Never forget to spend real, fulfilling time with those who you love. After a busy day it can be hard to forget that sitting next to each other on the couch while both of you are on your phones, doesn’t count as quality time together.
And human contact is extremely beneficial both physically and emotionally. It induces oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” which helps reduce stress, increase the sense of security and even lower cortisol levels.
Here are a few tips on how to get more time with your loved ones even as (very busy) working professionals:
Plan ahead. Coordinate schedules and free up the evening/weekend if you need to.
Organize specific activities. Don’t just say “let’s do something”, plan something specific. Like grabbing dinner together, going shopping or just taking a stroll through the park.
Unplug from technology. Just keep your phone out of reach when you are hanging out with someone.
Listen. You will need to invest time and energy into learning how to really communicate with someone. To really know and understand what is going on in their lives. But it will be worth it.
Don’t underestimate the value of random “good morning” and “how are you” messages. Even when you can’t meet up face to face, send the person you love a text message.
2. Practice Self-Care
This is another great way to improve your mental health. Try to implement tiny self-care habits every day. They can take as little as 15 minutes. So no need to feel guilty about doing something just for yourself.
Here are a few easy self-care practices anyone can do.
Go for a walk
Take a bath/shower
Get a message
Do your favourite DIY activity
Watch your favourite movie
Listen to your favourite music
Read for pleasure
Have a tasty snack
Take a quick nap
Stroke a pet
Take a home spa
Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend
3. Declutter The Mind
Every evening you need to “switch off” and restart your mind. Get rid of that constant “voice in my head” telling you about all the things you should worry about.
IN our busy lives there is so much going on that we start to feel overwhelmed, stress and anxiety begin to form and never really go away.
The easiest and quickest way to relax and declutter your mind is to do a simple mindfulness meditation.
Put your experiences and thoughts on paper. Take as long as you need. If something important happened you may even want to spend a couple of hours journaling… but if it was just a normal day, a few minutes can be enough. It is completely up to you.
This will help you to get your feeling out, calm down, look at the bigger picture, understand yourself better and build your serenity.
Here are a few tips for journaling:
Date every entry
Take as much time as you need
Don’t worry about keeping it too tidy
Don’t overthink it
Keep (and re-read) what you write
Be honest with yourself
5. Say “Thank You”
This too will not take too much time.
In fact, just take three minutes to write down in your gratitude journal (or even just simply think about) the three things you are thankful for today.
Don’t overdo it, just keep it personal and find something you are really thankful for. It can be something small. Like that you got home early. Or that your boss complimented you on your work.
6. Prepare For Tomorrow
If you want to avoid having to be in a rush the next day and being stressed all over again, plan your day ahead:
Pack your bag
Choose what you are going to wear
Prepare breakfast and lunch
Think about what you will need to do when you wake up
Visualize your day
Make a plan for the day
If there is something small you can do today instead – do it
7. Tidy Up
We are not talking about doing a spring clean here. Just take a few minutes to tidy up so that you wake up to a neat space.
Wash dishes and sweep the floor in the kitchen. Maybe even empty the trash and put out a new tea towel. Just think about how good it will feel to walk into a clean kitchen in the morning. It’s a real mood-booster.
Hang up the clothes you wore that day, throw away any little bits and pieces that you may have left in your pockets. Like old receipts and tissues.
And don’t make a mess in the bathroom when you are getting ready to go to sleep.
8. Go To Bed On Routine
Take some quiet time out to unwind before going to bed and go to bed at the same time every day. Having an evening routine will ensure that you are more happy and productive the next day.
A few examples of what you can include in your evening routine (an hour before going to bed) are: