Taking Care of You, Past, Present and Future
It doesn’t matter what time of year you are reading this. It is always the right time to make changes that can help you take care of yourself.
Take today for example – what will your future self thank you for today? What will your tomorrow you be grateful for? You might know that who you are right now isn’t who you want to be in a few years from now, maybe you’re already working on it. But, life is a journey, and you’re meant to growing each and every day.
You might be wondering how you can take care of ‘past you’ – surely that ship has sailed long ago. Well, yes, but past you still need some love from you.
The chances are you are still holding onto things that have happened. Maybe you cheated in a test or a person. Perhaps you missed a great opportunity because you were too nervous to go for it, you have to learn to let go.
We carry those guilty feelings and resentments around with us for years. But, it’s just not healthy. We aren’t able to go back in time and change what we did, or what was done to us. The “what ifs” will stack up thick and fast. And that does no one any good.
Here is something to try on your journey in taking care of past you. Write down everything that you consider are the big moments you’re holding on to. Read through the list, and consider what impact it really had on you, and give yourself time to say goodbye to the baggage. You can then feel free to rip up the paper or burn it. Whichever feels right for you do so. Give past you some forgiveness and appreciation, then move on.
This is where you can put in the groundwork for future you. You can take a look at your savings, and if you haven’t been keeping them in good order, there is no better time than now. You can read up on making small investments too. You can learn to ‘skim’ as a saving method, which will teach you how to set aside any spare change.
For example, if you spend 8.45, you put the remaining change into a change jar or separate account. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to do manually, online auto-savings bots like Cleo and Plum are great options. They work out what you can safely save and put it away for you automatically every week.
Giving mindfulness and meditation a go, to lower your stress levels and learning to unwind in the evenings. Apps like the Calm app or Headspace can help you with guided meditation and sleep stories.
Start moving. We all move around during the day to some extent, and that is great. But start building in walking, yoga or swimming into your days. They are gentle forms of exercise that have long term impacts on your body and mind. Assess how you are feeling lately. Sometimes if no one asks, you don’t tend to think about it.
Look into the future. Where do you see yourself retiring? Yukana might be able to help you make those decisions. You might even need to think about this type of thing for relatives. Retirement is meant to be enjoyable, and a space where you can relax – so get to work on making that happen. Eat better and drink more water. This is the very foundations of improving your long term health.
Be Friendly and Social
Even if you are an introvert, a good set of friends can make your world a little bit brighter. It can be tough to head out into the world and gather up friends. There are a few tips to help you on your way through. A good support network should never be underestimated.
Make an effort to go out, even when you really just don’t want to. Of course, that is easier said than done sometimes, but a smudge outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Talk to yourself. It is easy to get tongue-tied if you aren’t used to making friends, so try and work on some openers in the mirror. Arming yourself with some easy to say openers is a great idea.
This isn’t about being in a physical place, this one is simply about being there and showing up for people when they need it. You might be surprised who shows up for you in return. Be genuinely interested in others.
We all have a tendency to take on far more than we should. To the point, we go to bed exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally. We just can’t carry on that way for very long, and if we do it would be to the detriment of our health.
Spend some time working out what really relaxes you and work it into your weeks. If it’s reading magazines and sipping tea, then make time for it. If it’s a long soak in the bath and going to bed at 6PM, then do it!
There is no harm in giving your mind and body space to rest and recharge. Keep your own batteries topped up.
Get Back To Basics
Depending on where you find yourself with your mental health, all of the suggestions above might just not be for you right now. So go back to the very basics.
- Open a window in the morning.
- Make a drink or something to eat.
- Brush your hair and wash your face.
- Make your bed (even if you intend on getting right back in it).
- Check your bank account.
- Pay a bill or all of your bills.
- Call someone.
These small actions can help keep you even a little bit on track when you feel like everything isn’t going to plan. Taking tiny steps is moving forward, and that is taking care of you in the very best way.
In the end, what works for you in terms of taking care of yourself is likely going to be very personal. But, setting up a savings account, cleaning your teeth and drinking enough water each day won’t see you go far wrong.
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