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5 Ways to Micro Tend Your Needs to Avoid Burnout

Tips for tuning in and taking care of yourself as you move through your day.

When life gets busy, the first thing to take a back seat is usually our own needs. What if that didn’t have to be the case? What if we could micro tend our needs throughout the day? What if we made time for small nurturing acts that helped to ensure we are tending to ourselves in ways that helped to combat stress and burnout? Below are 5 simple ways to micro tend to yourself as you conquer your day, without feeling depleted.

  1. Check your breath. Choose an event that happens periodically throughout your day to serve as a reminder to check in on your breath. It could be each time you wash your hands. Each time you sit down to drive. Each time you shift from one task to the next. Whatever it is, use it as a reminder to pause and take three deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feeling your lungs expand fully and empty completely with each breath.
  2. Ground your energy. Take time to slow down and ground your energy to shift your day from frantic to calm in moments. Connecting to something in nature can be very effective. Placing your hands on a tree, taking in the scent of a flower, or strolling through a park. If you’re indoors, you can imagine roots growing from your feet and extending deep into the earth. Choose something that gives you a sense of feeling anchored, stable and present.  
  3. Choose a nourishing snack. When we’re busy, it’s so easy to grab whatever is easiest, often something sugar laden and/or processed, and keep moving. In the spirit of micro tending, choose nutrient dense foods instead. This will leave you feeling more nourished with sustainable energy to help you tackle all the things on your list.  
  4. Spend 5 minutes in meditation. Spend five minutes of your day in mediation. Think of this time as an opportunity to “bank calm” that you can draw upon, as needed.
    • Find a place where you can sit comfortably without too much distraction.
    • Close your eyes or keep them open with a soft gaze. 
    • Notice the floor, pillow, or chair solidly beneath you.
    • Notice the feeling of the air on your skin, the sound of your breath.
    • Release any tension you may be holding in your body as much as possible by bringing your awareness to any area that feels tight. Take deep breath into that area and release.
    • Focus on your breath. Don’t worry about breathing any certain way; just notice your breath as it flows in and out. With each inhalation, notice that your breath starts to deepen without any effort on your part. And with each exhalation let your lungs empty just a little bit more.
    • Bring in a sense of spaciousness. Enough room for every thought. As your thoughts drift into your consciousness, let them continue to float by as if a leaf on a river or a cloud in the sky. If something comes in, acknowledge it, let it go, and bring your attention back to your breath. This practice is not about having a silent mind. Even if your mind stays busy, you are still doing it right and this practice will still be beneficial.
  5. Practice gratitude. Call to mind three things you’re grateful for and notice how it shifts your mood. With each thing you bring to mind, really focus with great detail why you feel so grateful. The more do this, the more you bring awareness to what you want to invite more of in your life. This small act yields rich returns.

Tending to yourself in these small yet meaningful ways can go a long way as we move through our busy days. The more micro tending you can squeeze in, the less exhausted you’ll feel at the end of each day. Try it and see what you notice.

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