Let's be real here: life gets really hard and really busy.
No matter who you are or where you're at in life, life can be really tough sometimes. If you don't take a step back and give yourself time to breathe, you will simply burn out. No one performs at their best when they're rushing around, or they haven't done anything for themselves in ages.
After a slightly crazy start to summer, I went to my family's cabin up in the mountains with most of my family.
When you're up there, away from people, schedules, technology and your overall fast-paced life, you are able to kind of re-calibrate your priorities and your mental health.
I just enjoyed the little things in life for that time.
It sounds a little cheesy, but it's really wonderful to do when you're just feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. Here's a list of some of those little things that anyone can appreciate:
Family can be just what you need when you're feeling drained. They know you better than almost anyone else, and they have seen you at your worst. Your parents have the experience and wisdom to help you get through an awful day.
Your siblings have probably been through a similar experience, and know how it feels to have an awful day and what to do to get you through it. Any relative can be a comfort in busy times because they are willing to sit down and use their knowledge of you and what you need to de-stress.
2. The smell after a rainstorm.
This is a personal choice of mine, but any kind of smell can help you de-stress. Just sitting there and breathing it in helps us to take a second and remember to actually appreciate whatever the smell is.
I personally love the smell after a storm because it is so fresh - like the whole world has been cleansed. When we are stressed, anxiety about our busy lives can actually make us feel like we're having trouble breathing. Don't forget to breathe, and enjoy your favorite scents.
3. A good talk with a friend.
You know the kind of talk I mean. The best ones, where you are left feeling energized and you wish it could have gone on longer. The ones where you just feel like you both click on every level. The ones that you look back on and smile about.
Talking deeply about life or even just venting for a while about your busy schedule can be almost like you are detoxing the stress. When you both are able to do that, you are mutually understood by each other, and you also remember that you're not alone in your busy, crazy life.
4. A compliment.
Real, sincere compliments are so wonderful. You know that they come from a place of genuine admiration for you, even if it's just something like, "I love your shirt!" When life is busy, it's easy to brush it off, quickly say "thanks," and continue on your way.
But, when you take the time to appreciate the comment and the person who made it, it is a little break in the craziness, and a reminder that people really admire you for everything you're doing.
5. A beautiful sunset.
Sunsets are the natural decoration of the world. They are strikingly beautiful almost every single night, and also different every single night. Pause every once in a while, take in that natural beauty, stop thinking about the email that you have to send and just appreciate the lovely world we live in.
There is a sense of satisfaction whenever you do that. It helps us to see all of our various tasks in perspective. Work and school are important, but living in the moment is as well.
This one is hard because exercise can sometimes be painful! You can do a tough workout or pull a muscle and wonder why you even worked out in the first place. It has been scientifically proven, however, that exercise boosts chemicals in our body that lessen stress and are responsible for happiness.
When you work out, even if it's just a quick jog between tasks, there are numerous benefits. After a workout, you will feel strong, happy and less stressed. I always feel restless when I haven't exercised in a while, and there's a reason for that.
For mental, physical and emotional benefits, there is nothing like good exercise.
7. A job well done.
Finally, when life gets really busy and you hardly have any time for a break, appreciate yourself and your own hard work. The fact that you're doing what you're doing, that you're able to do it and you're doing it well, is something to be grateful for and be proud of.
Don't forget to appreciate yourself during your busy life.