…really do work the best. If you attempt to make several major changes in your life, your brain, body and heart say, “Whoa, what the heck is going on here?” and tend to go into a defensive mode. Here are some simple changes to my life that I have adopted and seem to be working for me…they help me stay in survival mode…
Free your mind and the rest will follow…this was one of the most difficult things for me to do. Worry and anxiety were constant companions. I would pass out from exhaustion at night, sleep for about 4-5 hours and BING…wide awake, mind racing. Learn some mindful thinking…relaxation and breathing exercises really do work. If you “GOOGLE” these topics, you will find helpful information.
Get more sleep…Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes a day, your body and soul will appreciate it. If you use the snooze button, STOP. Set the alarm for the latest time you need to get up that is appropriate to start your day. Sleep as long as you can. It’s a natural healing tool that you should utilize more often. I make a conscious effort to go to bed at the same time and get as much sleep as I can. It makes all the difference in the world.
Avoid fast food…In our hectic lives, fast food seems to be an easy solution. We are running late, busy, so we drive through somewhere for ourselves and our families. If at all possible, limit those visits to the drive through. If you do go, try to make better choices OR get what you want and really enjoy it. I have to tell you…there are times when I think, “God, I really have a taste for (fill in the blank!)” I have stopped and picked up what I thought I wanted and after a few bites, realized, this isn’t as good as I thought. It was a habit for me…one that has been pretty easy to break.
Quit smoking…I started smoking at 16, quit when I was 20, started again after 17 years (yes, I said 17 years,) smoked on and off for 4 years and quit for good 7 years ago…I know it’s hard, but the thought of picking up a cigarette really grosses me out…yuck. When I watch my friends who smoke? I am very sad, that smoke is traveling through their lovely veins, choking out the oxygen. It is a very hard habit to break, but I would ask anyone who smokes, to please, please try to stop.
Limit your alcohol intake…There were times in my life where I was a self-medicator. Jose Cuervo was a GOOD friend of mine. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good margarita, a cold beer or a glass of lovely wine, I just don’t enjoy them on a daily basis. If you find that you need to have a drink every day, there is a problem.
Get some exercise…yes, yes, I know…this is problematic…when you come home from work…who wants to exercise? You’ve had a tough day, you’re tired, exercise? No way! You would be surprised how much a 20 minute walk will energize you. How much a class like Jazzercise or Zumba empowers you and helps your heart and soul.
Eat less of “real” things instead of eliminating or substituting them…Butter, salt, sugar, mayonnaise, whatever …it’s better to eat a little of the natural things than load up on chemicals and preservatives.
Cut it in half…When I go out to dinner, most times, when my meal comes, I ask for a “to go” box right away. I cut my meal in half; put it in the box and out of sight. I move the rest around on my plate and eat more slowly. Enjoy your meal; I find that I am full and have an extra lunch/dinner for another time.
See more movies, listen to more music…Both of these activities are therapeutic. They can relax you; inspire memories, ideas, and conversations. Two venues that I love very much and partake often.
Spend time with your friends…good conversations…a few laughs…maybe a few tears…sharing stories…talking about your life…it’s better than any therapy session you can pay for. Make sure that when you share, you listen too…it’s important to hear those in your life.
Avoid toxic people/relationships…there are those folks in my life that are not good for me. People that I worry about or feel like I have to “help.” People like this will not be supportive of the changes you are making, they will say that they are, but actions speak louder than words. I am not a co-dependent or enabler any longer. It is very liberating. For me. Not for those I was “helping.”
That’s about it for me…not hard things to do…even if you pick one thing and implement it today, it’s a start. Taking care of yourself doesn’t make you a selfish person. It makes you a survivor…you are needed here among the living…take good care of YOU…with love.