A little self-care can go a long way toward improving your attitude. Adjusting your attitude can easily make a bad day turn into a great day. As Dennis Mannering says in the title of his book on motivational theory, Attitudes Are Contagious: Are Yours Worth Catching? It’s best to do everything you need to do to keep a positive attitude. That way when you are around your friends, family, and coworkers you are not changing their attitudes for the worse.
There are habits you can add to your daily life to improve your attitude, let’s look at a few.
• Get Enough Sleep – Set your alarm to go off about an hour before you need to get into bed. Turn off all electronics, turn down the lights. Fix your central air to make the room cooler, about 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If it helps you to calm down, get into bed with a good book. Getting a full night’s sleep is vital to waking up in a good mood. You will feel energetic and much more willing to start out your day without resentment.
• Eat Healthy and Exercise – Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.2 Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Also eating what is healthy for you, at most meals and before exercising, will keep you from having blood pressure dips, which can tank your mood quickly.
• Stay Hydrated – Dehydration is responsible for headaches, dry skin, fatigue, and dizziness. These symptoms can cause your attitude to change for the worse fairly quickly. The standard rule of thumb is to drink either half your body weight in ounces in water, or try to drink 8 glasses or 64 ounces of water per day. Don’t forget that eating raw veggies and fruit is also hydrating.
• Take Your Breaks — Don’t pass on those ten-minute work breaks. Use this time to relax and focus on something that makes you laugh or step outside your office and breathe. If you work for yourself, schedule in 10 to 15-minute breaks at least every four hours.
• Ask for Help – Asking for help can be challenging for some people (me included), but you should never be afraid to make a request. As my husband loves to say, “The answer is always no until you ask.” Appeal to your friends and family to assist you every now and then to relieve some pressure off everyday tasks. More than likely they will be happy to help. If you are finding it hard to take care of yourself don’t be afraid to consult a professional. Taking care of your mental health is an important part of self-care.
• Learn to Say No – If you are overwhelmed, too busy, or just don’t want to do something, saying no is perfectly fine. Give yourself permission to say no. Taking on too much work or doing things you don’t want to do leads to poor quality work and unhappy people. Don’t do that to yourself.
• Decompress – Take time out each day to relax. Get away from people, meditate, get some coffee or a cup of tea. Your time to decompress is important to a good attitude.
Feel free to adjust these ideas to your own individual needs. Remember to keep it simple. Take comfort in knowing that you can take care of yourself, get away, and practice self-care without guilt. It’s your right!