nail treatments are just reserved for ladies, men can get in on the pampering too. Some nail salons even offer a discount if your do no get polish with your service.
- Take a bubble bath
If you are able to take a bubble bath this is a fantastic way to unwind. The hot water is soothing on muscles and really can help to relive stress. Some scents, like lavender, can also enhance the relaxation. Adding epsom salt to the bath can help to relive aches in muscles. Read, have a glass of wine, a beer, or just enjoy the soak. Whatever makes you feel most relaxed.
- Allow yourself to get caught up in a good book
I have always been an avid reader, but as I have gotten older I have found it increasingly difficult to find time to read. Now, I don't mean reading news articles or my social media feeds. I mean getting lost in a book. If your home library leaves something to be desired thats perfectly fine. Public libraries are a great resource and chances are pretty good you will be able to find a new favorite in no time. There are also used bookstore popping up everywhere. You'll be surprised how relaxed you can be when you are completely emerged in your book.
- Get lost in nature
There are state parks, national parks, city and local parks everywhere. Lace up your hiking shoes, grab a water bottle, and go exploring. There is so much peace and beauty in nature. A lot of people are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that they don't take a moment to appreciate the world around them. Many state parks offer special deals for passes, like Virginia offers a state park pass for about $60, that get you entry to all of the sate parks and discounts on camping. Even the national park service offers a similar pass good for all the national parks. How cool is that?!
- Try a new hobby
Have you always wanted to make a gourmet dinner? Do it! Has learning how to knit been on your to do list for years? Give it a try! Been dreaming of trying your hand at baking a three layer cake? Go for it! And then invite some fiends over to share that cake with. Whatever you want to try give it your best effort. There may be a bit of a learning curve, but it can be well worth it in the long run.
I feel like meditation means different things to different people and a lot of people are turned off of the idea because they don't full understand it. Try sitting still for a few minutes, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths. Once you feel comfortable with the process try it for longer periods of time.
Living On A Tight Budget?
So, you are living on a super tight budget and don't have the funds for a massage or a state park pass. I've been there too. Its a rough place to be and can cause a lot of extras stress in your life. Trust me, I know. There are still plenty of things you can do to take time for you that are free or cost very little.
Take a walk around your neighborhood. Neighborhood not the best place to walk alone? Try walking around a town center or mall. See if you can get some friends together to join you.
Want a pet, but you can't afford one? Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Kitties need cuddles, dogs need walks, and there are pocket pets that just want a little love. Some shelters even need help with their websites, social media, and marketing their adoptable pets. You can get some of the benefits of pet ownership without the price tag or responsibility. It is also a great feeling knowing that you helped to get a pet its forever home.
Get a workout in. Gym memberships can be expensive, but you don't need to pay anything to workout at home. You just need a space where you can move around. A quick search on pintrest will give you many boards filled with at home workouts. Renting? Many apartments offer some sort of gym or workout center as an amenity. Some employers also offer aide for gym memberships.
When To Seek Help
I'll be the first to tell you I enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer. I don't think there is anything wrong with enjoying alcohol, and I want to make that clear. Having a glass of wine with your bubble bath, or enjoying a beer with friend is perfectly fine. But, alcohol should not be your answer to every stressful event. A good rule of thumb is alcohol should be paired with a meal or some sort of food. If you find yourself drinking more than you used to, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol alone, or if your drinking starts to effect your relationships or work performance you may want to consider seeking help.
If you find that you have more bad days than good or that you are unable to shake the blues away you may want to consider talking to someone. Seeking mental help is not a sign of weakness. Wanting to talk about how you feel or what is going on in your life does not mean there is something wrong with you. If you ever have thoughts of harming yourself or are considering suicide you should seek professional help. Sometimes depression can have a major impact with how you see the world and your own situation and it can be very hard to find a way out of that state on your own.
How do you unwind?
In the End
I find peace in nature. I like to be outside. When I am feeling down I am able to find myself again when I am in nature. I can rekindle my inspiration when I watch animals going about their lives. I also enjoy pampering myself every now and then. I'm not a big fan of repeating behaviors so I do rotate around massages, facials, manicures, and bubble baths. Every now and then my boyfriend and I go to a brewery and spend a few hours sampling beer, talking with other people there, and enjoying whatever food is available. I love cooking and baking. I have been working on my culinary skills over several years and I just love the reaction from people when I make something they like. When I am able to put aside time I enjoy blogging, reading, and knitting. But, I will admit that I am not able to do these activities as much as I would like to anymore because they take up too much time. I've been learning to crochet, I'm not too good at it, but it is relaxing. There is something about the rhythmic movement of my fingers.
Will all of this help you? Maybe not. And that's OK. My boyfriend likes to paint and draw. I find both actives stressful, mainly because I am really not good at art and it makes me feel bad about myself. I prefer cardio, martial arts, and yoga for my workout and my boyfriend prefers weight lifting. Everyone is going to have their own way of unwinding. Take the time to figure out what works best for you. When you figure out what you need set aside the time. Give yourself an hour every Friday night for a bubble bath. Make a workout routine, you'll feel such a sense of accomplishment when you stick to it and nearly nothing matches the rush of a good workout. Do what you need. After all, if you don't take care of yourself you cannot take care of anyone else.