After spending the day in bed with an awful tension headache, I thought a post like this would be welcome. I actually wrote it for the Nubounsom website blog early this year but it's so relevant right now. During the holiday season, it's easy to put yourself on the back burner. Between buying gifts for others, parties and gatherings, and everyone else's well-being, we tend to forget about taking care of ourselves. But once January hits and Christmas or school finals are history, many of us are left feeling drained, fatigued and maybe even fighting off colds or flu. Now is the time to focus on YOU! It's hard to take care of others when you aren't feeling your best.
I have put together some of my favorite tips and tricks for you, to help you feel fresh, relaxed and ready to take on anything!
1. Water! Drinking water is very important for your body to maintain optimum functioning. If you are dehydrated, you may suffer from headaches, dull and dry skin, and that general feeling of being worn down. Eight 8oz glasses are recommended but I find it's easier to carry a half gallon jug with me. Mark with a sharpie in increments your goal for every hour the amount of water to drink.
2. Don't neglect skincare. It's easy to want to just fall into bed after a late night out with family or cramming that last bit of studying in, but just five minutes is enough to not only clean your face, but to also rejuvenate and refresh your complexion. But keep it simple. One cleanser for both morning and night and a moisturizer is all it takes. Throw in a scrub or mask weekly and you're set!
3. Relax with a warm bath. I've never met a person that doesn't enjoy a nice warm bath. Throw in some Epsom salts to relax your muscles and add a few drops of essential oils. Try peppermint oil to alleviate a headache or lavender oil for a calming effect. It will allow you to soak away the stress of the day and give you time alone to do nothing but think and enjoy yourself.
4. Light some candles. Choose scents that you enjoy and that bring happy thoughts. My personal favorite is cinnamon apple. Light 'em up then sit and enjoy the scent wafting through the house. Scents that you enjoy triggers your brain to release endorphins, neuropeptides responsible for happy feelings. Plus you have the added benefit of the whole house smelling amazing!
5. Take time at the beginning of your day for yourself. Take a half hour, or even just 15 minutes if it's all you can spare, to do something you enjoy each morning. A lot of us jump out of bed and immediately start rushing to prepare for the day, setting the tone for a stressful day. Take time to read a few chapters of a favorite book, catch up on news, or even just to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Starting your day relaxed will allow you to have a more laid back mindset for the rest of the day.
6. Unwind at night. Turn off the TVs and put the phone in another room. Using electronics with harsh lights at night can lead to broken and restless sleep. Taking an hour or so before bedtime to just sit and and do something mundane will help you get better more restful sleep. Flip through a magazine to help your brain unwind from the day.
7. Drink tea. A warm cup of tea before bed will help you brain relax. Choose a calming tea like chamomile and sip away, taking the time to enjoy it. The warm tea will loosen your body up and signal to your brain that it's time to slow down.
8. Exercise. Setting aside a little time, even just 10-20 minutes a day will help you maintain energy levels throughout the day. Even if it's just a quick jog around the block or a few minutes of an exercise video at home, you body will thank you. Not only will it help you stay fit, but exercise is also crucial for a healthy heart, and it will give you an energy boost.
9. Enjoy the sunshine! Unless the weather prohibits it, spend a few minutes in the sun each day. Exposing yourself to a bit of sunshine each day allows your body to absorb vitamin D, an important component in bone health. Vitamin D is also linked to the prevention in diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Pull up a seat or lay down a blanket and just enjoy the sun warming your skin, but please remember sun screen!
10. Make a to-do list. Crossing off items on a to-do list gives us a positive feeling of accomplishment. Now I'm not saying you need to clean out the garage or rearrange your closet, but even crossing off little items such as getting a hair cut or sorting through that stack of old mail can still give you the awesome feeling of getting things done, banishing negative thoughts you may have had that day.
I hope you find these tips helpful! The most important thing I can stress is to always find time for yourself! We are only as good to others as we are to ourselves, so remember to always take care of you and don't allow events or others to make you forget that! Have a good day everyone and thanks again for reading!
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