When you think about taking care of yourself, what comes to mind? Probably something along the lines of sleep, exercise, drinking water and eating well. It’s easy to forget about taking care of your mental health, which is just as important.
Incorporating mental self-care into your day can have a powerful impact on your health and ability to manage life with resilience and ease. Three simple steps have become my lifeline of well-being, and I find they are easy to integrate into my day: Stop, Breathe & Think.
Although it can feel difficult to unplug, make a point of stepping out of the momentum of your day. Put down your phone and get quiet, allowing your attention to turn inward. Often, just by doing this, you can find your peaceful center and feel more balanced and calm.
Your breath is a great barometer of how you’re feeling. When you’re upset or stressed, the breath tends to be fast and shallow. Take moments throughout the day to notice your breathing and recognize if you’re feeling stressed. Intentionally shift into taking calm, deep breaths to release tension and activate the body’s relaxation response.
You have the power to change how you are feeling by changing your focus. Our minds are powerful, and our body’s reaction to something we are actually experiencing vs. just imagining is the same. So why not imagine yourself in a calm and peaceful situation? It can relax your body, decrease your blood pressure, and overall make you feel good. Here are three of our favorite guided imagery practices: