When you’ve pulled one too many all-nighters, worked too many long shifts in a row, and coffee or energy drinks just aren’t cutting it anymore, it may be time to slow down. The feeling of being physically, mentally and emotionally drained is one that no one enjoys. It can make you irritable, forgetful and down right exhausted.
Exhaustion is the body’s way of telling you it’s time to slow down. It’s something that even a quadruple shot of espresso can’t fix. Learning to slow things down a bit and take proper care of yourself might take time, especially for those who are used to chaos. But making the change is one that will transform your life for the better. If your body is telling you that it’s time to reboot, here are five surefire ways to take control of your life and your health:
Just as you shut your computer down at the end of the day, turn your car off when you’ve reached your destination, and unplug the coffee pot or the toaster when they’re not needed, your body needs time to shut down as well. Sleep allows the body and mind to recharge and reboot. Studies show that getting a good night’s sleep clears your brain of toxins that build up during the day. Getting enough sleep is essential to keep your mind and body functioning properly.
2. Nourish Your Body
If you have a habit of working through your lunch, or taking bites in between phone calls, it’s time to change up your routine. Your body needs food to fuel your brain and keep it sharp during your workday. Skipping lunch isn’t going to do you any favors. That extra 30 minutes of work you get in the middle of the day will even out when your brain starts turning to mush around 4:30 from lack of nutrients! Pack a healthy lunch and enjoy your food. Turn off the phone and get away from the computer when it’s time to eat.
3. Stay Active
The number one reason why people say they don’t exercise is because they don’t have time. You may have a busy day, but the truth is, waking up 30 minutes early to get a quick workout in of any kind will benefit you more than any caffeinated drink. Exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins that give you energy for your day. It will also help keep you in tip-top shape, ensuring a strong body and a healthy mind. Whatever form of exercise you choose – whether it’s walking, running, yoga or lifting weights — find a way to make time for it. Your body will thank you!
4. Enjoy “Me” Time
Between work, school, co-workers, relatives, kids, significant others, friends and others, it can be easy to get caught up in worrying about everyone else, and spending less time on yourself. It’s great to do things for others, but it’s important not to neglect yourself. The only person who is going to keep you happy and healthy is you. Try to squeeze in some alone time for yourself each week. Whether it’s taking a walk through the park on your lunch break, soaking in a bubble bath before bed, meditating in the morning, or planning a special trip to the spa, make sure you are scheduling “me time” in order to relax and reflect.
5. Mix Things Up
Most people have an established routine that they follow daily. While things like work or picking the kids up from school can’t really be moved around, find another way to get out of your routine every once in a while. Plan a trip somewhere, try a new restaurant, or sign up for those painting classes you’ve been wanting to try. It will keep you from getting bored or feeling “stuck” in a continuous pattern. We all have obligations, but they shouldn’t get in the way of doing what makes us happy!