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As moms & dads, our lives tend to center around other people – our children, our partners, our colleagues, our boss, our friends, and other dependents all take up the majority of our time leaving very little of it for us to do something for ourselves. Often, it's hard to find ways to make yourself feel better, especially when there is so much pressure.
If you're a single parent; like I was for the majority of both of my boys' lives, taking care of yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally, is even more difficult. Quite often, you can't get time away without one kid (or all) needing something.
5 Tiny Ways to Make Yourself Feel Better
Serving others is by no means a bad thing, but in order to be able to provide the help that other people need, we must be sure to focus some of our attention and effort into our own development too. Here are 5 teeny tiny ways to make yourself feel better, starting today.
Learn something new
Learning something new not only improves your quality of life but gives you a chance to delve deeper into a subject you truly enjoy. You don’t need to jump headfirst into an online masters in predictive analytics (unless you want to of course), learning something new can be as simple as picking up a book for half an hour before bed, listening to a podcast on your morning commute or booking tickets to an exhibition at your local museum.
Whatever it is you are interested in, give yourself a few minutes each day to indulge in the subject and let your passion grow. Who knows, you may enjoy something that you never thought you would enjoy and it could become a regular thing. I never thought I would enjoy blogging, but here I am, still blogging 6 years later and I love it. While it can be stressful sometimes, happiness definitely outweighs the stress.
Be less hard on yourself
More often than not we are our own biggest critics causing us to knock our own confidence and to play down our own successes. Try to be more forgiving of yourself, we all make mistakes and what matters is what you do with them. The next time you notice you talking yourself down or being critical of your successes, pause and take a moment to correct your internal monologue.
Have a mindful moment
Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing your attention on the present moment and can help to decrease stress, improve job performance and promote recovery from illness. The culture of mindfulness has its origins in Buddhism and is not dissimilar to meditation which is another technique that has been proven to be beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.
Smile a little more
Stop what you’re doing right now and crack a smile. Even if you have to force it, a smile can help to reduce stress and anxiety and will improve your mood. What’s more, smiling is contagious and so someone else may see your smile and you will have instantly improved their day too. Throughout the day whenever you notice that you have defaulted to a resting facial expression, try cracking a smile and see how it makes you feel.
Celebrate your small wins
When it comes to different ways to make yourself feel better, small wins tend to take the cake. Whether it’s getting up before your alarm, ticking everything off your to-do list or remembering to take the trash out on time, we often forget to celebrate our small wins. Give yourself some credit for how much you achieve in a day and for overcoming the barriers put in front of you, whatever they may be. Of course, be sure to celebrate your big wins too, but be especially mindful of those small wins that can often fall through the cracks.
So whatever it is you are doing today, try to incorporate as many of the above five things into your routine as possible and see how much better you begin to feel in yourself.