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Self-Care Tips for the Mind

Take care of your mind by learning a different language, notice white lies, and give yourself a break if you can’t sleep.

| December 2017

  • Don't stress out if you can't sleep, turn on the light and find something to read.
    Photo by Getty Images/Diane39
  • “Little Book of Self-Care” by Adams Media provides quick simple ways to quite the noise around you and reduce everyday stresses.
    Cover courtesy Adams Media

Self-care is an essential part of wellness. From self-massage to meditations to decluttering, The Little Book of Self-Care (Adams Media, 2017) reconnects you with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world. Adams Media provides 100 relaxation exercises to help you focus on your own personal needs in an enjoyable way. By caring for yourself, you’ll learn how to care for the world around you. The following excerpt is from the “Mind” section.

Learn a Different Language

Most of us wish we had paid more attention in our required language classes in high school. Not only is it helpful when traveling, but on your resume it can add tremendous value when you can speak more than one language. Studies show that only 5.5 percent of the world speaks English as a primary language. You can take classes online, purchase a book, or take classes at your local college. Learning a new language will not only increase your global understanding, but it will also open up new opportunities for you. There are more than 6,500 different languages spoken in the world today, so pick one and start studying. Expand your mind!

Notice Your Lies

It’s one of our first life lessons. From the moment we come up with our first little white lie, we are taught that our word is sacred. However, as the years go by, telling the truth changes from an easily understood concept to a confusing notion rife with gray areas. Many people tell little white lies, half-truths, or useful falsehoods to evade blame, deceive others, deny reality, or to feel better about themselves. A little white lie, in some instances, might be motivated by a desire to prevent someone from being hurt.

The first step in breaking a habit of lying is to notice when you’re doing it and why. Bring mindfulness to bear on the problem and you will find yourself more inclined to tell the truth. If you have lied, admit it to the person you’ve lied to. Then, take steps to change.

Chill Out If You Can’t Sleep

Don’t get all stressed out about not being able to get to sleep. An occasional night of too-few ZZZs won’t hurt you as long as you usually get enough sleep. Rather than lying in the dark, tossing and turning in frustration, turn on the light and find something to read. Get comfortable. Sip some warm milk or chamomile tea. Meditate. Steer your mind away from worries and think about pleasant things — not sleep, just pleasant things. Breathe. Even if you don’t get to sleep, at least you’ll get to relax. And you’ll probably feel drowsy soon.

However, if it becomes a pattern that keeps happening, figure out why. Maybe you’ve been working right up to the time you crawl beneath the sheets, not giving your mind enough time to transition from stress to rest. Perhaps you’ve been watching the news or a television show that riled up feelings. Once you identify what could be contributing, talk to your doctor about it.

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