When we are in a time crunch, what do most of us do? We sacrifice our self-care! There is a tendency to prioritize work and to-do lists over proper nutrition, a good night’s sleep, workout, family time, or working on a passion project. Many skip home cooking altogether and resort to Postmates, Uber Eats, or a stash of snacks with a side of guilt.
When times get rough what we actually need is to put our self-care first. It’s no longer a secret that when we look good and feel good, we make better decisions. When our self-esteem is up we control our emotions better, we have a clearer mind, and we connect better to people around us.
Have you been around a person who’s super stressed out and is not present whatsoever? I bet your first reaction was to get as far away from that person as possible.
Now imagine the opposite scenario: you’re in a room with a person who’s calm, present, maintains eye contact, listens to you, and wants to be of service. Wouldn’t you want to be around this individual for as long as possible?
Here are few tips on how to become THAT person. If you implement all of them — CONGRATULATIONS — you’re a Wonder-Woman/Superman.
But even if you take on just a few of these strategies and stay consistent with them, I promise, your life will shift drastically, and you will attract opportunities that were not available to you before.
Shift your world within and see how the world outside of you changes too.
Smiling stimulates our neurotransmitters and sends messages to our body to generate more happiness hormones. It’s a potent tool to snap you out of your funk and back into the game. Even if you have nothing to get excited about, just force a smile on your face and hold it for 10 seconds. You will feel a boost in your mood right away. Do that for 5 minutes, and you’re back.
Also, it helps to combine it with a positive song or a short comedy sketch. Anything that gets you to smile for a few minutes can shift your day to a much more pleasant experience.
2. Dress to Impress
Wear that outfit you saved for a special occasion. Make that special day today instead of waiting weeks to wear that nice shirt you got. Get attention from people and accumulate few compliments to build up your confidence and snap you out of your melancholic state.
According to the research conducted by the Calm Clinic: “If you dress in ways that reflect who you truly are, and don’t obsess over whether you don’t look good enough, people will actually be impressed by and drawn to your self-confidence, and maybe even be inspired by you”.
3. Hydrate Yourself
Don’t start drinking less water so you can save time on bathroom breaks. When you’re dehydrated, your body starts functioning in an energy saving mode, and that’s when you get headaches and brain fog.
According to the research conducted by Robert Glatter, MD: “Just a small change in the state of hydration was enough to affect mood, ability to concentrate, and led to the development of headaches.” So if you want to stay focused and energized — drink more water!
4. Stay Hungry
If you ask any athlete, artist, or a keynote speaker about their diet before a cardinal event most of them will say that they have a very light meal or maybe even skip one and have a smoothie instead.
When you’re full, your body re-allocates your energy to digestion, and naturally, you have less energy left to stay focused on your goal. Be smart about how you fuel yourself, and most importantly, when you fuel yourself.
5. Strike a Power Pose
Be mindful of your body language and the signals it sends to people around you. Are you hunched over or have your hands in your pocket? That’s a clear sign that you are nervous and do not want to be there.
Instead, put your hands on your hips and straighten out your chest. Look people straight in their eyes, smile, and watch how they immediately connect with you and become more present.
Seems like an obvious thing to do but you’ll be surprised how often people barely breathe in intense situations. Breathing helps bring oxygen to your brain so you can stay focused on your goal and make favorable decisions.
When you focus on breathing, you’re able to control your emotions better and choose the response you want to have to a situation. In a recent study of mindful breathing and anxiety, Kangwon National University researchers concluded that mindful breathing decreases anxiety and substantially increases automatic positive thoughts.
7. Mood-Boosting Foods
It’s no secret that the brain uses more energy than any other organ in our body so it really matters what kind of fuel we use to generate this energy.
Some of the most nutritious superfoods that help you boost your energy levels, mood, and focus are alfalfa sprouts, cacao beans, chlorella, maca, spirulina, ginseng, and turmeric. You can combine all of these in a smoothie and drink throughout the day to keep your mental stamina up.
Also, as an extra bonus, you can include some Lion’s Mane mushroom in that smoothie and take your cognitive performance to the next level. I describe all of these strategies in greater detail in my article — The Ultimate Guide to Nourishing Your Brain.
People are social creatures that long for touch. A recent study conducted by University of California, San Diego Medical Center concluded that “although the physiologic effects of touch are not understood fully, it appears to sustain social bonds and to increase cooperative behaviors. Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone known to facilitate social bonding, and touch may affect OT release”.
In a different study conducted by The Touch Institute researchers found that massage therapy resulted in an “average increase of serotonin by 28% and 31% for an increase in dopamine”.
9. Laugh Out Loud
Be silly and laugh. Laughing releases trapped energy inside of you and helps you restart your nervous system. It also triggers the release of endorphins and helps stimulate your vagus nerve. Loud laughter a day, keeps the doctor away!
As I mentioned in the beginning, you don’t need to implement all of these strategies all at once. The key to your success is consistency! You are way better off applying one or two of these strategies every day than all of them once in a while.
New habits require training and a clear intention. Remind yourself about your WHY. Have it in front of you at all times so whenever you experience a challenging time and you feel like giving up, you can come back to your WHY and remember that you’re doing this because you want to have an extraordinary life and discover what it means to be healthy, happy, and fulfilled.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi