Are you feeling a bit like an Oreo Cookie? Lots of stuffing, spilling out the sides and two hard, crunchy exterior shells compressing in on you? If you are, you might be “stuck in the middle” and you’re not alone! We’ve talked about this topic before but it’s time for a re-visit. Just recently, we attended a show in small town Ontario and we heard from people over and over again how crunched for time they were feeling: time for themselves and in finding time to care for others – whether it was as a result of aging parents or “welcoming” back home their adult children from college, university or because they’re “in between” jobs and need a place to stay. Whatever is making you feel like an Oreo, maybe even a double-stuffed Oreo, at Amintro we think having a friends who provide a listening ear, and learning some great tips about self-care are both good things. How can Amintro help with both? Not only are we where grown ups come to make new friends – we offer great advice too!
Making Friends that Care and the Importance of Self-Care
Self-Care is about your emotional, physical and mental well-being and you should never short-change one for another because they are equally important! Taking 30 minutes for yourself every day is NOT selfish, it’s self-care. Taking more than 30 minutes is even better!
Schedule time to:
- Exercise: Go for a 30 minute walk, get some fresh air and clear your head. You’ll be getting physical exercise and it will help clear the mental clutter. It might even give you time to refocus and gain perspective on whatever it is that concerns you.
- Sleep: Get enough sleep – this is a tough one for many. Concerns and stress keep you awake and so too might poor diet, too much caffeine and not enough exercise. All these will conspire to contribute to wakefulness.
- Routine: Develop a bedtime routine that helps put your mind in the right place for sleep to happen naturally. Cut out the caffeine after 4 or 5pm, choosing a soothing, herbal tea instead. Treat your bedroom like a sanctuary not your home office. Keeping it clutter free, with a focus on its primary purpose of being a cosy place to sleep will help. Keep electronics with their artificial backlighting away from the nightstand. Get unplugged – Phones and tablets are known to stimulate the brain and that’s the last thing you want at night.
- Read or Reflect: Keeping a book or a journal beside is ok. They provide an opportunity for some downtime, to help organize your thoughts or reflect on your day or simply act as an important distraction before bed – as long as the book isn’t so good it keeps you up reading late into the night!
- Meditation: This can be a tough one for some folks particularly if you grew up in an era that shunned any notion of self-care or even self-reflection. However, like learning any new skill, practicing meditation for even five minutes a day is a wonderful way to quiet your mind, remove yourself from the every day concerns and to focus on your breathing, slowing down and finding some inner peace. Trust us, even five minutes will have an immediate impact on your mental well-being.
- Diet: Eating well, especially when you are on the run between work, aging parents or maybe even still picking up kids from school can be tough. Consider meal-planning. It’s a tried and true method that really will help keep your ability to eat nutritious meals on track. Set aside one day per week to review and edit what’s in your cupboards and freezer and then create a grocery list based on what’s missing. Plan meals for each night of the week – you’ll have the ingredients on hand and if you are a meat eater, you will know what to take out of the freezer each morning before you leave the house so it’s ready to cook when you return. Better yet, if you can schedule in some time to pre-cook at least one or two meals each weekend, you’ll have nothing to do but reheat when you get home!
Implementing a new self-care routine can be daunting for some, often women in particular and particularly when you’ve never done it before. But making time for yourself has never been more important – especially when you are juggling all kinds of balls in the air and feeling a bit like the stuffing is leaking out of your Oreo!
Most important of all, self-care MUST include scheduling some time with friends – the ultimate de-stressor!
Friends help us unwind, they provide a listening ear, they support us and friends are fun to have fun with! If you need a new way to make friends Amintro can help. Click on our registration link or if you are already a fan of ours, take a few minutes to update your profile with current and relevant information that will help us help you to meet the perfect friend (or friends!) Stop feeling over-stuffed today. Make friends the Amintro way. Friends + Self-Care = A Happier You!
Written by Sheralyn Roman