You can master each of these steps one at a time or all at once, or maybe you don’t want to master any of them, and you just want to sprinkle them in when you can. That’s awesome too. I’m a big believer in baby steps and balance over overworking and burnout. I like to keep a list of small and easy ideas for when I feel like I might need to take better care of myself. These are from my own personal experience, so for the love of coffee, please don’t take them as medical advice.
1. Drink more water
Start small if this one is hard for you. Commit to a little more each day or each week and keep track. You can mark down how much you’re having each day or get yourself a water bottle with lines on the side and tell yourself you drink a certain amount before grabbing coffee or before lunchtime.
2. Get enough sleep
There are literally millions of articles, videos, and opinions on this topic that you can find on the web, but you know your body best and can probably tell if you aren’t getting enough sleep. It seems the consensus is something like 6-9 hours of sleep a night, depending on who you are. Definitely dig deeper and reach out to a professional if you feel like it’s necessary, though. If you know you aren’t getting enough sleep, try to aim for an earlier bedtime each night until you know you’re on a good schedule, then keep it up and be consistent.
3. Wake up at the same time every day
Just like #2, consistency is key here. Try your best to pick a wake-up time and stick with it. This will help you sleep better at night and we know better sleep means better health. Lose the snooze button and wake up at the same time every day, even if you have nowhere to go.
4. Move your body
We all know exercise is important, but the thought of it can be enough to scare lots of us away, and we end up avoiding it altogether. If this is you, just try to move your body more. Don’t think of it as exercise. Think of it as dancing in the kitchen or exploring a nearby park on roller skates. Pick an audiobook or some music and listen while you walk around the block. Make it fun, and it won’t seem so intimidating. Maybe you’ll work up to full-on workouts. Maybe you won’t. Just make the goal to move your body more. That’s it.
5. Get some sunshine
Sit on your porch or go for a walk to soak up some sun. The benefits of getting a little bit of sunshine will reach from your sleep to your mental health. Don’t forget the SPF if You’re going to be spending lots of time outdoors, though (see #9)!
6. Cut back on sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine
You don’t need me to lecture you about your vices. We all know the health dangers of smoking and drinking etc. Just do your best to cut back on all of them or even just one at a time. I quit smoking years ago, and it made me feel loads better, but my coffee with cream addiction has probably doubled since then. The professionals might disagree here, but again, I’m all about finding a balance, not trying to go mad with perfectionism. Do what you can, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help if you need to.
7. Reduce stress
Stress isn’t just annoying; it’s also not great for your health. Eliminating stress is probably not possible, but do your best to minimize it. Take breaks, learn to say no, take care of your body, get enough sleep (is this starting to sound repetitive?), and plan ahead.
8. Eat at home
Eating at home can be a healthier option, not because a greasy burger is healthier at home than in a fast-food restaurant, but because it’s easier to control your options. It can also take away the temptation of eating foods that make you feel icky. Plan ahead and make sure you have lots of easy options. If you’re feeling super ambitious, plan your meals and snacks ahead of time so eating better is even easier.
9. Add SPF
Add some SPF to your morning skincare routine -the last layer before makeup. Or, if you’re like me and don’t wear makeup very often, add it to your regular morning routine. Don’t forget your ears!
10. Take breaks
Overworking yourself can take a toll on your physical health and mental health. Plan ahead if you know you’ll forget to take breaks even after committing to them. Schedule breaks throughout the day, set a timer, and stick to it. Your body and mind will thank you, and you’ll probably end up more productive than if you’d just powered through your breaks.
Try one of these or all of them. Go at your own pace, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Doing too much at once might cause you to give up altogether. Listen to your body and go slow. The change you make will be more sustainable this way. Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments below!