Stress has become a normal part of modern life. We have learned to live with less sleep, chronic anxiety, and overall discomfort. However, it does’t need to be this way. You can take charge of your stress and find ways to create balance in your life. One great way to do this is to find time for yourself. You don’t need to rearrange your whole life. Instead, you can spend a little bit of time each day where you make yourself a priority.
1. Take Breaks
One thing that increases stress and reduces attention is doing one task for too long. Some research says that working for 15-25 minute intervals produces the best work. Even if you don’t have the luxury of taking this many breaks you can try to take more than you usually do. Find time for yourself during your day where you can take even a five minute break to go outside and breathe in some fresh air.
2. Schedule the Time
If you know you are someone who doesn’t find time for herself then put it in your calendar! You probably already use some kind of calendar in order to remember important events. So, put one activity that is just for you in the schedule each day. These don’t have to be long or laborious activities. You can try just putting in 30 minutes of reading before bed. Or you might put in something bigger like taking yourself out to dinner or taking a long bath.
3. Walk it Off
Walk that stress off because walking has been shown to reduce stress. You can start by just take a few minutes to walk around the block each morning. It is especially helpful if you really think about this as time for yourself and leave you phone at home or on your desk. Whatever it is can wait. You are worth five minutes of uninterrupted you time.
4. Change Your Perspective
Finding time for yourself isn’t all about finding new activities. You might be able to look at something you already do in a new way. For example, everyone has to eat. So rather than seeing your meal as something you do out of necessity so you don’t pass out, you might want to start looking at it as much needed personal time. Changing how you think about your meal can help you enjoy it more and feel like you got the personal time that you needed.
5. Notice the Pleasant
Our brains have the tendency to notice things that are negative. So try find some time for yourself where you notice what is actually pleasant. Again, this doesn’t mean doing something new. You don’t even need to find new time for this. You can just commit to taking a second when you sit down at your desk to check in with yourself and think about one good thing that is happening. It might be something small like noticing the gentle feeling of your breath or something bigger like a comment that made you smile earlier in the day.
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