Hey 2019. Let’s welcome a new year of golden opportunities, positive relationships, but most importantly a better you.
Many of us compose lofty goals and resolutions to try to make ourselves happy. We may strive for a better job, a new home, or higher savings. In the process of chasing these things we forget one person who is highly significant. That is the person in the mirror.
It’s important that we practice self-care. Self care is about making ourselves feel good when we are stressed or overwhelmed. I learned the important of self-care years ago when I worked at the Administration for Children’s Services as a Child Protective Specialist. I was responsible for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect in the Bronx. Needless to stay I was extremely stressed out on the job!! I would get into work as early as 9:30am but never knew what time I would arrive home. Because of the long hours and intense caseload I felt so exhausted that I would isolate myself after work and during my days off.
I got so consumed in work that I almost stopped taking good care of myself. I barely ate healthy, neglected my personal hygiene, and didn’t dress to par as I normally would. One day a veteran coworker pulled me to the side and shared the same experiences he had when he first came on the job. He told me that his breaking point came when he had a mental breakdown and actually had to meet with a therapist. By listening to his story it helped me realize that before any job or anything else you come first.
Over the years I’ve learned keys ways to practice self-care. Here are some tips:
1. Brunch and Socialize
If you’re confined inside your workplace or at home you may start to become frustrated, overwhelmed, or even depressed.
What’s a better way to relax and decompress than an outing at brunch. Going out for brunch on the weekends gives you the opportunity to catch up with old friends or loved ones. If you don’t enjoy brunch you should find other ways to socialize and maintain a positive support system.
2. Read Self-Help Books
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It’s understood that reading is fundamental. Knowledge is contained in text books, religious books, and other types of literary sources. Self-help books are even more valuable. Books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell not only gives us a wider perspective of society but teaches us ways to live more productively. One of my favorite self-help books is “Working with emotional intelligence” by Daniel Goleman.
3. Take Time Off Work
Vacations are crucial to your mental and physical health. As I mentioned earlier I was burned out working at ACS. One of the reasons why is that I barely took days off from work. I incurred so much comp time and personal days that I was able to donate time and still be able to take long vacations. However, I refused to take time off because I thought I would return to work with overdue work assignments. In hindsight my workload actuallu increased and I made myself less productive by not taking any vacations. Even if you decide not to travel it’s important to take time off work so that you can recharge and return to work happy and refreshed.
4. Find a hobby
Do something that interests you(clean and safe!). One type of activity that anyone can benefit from is meditation. Through meditation yon relax your mind, boy, and soul. One of my favorite activities is practicing martial arts. I love judo and jujitsu. When I practice judo and other forms of martial arts my mind is placed at ease. All the pressures and daily challenges I usually face become non existent once I enter the dojo.
5. Take a Detox Bath
Bubble baths are lovely. Detox baths are heavenly.
A detox bath removes toxins from the body. Traditionally, epson salt has been commonly used to give the body a deep cleansing. Today, there are all sorts of products that provide the same type of cleansing. I recommend Lush products. The “Let the Good Times Roll” facial cleanser smells better than roses and will give your face a radiant glow.
6. Exercise Regularly
Get ready to do those dips and booty squats.
We like to go to the gym to get our body right for the summer. We all want to maintain a good physical physique. However, exercising should be more about maintaining good physical health than having tight abs. If you don’t exercise at all right now is a good time to start. There are many health benefits to exercising including prevention of diseases, improvement of stamina, and weight control.
7. Watch Ratchet TV
One of the supervisors at my job would constantly tell her workers to watch ratchet tv. This sounded absurd when I first heard it. But then I began doing that and it has actually put my mind at ease. Every Monday I would watch “Love and Hip Hop New York”. Watching the foolish acts on the reality show would distract me from work.