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  • How to Treat Yourself Better and With Kindness (No Yoga Pose Required)

    Carve out me-time for these techniques to make you emotionally and mentally stronger.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
How to Treat Yourself Better and With Kindness (No Yoga Pose Required)
PHOTO BY Poike/ISTOCK
  • After successfully cooking a sumptuous Christmas spread or hosting the family reunion, we’re sure you’re feeling tired and exhausted. But before you even have time to recover, there's another grocery run to make and a get-together to schedule to greet the New Year. Yes, the most wonderful time of the year can be the most stressful.

    Now, if you really want to start 2019 with energy, instead of lethargy, and more importantly, a better disposition, the only New Year's resolution that may be worth giving a go is making mindfulness your new best friend.

    What is mindfulness? In an article published by the Child Mind Institute, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., defines mindfulness as “awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained, particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Slowing down and being mindful allows us not just to focus on the present moment but to let go of past and future thoughts as well.

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    The same article states that past research shows how being mindful can help improve one’s well-being, mental health, and focus, too. How do you begin?

    Carve out me-time for these techniques to make mindfulness an everyday healthy habit.

    Slow down

    Many of us believe that multitasking can help us get things done quickly. The truth is doing many things all at once can burn us out and leave us more exhausted. If you can't figure out how to work at your own pace, focus on one task at a time. Your undivided attention can help you work efficiently, thereby avoiding mistakes and feeling worn out afterward.

    Breathe

    Trust us when we saw simple breathing exercises can help you relax. Find a quiet spot (or one where you won't be distracted for a few minutes) where you can focus on your breathing. Mrsmindfulness.com shares a one-minute mindfulness routine you can practice. First, set your phone timer to a minute. With your eyes either open or closed, breathe deeply and focus on your breathing. Clear your head. A psychologist once gave us this tip on proper deep breathing: inhale through your nose and feel your belly rise. Hold it for five seconds. Then exhale slowly through pursed lips with your stomach falls inward. 

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    Enjoy your food

    Are you the type who eats lunch in front of a laptop or while browsing through social media? Take a break from work or scrolling through your feed and enjoy your meal. Relish the flavors of the food, chew slowly, and take your time. Many believe that eating slowly aids in healthy digestion, too.

    List down your priorities

    Instead of spreading yourself too thin, trying to accomplish many things at once, learn to prioritize. What are the three or five most important things you need to do today? Identify these tasks and focus on getting these done within the day.

    Be thankful

    Before calling it a day, list down five things that fill you with gratitude. Taking a power nap, having a meaningful conversation with a friend, or even reading a chapter of the book you’re currently reading are simple joys and victories you need to celebrate.

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    Take a digital detox

    Are you glued to your phone 24/7? Seeing how others are spending the holidays or their free time can sometimes make us feel restless and pressured to do something similar. You may want to do some digital detox to take your mind off things. It also gives you an opportunity to do something more productive – spend time with your loved ones, exercise, take up a new hobby, or meditate.

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    Take a walk

    You don’t have to go far. You can walk around the neighborhood or within the hallways of your office for a few minutes. Think of nothing else but your surroundings – notice the houses you’re passing and the little details that make it unique.

    Listen to your favorite music.

    Tune out the noise by listening to sounds that calm you. It can be your favorite album, a compilation of the sounds of nature, or even classics you haven’t heard in a long time. Whatever it is – enjoy precious minutes with your headphones on and bobbing your head to the rhythm.

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    Sources: Child Mind Institute | Melli OBrien

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