This past year has been more than crazy. We went through so much together, and the tough times are far from over. This is not the blog I had planned for this week, but with everything going on I wanted to share some self care tips that will help you physically, mentally, and hopefully everything in between.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals are the perfect way to take some time to bring joy into your life. When everything seems like it is falling apart, writing down 1-5 things that you are grateful for can help shed a new light on your day.
Hydration is a huge part of keeping your body healthy, and it can also impact your mental health. I know from personal experience that when I do not stay hydrated, I get headaches and feel down in the dumps. Keeping your body amply hydrated will help you in more ways than one!
The word meditation can sometimes turn people off, but one thing I have learned over the years is that meditation can occur in a host of different ways. You can meditate while riding, driving, dancing, singing, working out, or anything else. To me meditation is a way to calm yourself and reset your brain, and the way to do that is different for everyone. Mediation in whatever form you choose can help with anxiety, blood pressure, and lower your chances for depression. Find your way to create space for you.
When you get moving or exercise your body releases endorphins. Endorphins give you a positive feeling that will help you mentally, and give you a boost of energy afterwards. Getting at least 30 minutes of movement each day will not only help your mental health, but of course your physical health. As riders, we should be doing workouts to support our riding.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night!
Between school, work, riding, friends, family, and still making time for yourself it can seem impossible to get those 8 hours of sleep every night. However, without those 8 hours your body can’t do all that it needs to do for you. When you sleep your body detoxifies itself, makes memories, and helps put you in the right state of mind for the next day. This is amazing to me because it means you can actually sleep and take care of yourself mentally and physically!
Start your day off right!
This is a super important step. While sleep is so important, once you wake up you are a blank space. Creating a morning ritual that will help put you in a positive mood is a great way to make sure you start your day off in a good mood.
Take a break from life.
With technology, we are always connected. With phones, computers, constant texts and emails coming in, and of course social media it is super easy to get sucked into a never ending cycle of never taking a real break. Taking time to put everything away can do wonders for your mental health, and possibly even make time for you to do other things that are important to you.
Make time for family and friends.
Family and friends are essential to getting through tough times. Many people this past year have been unable to hang out with friends and family, and that may not physically change. Me and friends set up a monthly Zoom party where we hang out, talk about everything that is happening in our lives, and try to find a sense of normalcy. Even if you can’t physically see your friends and family, make an old fashioned phone call, FaceTime or Zoom, or even send a letter.
Learn to say no.
I had to learn this the hard way. I feel that everyone can benefit from this, no matter your personality. As humans, we typically say yes to things we shouldn’t really commit to. While saying yes to lunch with a friend, or an extra ride at the barn, you have to remember to take the time to put your well-being first. If that means missing a day at the barn, do not beat yourself up about it, say no, and take time for your self care.
Lastly, do what makes you happy!
I can sit here and give advice based on what I know all day long, but if these things don’t make you happy, don’t do them. Take the time to really find what helps you decompress, and do that. Find what makes you happy, and don’t let that thing go.
I want to say that I really love this EqVersify community, and I hope that all of you take the time to protect your physical and mental health this year. This year can be a time to reset, even if we can not be back to normal, we can still try to make ourselves happy!