It is important to set aside time for yourself. Taking time out will help restore energy levels and get rid of all the negative influences in life that conspire to drain energy.Focus on the positive rather than the negative.Think of something you really enjoy doing and then build in time to do it. It could be anything from brushing up a rusty language or indulging in cooking a special dish, to studying an Open University course or making a regular date to walk with friends. If you can regain renewed vitality, this in itself will generate even more zest and energy.
So start practicing now!
When was the last time you spent a few hours, or even a day, doing exactly what you wanted? Or even took a brief “time out” to relax and get away from the daily routine of work, chores and things that you ought to do – just on your own with time to contemplate, get problems in perspective, and find solutions.
Down time (“me time” always sounds self indulgent and seems to have some kind of guilt string attached) is a great way of relieving stress and regaining equilibrium. If you can allocate a whole day to yourself every now and then just to do what you want to do you, you will return home to the routine of life feeling much more energised and enthusiastic. But even 10 minutes a day will have a hugely beneficial effect.
- an hour luxuriating in a bath is most named as a relaxing activity. In fact it is generally regarded as the main reason for having a bath.
- taking 10 minutes out to write down all the things you have to do and prioritizing them can have a calming influence. Finish a job completely and cross it off before going on to the next one.
- try sitting in a comfy chair or lie down and just breath calmly and slowly, consciously relaxing all your muscles, getting up only when you feel relaxed and recharged
- learn to say no calmly and firmly so you don’t take on more than you want to.
- don’t compare yourself unfavourably to others – it will just make you feel bad and full of negativity. Instead write down qualities you like about yourself and next time you feel someone is better than you just read it.
- practise meditation, which is a sort of mind training – to calm the mind, put things in perspective and allow space for more direction, focus and creativity.
- plan some networking, as research shows that the more time we spend socializing the more likely we are to regard the day as being a “good” day, even if it had its bad bits.
- spending your money on experiences, rather than material goods, will give you a much better sense of wellbeing, so organise an outing with friends to improve that feel good factor.
A 10 minute daily meditation:
- sit in a chair, back straight but relaxed
- feet on floor, hands resting on stomach
- close your eyes and focus on your breathing
- count each breath up to 10, then count the next 10 and so on
- each time focus on your breathing and the rising and falling of your body
- take longer to exhale than inhale
- don’t hold your breath
- if your mind wanders bring it back to focus on your breathing, which will become slower and deeper
- try to do it the same time each day
Are you getting enough sleep?
Most of us don’t and it can lead to poor concentration, motivation and decision making. We focus on diet and exercise but sleep is just as important to a sense of wellbeing and a general enthusiasm for life, and sex! Women also tend to need more sleep because the snores and snuffles of the average man mean we often sleep more lightly.
So make a resolution to go to bed an hour earlier for a month – some people find they loose weight doing this because metabolism improves too, and there is less opportunity for last night snacks.
Insomnia is another matter, and the more you fight it the worse it can get, so if you suffer badly seek help. The London Insomnia Clinic is a good starting point for help and guidance.