Looking after yourself to improve your wellbeing is so important, yet with the business of life and doing other things it is easy to forget to take time out for ourselves. Having a good mental and physical wellbeing doesn’t just come from one aspect, instead it is a combination of a multiple of things you can do regularly to help create balance in your life.
Being in my early 20s (just) and a recent graduate, I came out of university panicking and doing almost everything I could with a fear that I was behind career wise compared to those who hadn’t spent three years studying. I piled on the voluntary work, began taking on extra projects around my 9 to 5 plus trying to work out 5 mornings a week before work. I was burning myself out.
So, I have been consciously trying to make an effort to take care of myself. Attempting to do 100 things at once wasn’t good for my wellbeing. Doing these things really helped me realise that to do my best I need to step back, have time to relax and end the comparisons.
Here are my top tips to improve your wellbeing.
Stop comparing yourself to others
This took me a VERY long time to do, and even now it’s something I have to constantly remind myself to stop doing. With social media, it’s so easy to take one look at someones picture or their feed and feel like their life just looks like the dream. I mean seriously, why can’t I be led on a beach in the Maldives on a Wednesday afternoon? This comparison is so p o i n t l e s s. Because A) It’s one picture of not even a second of someones day, B) It’s most likely a very edited version of themes and their surroundings and C) Why am I being so ungrateful to the things/people I have around me? Once I made the conscious decision to stop comparing, instead be grateful for what I do and have, I found myself spending less time caring about the lives of others and more time enjoying my own. Taking this step will definitely help improve your wellbeing.
Have a social media detox
When was the last time you enjoyed a day trip and properly immersed yourself in just being in the moment? When was the last time you had a spare bit of time maybe on the bus or the train that wasn’t filled with some scrolling? I find the odd day spent without going on social media forces me to take in my surroundings, appreciate what’s going on and maybe even find myself having a conversation with a stranger (a scary thought I know!). Studies have shown that spending some time off of social media helps to improve your mood and keeps your focus on the present.
Practice self care
What makes you feel most relaxed? What do you love doing? Finding time for yourself is so important for your wellbeing. Whether that is enjoying a spa day or simply enjoying a long hot soak with a good book. Putting some time aside for yourself every so often allows you to take a break from all your other distractions to focus on yourself and reset.
Continuing without giving yourself time for you will inevitably lead to a burnout (comes from experience) and often I feel more motivated to get things done after I have had some time to relax.
Try and set yourself 10,000 steps a day
Now I know how difficult this can be, as I do 9-5 pretty much stagnant at my desk. However during lunch I do try and go for a walk and I find it helps me re-focus and I enjoy having a bit of time to myself (which is sometimes the only bit I get all day). If you’re lucky enough to work from home, maybe research some nice places to walk near you. Places like Tyntesfield are perfect.
I am a massive fan of journaling for a number of reasons when it comes to helping improve your wellbeing. Firstly, I find it therapeutic to pour my thoughts into something which I can then pop away in a draw. I find the process incredibly calming and I enjoy looking back over my thoughts and feelings around something I thought was major at the time. It helps me realise I can get over things and come through the other side.
Plus, the process of journalling allows you to reflect over how far you have come.
This is a major one for me. I was often so guilty of agreeing to something to please someone else. Whether that be not admitting to a friend that I don’t want to watch a particular film in the cinema to making a career move based on the opinions of my family. I was a people pleaser. But I’ve recently tried to change that because it was making me so unhappy. At the end of the day, it’s you that will have to live with the consequences of your decisions. Once I made a promise to myself to prioritise me, I found I began to do more of what I enjoyed, plus it turned out those people often weren’t as bothered as I thought they’d be anyway!
Doing and agreeing to things for the sake of pleasing other people can often lead to resentment if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to. Therefore, just save yourself the effort and make decisions based on you. It was such a tough thing to do to begin with, but it does get easier. Trust me.
I hope some of these tips are helpful for you to improve your wellbeing. Let me know in the comments what ways you find benefit your physical and mental health most.