10waystogivebacktoyourself

Life is hectic. You have meetings to attend, projects to work on, dinner to prepare, clothes to launder… the list goes on. But even if you can’t completely escape from the daily grind, there are ways that you can give back to yourself every day of the week. Here are 10 ways to escape the madness, no matter how busy life gets:

Take your time. It can be tempting to hit the snooze button several times in the morning before rushing out the door. This creates unnecessary stress, and rushing off to work can be potentially dangerous. Remember to enjoy the morning. Pause to listen to the birds sing while you make your bed, or read the newspaper while you slowly sip your coffee. Relaxing in the morning can help prepare you to tackle the day.

Be neat. Taking small steps to lead an organized lifestyle can have big effects on your daily life. Taking a few minutes each night to lay out your clothes, set the coffee maker, and make your lunch can all free up some relaxation time in the morning and make your day more enjoyable from the moment you wake up.

Exercise. Working out is a great way to get the body in shape, but it can also have wonderful mental health benefits. According to WebMD, exercising can be beneficial for those with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues. Not to mention, working out is a great excuse to get outside and work up a sweat, especially after (or before!) a full day in the office.

Be positive. Remember, if you feel like you’re going to have a bad day, then you probably are. Work hard to maintain a positive mindset, and smile every day. No matter how hectic life gets, things could always be worse. Appreciate your life for what it is.

Learn something valuable. Make an effort to learn about things you are passionate about. Have you always wanted to visit India? Purchase a guidebook or visit your local library to scope out information on Indian culture. Even 30 minutes of research a day adds up to three and a half hours of learning a week.

Read. Picking up a work of fiction allows you to escape into new worlds and befriend imaginary characters. Reading poetry can open your mind and allow you to experience the musical quality of written words, while non-fiction books can be valuable learning tools. All forms of literature allow you to spend some well-deserved quiet time to yourself.

Make an effort. Take care to be comfortable and confident each day. Wear comfortable clothing that makes you feel good, and take the time to do your hair and makeup if it improves your confidence. If heels make you uncomfortable, then invest in a cute pair of flats or business-appropriate sandals. Making an effort to look good, can have a tremendous effect on how you feel.

Unplug. Work often requires constant access to a computer and telephone. Take time away from the constant distractions of technology. Even if you eat lunch at your desk, log out of your computer so that you have a break from the influx of emails and meeting invites. Better yet, take a walk during the workday to clear your head and focus on the present moment. Taking just 15 minutes every day to go on a stroll can allow you to refocus and unwind.

Indulge. It’s not a good idea to spend every evening in front of the TV, or dine in unhealthy, overpriced restaurants every night, but indulging in a guilty pleasure once in awhile can be a great reward. Instead of eating dessert each night, or watching dozens of Youtube clips after work, reward yourself sparingly after a productive week.

Be nice. Make an effort to be friendly. Being nice to others can lift your morale, and the morale of those around you, creating a healthy environment. Compliment your coworker’s new shoes, offer to help with an understaffed project, or buy lunch for the homeless man who hangs out in the park next to your building.

Modern life moves fast and it can be difficult to find time for yourself amongst the daily grind. Although it might be impossible to escape from work and responsibilities altogether, there are many small steps you can take to improve the quality of your life every day.

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