No matter how busy you are, your mental health should be a priority.
As an athlete, an orthopaedic surgeon, and a mother of four, I consider myself to be a very busy person. Honestly, without my Google calendar I would probably melt into a puddle of disorganization.
These are modern times, and with the aid of technology we have found ways to pack our days so full of events and activities that it is no small wonder that any of us are sane.
There is no health more important than your mental health however. Even your physical health suffers when you aren’t in a great place mentally.
Technology makes it really easy for us to go on autopilot and disconnect, but we have to remember that it isn’t human nature to schedule ourselves down to the second. Validation from likes on The Internet is nothing compared to the validation we get from cooking a nice meal, or helping a friend solve a problem.
You must always make sure you take the time to reflect on your mental state. If you find you are unhappy or unfulfilled, acting like a robot, or living life on autopilot, try to add some of the following suggestions into your life.
Schedule Your Hobbies. Regardless of your schedule, having hobbies is important. Making time for those hobbies can mean the difference between leading a fulfilled life and going insane. If you have a packed schedule, try and devote two hour-long sessions per week to your hobbies, even, and especially if, your hobby is staring blankly at a wall. Making time for the things that you love will do wonders for your mental state.
READ MORE: How to Tell if You Suffer from Chronic Stress
Prioritize Exercise. For most people, fitness is a chore. I have always found that in the midst of a stressful week, exercise is the first thing I want to cut from my schedule. I never do however, (okay, I rarely do) because exercise releases endorphins and is an automatic stress reliever. If you can get over the mental hump and force yourself to walk through those doors, you are guaranteed to be less stressed overall, especially if you make a habit of it.
Prioritize Beauty. Physical beauty and inner beauty are two sides of the same coin. When I say prioritize beauty, I mean make time to experience beautiful things, whether that is starting at a sunset for 10 minutes straight, or waking up a little earlier in the morning so you can take your time moisturizing and putting on your makeup. There is a lot of beauty to be found in the world, and taking the time to appreciate it and experience it is super important to a balanced life.
Journal or Meditate. For most people, the idea of journaling or meditating seems impossible. But all it takes is the willingness to stop thinking about all the things on your to-do list, remove yourself from automation, and be still and mindful. If you want to try journaling, start with one paragraph, two or three times a week. If you want to try meditating, there a tons of apps out there that will help you ease into it. Both options will help break up the monotony of your busy schedule and improve your mental health.
Stop Multitasking. Say it with me, multi-tasking doesn’t exist. You may be able to do multiple things at any given time, but you can only truly focus on one. So, if you have a bunch of tasks to complete, put them on a list. Prioritize that list. Check things off that list one at a time, making sure to stay mindful about each individual task as you complete it. You will find your stress levels decline as you realize you aren’t Superwoman, and can’t physically work on a million things at once.