Life itself can be full of stress, and this is certainly a time when many of us are facing even more of it than usual. Real estate is a tough industry to be in right now with all of the negative media coverage, and I'm sure many of you are surrounded by colleagues and well-meaning friends and family who just echo that negativity. Man of us are concerned about the economy in general, the political situation, and all of the other stresses of everyday living. With all of that going on, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and tired all of the time. The best remedy I've found for all of this is to make a conscious decision to take care of yourself. Decide that you will make the time to focus on your own growth as a person, and to set aside time each day for things that make you happy, calm, and centered. If you don't know where to start, here are a few suggestions on things you can do to improve different areas of your life:
Physical - This is the basis for everything. A healthy body supports the mind, spirit, and emotions.
- Get plenty of sleep each night, and give yourself breaks during the day to rest when you are physically or mentally tired.
- Eat healthy. Rely on frush fruits and vegetables and lean meats, rather than convenience foods. Give yourself time to eat slowly and savor your meals.
- Drink plenty of water each day, this will help you stay alert and improve your overall health and appearance.
- Exercise. Walking and jogging are great and can be done anywhere with minimal equipment. Yoga, Tai-Chi, and Pilates are also good, as they combine relaxation and breathing techniques with movement, and can be done by others who may not be able to tolerate more strenuous exercises.
- Breathe. Take full, deep breaths to be sure your body gets all the oxygen it need to function.
- Look your best. The better you feel about your appearance, the better you will feel and the more confidence you will have.
- Pamper yourself. A pedicures, facial, spa treatment, or just a long bubble bath will refresh your body and help you relax.
Mental - The mind is a great resource, make sure you are nourishing and tapping into all of its potential.
- Never stop learning. Listen to or read at least one good book a week, include some biographies of people you admire.
- Exercise your brain. Try some of the "brain power" games and out now, or try crosswords, sudoku, and similar games to keep yourself sharp.
- Develop "coomon sense". Learn from experience, and trust yourself to make your own decisions based on knowledge and experience.
- "Program" your mind. Repeat your daily affirmations each morning until the become unconscious thoughts. Practice sales scripts & dialogues. Read books on positive thinking, self development, or sales training, and apply what they teach about setting goals and controlling your mind.
- Keep track of the thoughts you entertain. If they are negative or counterproductive, stop yourself and change them into positives.
- Focus on what you want. Set goals and then work toward them. Think as if it's impossible not to reach them.
Emotional - Choosing your attitude and emotional outlook can have a powerful effect on your life as a whole.
- Make yourself happy. Take time out for simple pleasures, and slow down long enough to enjoy them.
- Make others happy. If someone in your life is down, share the joy by helping them if you can.
- Surround yourself with positive people and activities. Like attracts like, so try to be around those who are positive and uplifting.
- Don't let others control your emotions. Circumstances are sometimes beyond our control, but how we respond to them is not.
- Find a constructive way to vent. We all need a way to let go of negative emotions, so find one that will let you express them, but will not cause hurt to you or other people.
Spiritual - We all need a time to reflect and touch base with something, be it ourselves, nature, or a higher power.
- Be thankful. Each day when you go to bed, or even better, when you wake up, reflect on and be grateful for the good things in your life.
- Find a sanctuary. Find a place where you are in awe and wonder & visit it often - this can be a church, an inspiring natural or man-made place.
- Commune. Focus your thoughts on a place/plane outside the mundane world, whether through prayer, medidation, or ritual.
- Acknowledge your spiritual self. Recognize that you need more than just the basics of survival in order to thrive, and commit to nourish yourself.
So many of us are committed to other people and things in our life, but not to ourselves. We go to all sorts of lengths to further our careers, nurture our families, help our friends, and support various causes and groups, but we would never think of giving that same devotion to ourselves. Start taking at least half an hour each day to focus on personal growth or relaxation. Do something that makes you feel happy, peaceful, or indulgent. I promise, you're worth it, and when you take care of yourself you'll have more focus and energy to devote to the other people and things that you care about as well.