I’m not just talking about taking a bubble bath and lighting a Bath and Body Works candle. There are an overwhelming number of ways that we are supposed to take care of our minds, bodies, and emotions, and many of us don’t do the minimum. It’s easy to slip into the unhealthy routines of school, social media, and habits that are not based on mindfulness. In today’s article, we’re going to talk about self-care, your physical and emotional health, and practical ways to improve these things in bite-sized, every-day actions. It’s time to Get Your Stuff Together.
How to Get Your Stuff Together and Take Care of Yourself!
- Be Mindful of Your Habits (Every day!)
- Schedule Time for Yourself (Schedule.)
- Challenge Yourself and Seek Discomfort (yes, you read that correctly.)
Be Mindful of Your Habits
Habits maketh man (or woman.) First off, what is a habit, and why are they helpful? Habits are auto-run functions that your brain has created automatic actions for, like plugging your phone in at night or brushing your teeth. Your brain has a limited amount of “decision-making power” per day, and these auto-run programs and actions free up valuable energy for us to make important decisions throughout the day. Take a moment to evaluate the habits you have. What are they adding to your life? Are they pushing you towards the life and future you want? Are they adding to your health?
Habits are some of our most powerful tools. Matt D’Avella has a deeply detailed video on the power of habits, the best habits for life, and how to incorporate habits without overwhelming yourself. You can watch and learn here. One of the main points of this video is to start small and take it slow. It can be tempting to jump in with both feet and tackle seven habits at once, but start with one, and focus on doing that one habit to the best of your ability. Once you have one habit mastered, then consider adding others.
Schedule Time for Yourself
I say this fully knowing how many assignments you have due this Friday. I am aware that that presentation is due this Thursday and that one big test is next week. I hear you. As a senior at Maryville, I know what it’s like to feel like every waking hour of your life is filled with things to do. Taking the time for an hour of “self-care” or a morning or evening routine sounds like valuable homework-doing and reading time, right? Here’s the thing: it could be. You could absolutely choose to refrain from a self-care routine and jump right into work, work until you pass out, and do it again. But this is not going to lead to your best work or even the most work. Taking care of your mind and body through diet, exercise, mindfulness, and “resets” ultimately makes you more productive in the long run. A reset is a scheduled slot of time with the sole purpose of resetting and recentering yourself. It can be as short and simple as a 15-minute meditation, or as extensive as a day of no social media, a hot bath, and movies with a loved one.
Challenge Yourself and Seek Discomfort
Seeking Discomfort is one of the best things that I do personally for my mental health. The group YesTheory coined the phrase in their journey to maximize their lives. The idea is that every good thing in store for you in life is on the other side of your comfort zone. By seeking discomfort, we grow, learn, and improve as humans. Asking out that special someone? Uncomfortable. Going to a new country for an adventure? Uncomfortable. The best things in life happen on the other side of our comfort zones. Apathy towards our lives—letting life happen to us—is proven to be one of the leading causes of regret in people over the age of 50. Take care of yourself now, and later, and seek discomfort. If you want ideas for how to do that, check out YesTheory’s YouTube Channel for some inspiration.