“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Right on the tail of Christmas is the new year, off we go on to another season, and before we know it, it’s February. It just never ends. Why is it so important to prioritize rest and self-care. And how can we even make it possible when life just keeps moving? When we find rest, we’re better able to be present and enjoy whatever season you’re in.

So how do we find rest and stay connected during busy and weary seasons? Here are a few tips.

Use Mindful Planning. Instead of trying to do everything, say yes to what brings you joy and restoration. Maybe it’s a cozy evening by the fireplace, a leisurely walk in nature, or indulging in your favorite book. That “you” time will help you restore energy to be present during the more difficult, energy depleting responsibilities.

Re-establish Healthy Boundaries. Establishing boundaries is important in every relationship, and that’s especially true when we’re spending extra time with family, friends and coworkers. Perhaps say no to events where you’ll feel uncomfortable, or where toxic energy abounds. Give yourself permission to skip dinner with family if it spares you an evening of negative energy.

Keep Realistic Expectations. The fact is we can’t be everything to all people and we can’t do everything perfectly. Set realistic goals for yourself, admit that not everything needs to be flawless, and this will help reduce unnecessary stress and create space for much needed rest.

Practice Gratitude. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the shortcomings in life and all the ways we’re missing out. The more attention we devote to recognizing our blessings and expressing gratitude, the less time we’ll spend becoming stressed, wishing for more, and striving for that next thing that “has” to get done. How about each night before bed, listing, or even writing three best parts of the day? It ends the day with what IS working, rather than keeps us up worrying about what might not be.

Learn Mindfulness. Knowing how to use deep breathing, yoga, or meditation can help relax and center ourselves when we have busy or difficult seasons. Can’t seem to find a few moments alone? Excuse yourself and head to the bathroom for a few quiet moments, if you need to!

Freely Delegate. There’s no reason you should have to do everything alone. Delegate tasks and responsibilities to share the load. Asking for help is one of the best ways we can care for ourselves, especially during busy and challenging times.

Get Sleep. We say it often. Sleep is the bedrock for balanced mental health. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to ensure our bodies and minds get the rest we need. When we sleep well, our moods are more stable, we have increased resilience to stress, and our overall well-being is better.

Say No. Overcommitting to social events or additional responsibilities can drain our energy. Politely declining invitations or requests when we feel overwhelmed is a vital part of self-care. Remember: “No” is a complete sentence, and just because the person receiving the no isn’t happy about the no doesn’t mean we should have said yes. (Read that again…)

Need help with self-care? A great way to start is to sit down with one of our counselors. We can provide strategies and perspectives that will help you manage (and maybe release) burdens and find more joy. Why not set a time to talk with us today?

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