80% of Americans report being stressed and overwhelmed by everyday life, but we don't need to be one of them. Having a weekly and daily self-care formula helps me feel productive and centered. Yoga, mindfulness practices and inspiring friends have helped me put this system into place. I hope you find this helpful and I'd love to hear your insights.
1. Write a 'To-Do-List'
Writing a list reduces what I need to remember, helps to organize my thoughts and is very satisfying when checking off my accomplishments. Allowing moments to feel content with my achievements is a huge stress reducer and a yogic practice called Samtosha.
2. Pre-plan and Prepare Meals
(I have my husband to thank for this) My week goes really well when meals are planned ahead of time and extra is made to be eaten over the next few days. Eating regular nutritious meals maintains a healthy blood sugar levels and wards off feeling Hangry.
3. Schedule Self-care Time
If you're anything like me, your self-care will be limited unless you schedule it. Each week I block off time on my calendar for Yoga, Pilates, exercising outside and meditation. When I stick to this plan I feel healthy, happy, clear and motivated. Self-care is a highly regarded Yogic discipline. At times I've struggled with this, so my mantra is 'self-care is not selfish'.
4. Begin the Day Quietly
I've found that a morning routine which begins slowly and quietly is key to a mindful and low stress day. My morning routine consists of:
1. Drinking Water
4. Drinking coffee/tea
5. Go to Bed
I'm an early riser so it's really important that I get to bed early enough so that I feel great the next morning. When I'm sleep deprived I know I'm not my best self.
6. Practice Healthy Time Management
The first five tips create a formula for each week and day. I gain a clear perspective of how much I'm committing to when I add these to my calendar along with my professional responsibilities and time with friends. This helps me be more realistic and improves the way I prioritize my life.
7. Time with Uplifting Friends
We're all really influenced by the company we choose. Seeking friends who have similar lifestyle goals, are motivational, engage in constructive conversation and practice good listening skills are key to my well-being. Community (Sangha) is a fundamental part of living a yogic lifestyle.
8. Pause and Breathe
As a child my grandma would say 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'. Over the years I've laughed to myself about this statement and I've changed it slightly to: 'If you don't have anything nice to say, pause and breathe deeply'. Breathing practices are a fundamental part of practicing a reduced stress and yogic lifestyle.
9. Mindful Eating & Digestion
Mindful eating promotes a calm nervous system, healthy digestion and satisfaction. In it's simplest form it's a uni-task practice, you sit down and enjoy your meal without doing anything else including reading or talking. This is essentially an eating meditation, mindful eating reduces my tendency of over eating and has encouraged me to avoid foods that have negative consequences.
10. Positive Mantra or Quote
Here's a quote that I love to be reminded of when I'm feeling too busy:
'Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished' ~ Lao Tzu