Feeling crazed and exhausted every day? I know the feeling. The fix sounds simple…make self-care a non-negotiable priority.
It’s likely if you’re not recharging your battery every single day, you’re walking around haggard, crabby, and resentful.
The first step in self-care is to be gentle and kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion.
Next, give yourself permission to get support around your self-care. Yes, you can ask for help. It’s a positive healthy part of life.
Now, make a commitment with your spouse, a friend, your sister, anyone who loves you a lot and scares you just a little to hold you accountable. Ok? You got your person? Good.
Lastly, be realistic. I know you have superhuman powers. After all you’re a woman. It goes without saying. Choose just one of the following hacks to start. Not all of them. Once you’ve made one of these part of your life, add on another.
1. Catch your ZZZZ’s
Getting less than 8 hours a night? Scary fact is lack of sleep makes us gain weight. Now that is motivation enough for me to get to bed. Try getting to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning. Find a calming bedtime routine. Reading always make me sleepy. What calms you and all those racing thoughts? Sleep is the number one hack to setting yourself up for success in all the other areas of self-care.
2. Get active
Walk a dog, ride your bike, just get moving. Your body and mind will thank you. You’ll sleep better, stress-less, and improve your mental focus. Switch it up so boredom doesn’t set-in. Try being active at different times of the day. Short sprints of movement throughout your day are just as impactful as a 1 hour workout.
3. Honoring Your Push and Pull
Lately, I’m either energized or exhausted. Enthusiastic or uninterested. My body and mind are constantly locked in a battle of conflicting energies. And for those with ADHD, this unsettled, self-conflicted feeling is all to common. Knowing my high and low energy times, what motivates me, and my processing style keeps me on a steady track.
4. Be Present
Focus on the NOW. Stop planning and start breathing. Our over-active minds need extra care. Meditation/mindfulness is the self-care that gives me control over my running-wild thoughts. Without it, I will invariably ruminate, obsess, and indulge in negative thoughts until they ruin my day. Being mindful when I’m eating, walking, or simply being, helps me find a calm place within my body, mind, and soul.
5. Stop Bullying Yourself
Know yourself. Don’t be ashamed if you perform differently than others. Only you know what you feel inside; don’t let others’ or your own judgments weigh you down. If you need extra alone time, take it without feeling guilty. Maybe you’re a slow worker who needs more time to finish a project and you feel shame. Trash those thoughts. Instead give yourself permission to meet expectations and get there YOUR BEST way.
6. Learn to say “no,” and love it!
It’s hard to say “no,” especially when you’re a people-pleaser like me. Even though I know it’s unrealistic, I still try. I’ll cook dinner at noon so everyone else can eat at dinner time even though I won’t be there to enjoy the meal. I’ll skip a workout to be there for someone who needs me. And every single time I don’t stick to my own healthy boundaries, I end up feeling dissatisfied and disappointed. I have to remember “no” is a word of compassion, for myself, and my loved ones. Recognizing when we are taking on too much and setting boundaries is a way to practice self-love.
7. Food Matters
Darn it. It does. I know I hate feeling deprived. You too? I play a little game with my food. I don’t take anything away. I add stuff first. I add protein at the beginning of every meal. Protein fills me up and keeps me fuller longer. It also boosts my brain, because I’ve got menopause brain fog. You may have ADHD or “not enough sleep” brain fog. Our brains main energy source is protein. Sugar and carbs, brain killers. I don’t have as much room for them in my tummy after I have my protein. The not so good stuff will naturally fall away and you won’t have to be the bad guy depriving and punishing yourself.
8. Unplug – Connect with real life people.
Disconnect from technology and reconnect to others. Surround yourself with others who make you laugh, share memories, create new memories. Sitting behind my laptop and tablet leaves me feeling alone.
Checking facebook….big mistake. I think, “Wow, look at everyone else out there having fun, without me.” I know these are just snapshots in time but my mind tricks me to think I’m missing out. Making plans with a friend in those moments reminds me I am not alone. I need to re-focus and re-prioritize to make sure my needs to connect with family and friends face-to-face are being met.
If you’re tired of brain overload, feeling frantic and freaked out, stop and remind yourself what you need. Provide yourself with a good dose of self-care each day. You are your top priority. You can’t be there for others if you are not there for yourself.