Signs You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself & What to Do About It

Staying healthy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. But health isn’t just about the shape of your body or what your doctor can measure, like blood pressure. It’s also about your mind, and having an unsound mind can affect your health in negative ways. Look out for these warning signs that you need to reboot, both mentally and physically:

1. You’re on edge, agitated easily, and you worry all the time. You feel compressed or squeezed from all angles.

2. You’re more tired than energized throughout your day.

3. You’re finding yourself sick more often.

4. You’re lacking inspiration, you feel uncreative, and you’re no longer into trying new things.

5. You can’t remember the last time you treated yourself – a bowl of ice cream, a massage, or a girls night out just because

6. You’re easily frustrated in your relationships. You find yourself snapping for no reason. You’re surprised at your own capacity for frustration, and you’re worried the wrong people are taking the hit.

7. Your friends or loved ones are pulling away from you.

8. You rely on caffeine, painkillers, or wine to get you through your day.

9. You dread going to work and procrastination is in full force. You’re starting to abandon projects or give them little attention. 

How to Recharge

First, there’s no shame in heading straight for the doctor, therapist, or a life coach to help you through – every one of our Collective members has been there and happily reaped the benefits. Or, if you’re not wanting to take that big of a leap, talk to your family and trusted friends about any issues you’re having – that’s what they’re there for, right? Then, take matters into your own hands and do some things for yourself. Here are a few ideas for how to reboot:

Take a Vacation or Go on a Retreat: Traveling opens our minds and our hearts, and it calms our restless need for adventure. A retreat, which is usually like a vacation with a theme (i.e. a yoga retreat, a meditation retreat, or an overnight spa visit), can do the same. These days, you don’t have to go to a travel agent and pay outrageous fees to get away. Do some research on your own, check out Airbnb, or stay with friends or relatives to save money.

When you’re on vacation, make sure that you’re truly stepping away. Put an “out-of-office” setting on your email, and delegate your responsibilities before you leave to ensure your tasks are in the right hands. If your vacation is time alone, make sure your friends and family understand that you can’t be bothered unless it’s an emergency.

Make Time for You: Allot a chunk of your day or week to do something for yourself, like meditating, going to the gym, or taking a yoga class. Find a hobby, like painting or writing. It’s incredibly important to nurture our whole selves on a weekly or daily basis. Exercising or discovering a hobby can reduce our levels of stress, which can leave us feeling reenergized and relaxed throughout the day.

Keep a Journal: Keeping a journal allows you to be by yourself everyday with your thoughts. It can also be like a mentor or a good friend, someone who listens to you without judgment, someone with whom you can open up and express yourself. A journal lets you see yourself, both past and present, and it may help you realize your future plans. You can look back to see how you were feeling a year ago, and what improvements you’ve made. You can use it to hold yourself accountable for positive change or you can simply use it to brain dump your thoughts onto paper so they’re out of your head – whether they’re justified or not. 

Purge, then Rebuild. An uncluttered space can lead to an uncluttered and more organized mind. Letting go of the things you don’t need anymore can open up room in your life for new things. Clean your closets and your workspace; get rid of anything you haven’t used in a long time or the things you aren’t sentimentally attached to. Then, buy something for yourself. Having a current and stylish wardrobe or living environment makes us feel better about ourselves, instead of feeling weighed down by the things we don’t use anymore.

Purging doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of the physical “stuff” that occupies your surroundings. You may need to purge some toxic relationships, or some bad memories you’re holding onto, to make room for healthy connections. If you find yourself thinking the same negative thoughts or acting out the same negative behaviors (like feeling frustrated regularly), then it’s time to dig deep and figure out what’s going on. Most likely something from your past is being played out in your current life. 

Bottom line: You should only surround yourself with things you love – that includes your relationships.

Step Outside the Box: And by “box” I mean house or apartment. Go outside, visit a park or take a walk, or hit up the local museums or galleries. Not only will your body be getting some much-needed sunshine, you’ll also be moved creatively by perceiving the world around you. Another idea to get you out of the house is to take a class. There are typically plenty of classes offered through community centers and local hotspots. If you do prefer to do something from your laptop, check out PopExpert or Google Helpouts for experts who can teach you something from the convenience of home.

Read Fiction: Fiction is a vacation from reality, and there’s nothing better than getting wrapped up in a great book that takes us out of our real selves for a moment. It’s like a mini-break from our responsibilities, and we can truly escape into the pages of a book. In addition, it can significantly boost creativity for work projects – an added bonus if you’re feeling stuck in your career.

Socialize: Socializing is a means of connecting with people, and laughing and telling stories can lead to a fulfilling shared experience. If your friends seem busy, or if everyone seems to be hiding away, take the initiative to plan a night out.They may not be reaching out because it appeared as though you were busy, stressed, or even possibly annoyed with them. Reconnect with people you care about while having fun, and you may find yourself emerging from your slump. 

Find a New Job/Career; or Insist on Transitioning: You shouldn’t spend so much of your time being miserable. It may be that you need to find a different company, or it could be that your entire career needs a makeover. Ask yourself a few important questions: Does your career satisfy your professional desires? Do you feel passionately about what you do for a living? Is it worth it to spend the majority of your week, for years on end, in a job you dislike?

Whether you need to make minor adjustments or if you’re completely re-doing your professional life, it’s solely up to you to make this happen. Set up a meeting with your boss to discuss how you’d like different responsibilities, or that you’d like to be considered for a promotion. Remember they can’t read minds: let them know exactly what you’d like to be doing and how you feel you can get there. If you’re making major changes, come up with a feasible plan so you can restart your career. Does it involve going back to school? Do you need to take the leap and start your own business? Set up a timeline for when you’d like to have all of this accomplished.

Say Yes: Live the “yes” life. No more excuses for not feeling healthy and well, get out there and see what the world has to offer. Sometimes it can be just as simple as that. 

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