The biggest investment you will make in your life is yourself. We get caught up in our careers, relationships, kids etc. and somewhere along the line we forget to take time out and check in on ourselves and our own well being. As a mum to three and working shift work my health has taken a major blow. When I say health, it’s not just my physical health but also my mental health. Being a mum means that someone is always demanding your time. It’s easy to feel that along the way you lose your identity, especially in those early days as caring for a young baby is extremely demanding.
But if you want a better life, a happier life, if you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed well it’s time you take check of yourself and schedule some time in for YOU!!
Here’s my TOP 10 ways you can invest yourself;
1. Schedule time for YOU – It easy to talk about time out, but start including it in your planner. If you don’t have a planner start using one. Whether it be 30min or 3hrs find some time in your week for YOU.
2. Practice mindfulness – Sounds daunting I know and it’s really not some weird yoga ritual. You can practice mindfulness any time of day. Even when you are stuck in heavy traffic driving to work. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment. Reigning in your thoughts, concentrating on your breathing and learning to be in the ‘here and now’. If you’re new to it, try this;
a. Find a quiet comfortable place. It might be sitting in a comfortable chair, or it could be lying down. Personally I like to like down.
b. Count your breaths in (nice and slow), as you breathe out feel the tension in your body flow out with your breath.
c. If you’re feeling particularly tense a certain area of your body focus on that area for a while, think about the blood flow to that area. You can also try contracting your muscles and on your breath out releasing the contraction.
d. As you relax into it, be mindful of what is happening around you. It might be certain smells, sounds, temperature etc. You don’t have to think too much about it, but just take notice of it.
e. On each breath out really focus on all your negative energy and worries exiting your body and melting in atmosphere.
f. The more you practice mindfulness the better you will get at it.
3. Write out a list of things that make you HAPPY – I found that when I first did this it was things still focused around my kids. It was hard to actually really think about what things I like to do that make me happy. So for instance some of the things on my list included; roller skating, ping pong, the beach, travel, live music, nature walks, massage, facials, and social time with friends. Of course now my list is way longer. LOL. Try using my Happy List. Print it out, fill it out and put it somewhere you can see it and then schedule a time in your diary to do some of these things on your list.
4. Get active – Not everyone enjoys the gym or high intensity workouts, so find something that you enjoy and make a commitment to your health to get active. I have found with shift work some days it seems near impossible to get any exercise. However if I committed to at least a 20minute walk on my busiest days than that is 20min of exercise I wouldn’t have had. And over a month that equates to approximately 4-5hours a month of exercise I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Once again write in your diary. Schedule the time in and each day tick it off.
5. Have a social media free day or a social media free week – Ever checked on your phone statistics to see how much time a day you spend on social media. It’s such a time waster. Time is precious, use it productively. Social media is contrary to what it say. It’s actually quite unsocial. Instead pick up the phone and call a friend, or better still go and visit.
6. Enrol in a course – maybe you’ve always wanted to do a Thai cooking class, or learn how to do pottery. Whatever your interest might be, take the leap and do it!
7. De clutter – Get rid of stuff. Clutter just clutters the mind and creates chaos. Have a clean out and while you are there get the carpets cleaned. I hire a Britex cleaner from Bunnings about every 3months to do my carpets. LOVE IT! They always come up amazing and smell so fresh. Order a skip and get cleaning. Keep what you can and sell on Gum Tree or have a garage sale and use the money to maybe do some re decorating or buy some accessories for a new look.
8. Plan a trip away – can be a weekend holiday or a week away. Holidays are great for the soul. Something to look forward to and motivating for work and earning the $$. If you are up for it, buy a tent and go camping. You can go minimalist style, you don’t have to have it all. Most camp grounds have kitchens and washing facilities, and most even have fridges if you wanted to utilise that. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a holiday then camping is a great option. Personally I LOVE camping. I LOVE being away from technology and out in the element. Some of my favourite places to camp are Broken Head (NSW), Binna Burra (Lamington National Park), and North Straddie.
9. Listen to motivating podcasts – I listen to podcast every night when I go to bed. It’s so uplifting and sends me to sleep on a positive note. There are a variety of podcasts you can listen to. Give it a go and see what you think.
10. Fill your house with fresh flowers - Take a trip to the flower market and buy yourself a beautiful bunch of flowers, and place them somewhere central in your home.