I stare at my planner feeling completely overwhelmed.
Three tests, two speeches, and a midnight deadline to meet on an assignment. Sometimes, being a non-profit owner, a student, and working two virtual internships can be a lot. Even though most of the time I find my work extremely rewarding, it is completely natural to feel overwhelmed.
When I realized that feeling stressed was natural, it became easier for me to combat that stress. I started integrating self-care into my daily routine. Even with a busy schedule, it is important to look after yourself. Here are five simple ways I make self-care a part of my work day.
Say Daily Words of Affirmation
Before I start my day, I take a few moments to look into the mirror and say kind things about myself. Before starting a major project or taking a test, I do the same thing. Words of affirmation are a simple way that you can integrate self-care into your daily routine. By taking a few moments to say things like “I am strong” or “I can do this,” you will slowly begin to feel better about yourself.
Write Your Thoughts
People often think of writing as a long and elaborate process. However, scribbling a few words in a journal throughout your busy schedule can be an extremely effective method of self-care. Instead of feeling like you have to document your whole day, write a single word to describe how you are feeling. For example, if you are working on a project that is making you feel overwhelmed, you can quickly write the word “tired.” Writing how you feel can make a major difference, helping you feel less stressed.
Listen to Uplifting Music
Many people enjoy listening to music while they work. Instead of turning on the radio and listening to whatever is on, make a point to listen to music with lyrics that uplift and inspire you. Without even realizing it, the media we put into our brain impacts the way we feel about ourselves. Putting positive content into your mind is a powerful form of self-care.
Take A Break
This sounds obvious and simple, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your work is to take a break. Take a moment to step away from your assignment. Use this break to take a quick walk, grab a snack, text a friend, or whatever helps you move your mind away from your task. While these small actions may seem simple, they are a great way to care for yourself during a stressful assignment.
Breathing exercises are one of my favorite forms of self-care. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stop what you are doing and take a few deep breaths. Practice inhaling and exhaling. By focusing on your breath, you are calming your body down and reminding yourself that it is okay to be still. You do not have to spend every moment of your day in motion, even if you are extremely ambitious. You deserve to catch your breath and feel relaxed while you work.
Sometimes, these small techniques will not be enough. You may feel like you need a whole day of self-care, and that is more than okay. Do not be afraid to take a day off and focus on your mental-health.
Other days, these techniques can help you get through your work day. By taking part in these small actions, you can really make a major change in your life.