I’m terrible at putting my wellbeing first while juggling the responsibilities of being a working mom. The hustle and bustle of adulting takes a toll on my body, state of mind, and overall happiness. It’s an unhealthy cycle and I’m ready to get off the hamster wheel and I’m sure you are too. As the pandemic continues, we are still figuring out how to prioritize self care in a time when it feels like life keeps getting harder. So, how do we stop and take inventory of our own happiness? How can we improve our wellbeing to find joy? Read one to learn what therapists recommend in order to help you find the practice that will help you find some peace of mind.
Create “me time” during your morning routine
Raquel Carrasquillo, LCSW and founder of Life-Coaching and Psychotherapy, recommends starting with a quick morning routine to implement mindfulness. Take 10 minutes to center yourself with activities like meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, taking a walk outside, or journaling while listening to soothing music. “Starting the morning off in a grounded way allows for clearer thinking throughout the day,” Carrasquillo tells HipLatina. That’s because healthy structures and daily goals “lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) when we are faced with daily challenges.”
Explore what brings you joy
A way to break the monotony of life is to tap into what brings you joy. Katheryn Perez, LMFT and founder of Katheryn Perez Therapy asks that you make time for what “fills your cup and nourishes your soul.” Not sure what that is? “Make a list of things and activities that make you feel happy, calm, or rejuvenated,” Perez tells HipLatina. “When you’re struggling or having a bad day, you can look at the list and do one of those activities.”
You can practice mindfulness at any moment and it’s better for you than those minutes your spend mindlessly scrolling social media. Carrasquillo “encourages clients to practice mindful eating, where they focus on the smell, taste, sight, and touch of their food to fully experience their meal.” The trick to mindfulness is to fully immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing, whether that’s taking a walk or spending time with loved ones. Focus on being present and experience all the joyous feelings that emerge.
Ask for help
Know that you don’t have to be responsible for every aspect of life and every person that you love. If you struggle with putting your wellbeing and joy ahead of someone or something else, ask for help. “It’s okay to ask for support from friends, family, coworkers, or your partner,” Perez advises, “just because we feel like we can do it all, does not mean that we have to actually do it all.”
Release anger and hurt
In order to experience joy, we must learn to release any anger, hurt, or pain. To do so, Carrasquillo recommends creating a safe space for your feelings, and knowing that it’s okay to feel whatever emotions come to the surface. “Letting go looks different for everyone,” Carrasquillo adds, “crying is a form of release as is journaling.” Journaling can be especially transformative as it allows you to track and process your emotions.
Add special items to your living space
Whenever I am feeling especially stressed, I run to my local grocery store and purchase a bouquet of flowers. Waking up to the sight of blooming peonies makes my day. If flowers aren’t your thing, Carrasquillo suggests “organizing your desk with fun pens and accessories to create pockets of happiness and peace throughout your day.” Bring whatever makes you smile into your surroundings.
Listen to your body
One of the best ways to improve your wellbeing and find joy is to listen to your body. Do a self-check regularly, asking yourself how an experience, a person, or an interaction makes you feel. Set a few alarms throughout the day to remind yourself to check in. “Our body speaks,” says Carrasquillo, “and our emotional health can manifest in physical ways such as unexplained pain, digestive issues, and sore or tender muscles.” When you keep an eye out on how you feel and how it manifests physically, you’ll shift from making life choices that fill others to choices that bring you joy and inner peace.