With the recent introduction of a whole lot of brand-new worries it’s never been more important to take a step back and make sure you’re taking care of you. If you’re the type of person who looks after everyone else and forgets about your own needs then this checklist is for you! Our bodies and minds need to be healthy and happy and ready for whatever the world throws at us next. Read on to see how you can update your self-care routine:
Say ‘No’ to Extra Responsibility:
There are things you are responsible for and then there are things that you really don’t have to be responsible for. These things include being a member of the school board, coach of your child’s sports team, your mother in law’s gardener etc. If you have time to do these things and get pleasure out of it, by all means, volunteer away. But if you feel you need to – just say ‘no’.
Read a Book:
A book is a great way to relax and enjoy some ‘me time’ while also taking a break from those screens! Get swept away from the real world to absolutely anywhere you feel like. Alternatively, you could brush up on your facts or learn something new with a non-fiction read.
Express your Feelings to Someone:
Talking about your feelings is super important for many reasons. Whether you are communicating to your boss about an issue at work or just unloading to a friend. Talking about your problems reduce communication breakdowns and misunderstandings and of course it’s also a great way to put your worries into perspective. Quietly overthinking them can make them seem bigger than they really are!
Congratulate Yourself on Your Achievements:
Have you done something well? It doesn’t have to be big - reward the small achievements too. Don’t be modest, look in the mirror and make sure you know how awesome you are. You’ll be more likely to want to keep those small achievements building up!
Have a Bath:
The first thing you might think of when someone says ‘self-care’ is probably a luxurious soak in a bath. Nothing is quite as relaxing as some un-interrupted bath time. Make it a time for healing too and add a thyme infusion to stop any colds in their tracks.
Have a Good Night’s Sleep:
If you can only do one thing on this list then make this it. A proper sleep is super important for your body as well as being vital for your mental health. Stress hormone levels are directly related to the quality of your sleep. The well-rested version of yourself is calm, full of energy and is ready for anything.
Do your Skin Routine:
Turn your skincare into a selfcare ritual. Make it something luxurious that you enjoy, and the mind, body and beauty benefits will follow. Create a ritual of practicing physical selfcare and take the time to truly focus on yourself.
Let’s debunk something here – self-care does not mean “treating yourself” at every given opportunity - ordering pizza multiple nights a week or sneaking back into the kitchen for another slice of cake will not make you happy in the long-run. Eating three nutritious meals a day will have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels. And yes, you still deserve a treat every now and then, but moderate yourself. Eat well for most of the week, relish the lightness and the energy you feel and then you can truly tell yourself you deserve that treat at the end of the week.
Exercise is one of life’s best mood regulators!! Don’t give yourself too much time to back out. Just go out and do it and then feel and look great afterwards. It’s as simple as that.
Let your hair down and forget about your worries for a moment. Just like exercising, dancing is a huge mood booster. Join a class, clear yourself some room in your lounge, or just do it in the kitchen while you cook. You won’t be able to help feeling happier.
Catch up with a Friend:
No, using social media to check what your friend is up doesn’t count – try calling them instead. Or better yet, organise to meet them face to face. When we’re short on time, social meet-ups are often the first thing that falls by the wayside. However, spending time with a friend or talking to them on the phone will always be a great way to cheer yourself up.
Practice a Hobby:
Remember those things you used to enjoy doing but now can’t seem to find the time for? Clear an afternoon once a week and just do it. Whether it’s painting, gardening or knitting it doesn’t matter. Doing something creative that you enjoy is a perfect way to relax and you’ll have something to show for it afterwards.
Spend Quality Time with a Loved One:
Putting time aside to spend with the people you love is a no-brainer. Make sure that it really is quality time though - put those phones away.
Go on a Device Detox:
Being completely surrounded by screens is a way of life whether we like it or not. But did you know that our devices are changing the way our brains work? The constant stimuli from our devices and the omnipresence of social media are giving our brains an overdose of dopamine (our brain’s reward chemical). We get so much dopamine from our tech that going to the effort of getting it the old-fashioned way i.e. exercising, face to face social interactions and even bedroom activities may start to feel like too much work in comparison. Putting yourself on a device detox is going to help your brain remember the pleasure it gets from the healthy, everyday things like going for a walk or learning something new.
Spend Time Outside:
It can be hard to get that time outdoors during the winter but going outside is amazingly beneficial. Benefits include: a boost in energy, reduced stress levels, an immune system boost, an increase in your creativity, improved focus and of course that vitamin D.
Cuddle your Pet:
The presence of pets has been scientifically proven to make us happier. Go cuddle that furry friend and feel the immediate benefits.
How many of the activities above do you incorporate into your daily life? Try adding them in one by one and start feeling the difference.