Much of our time is often taken up doing the necessary that we often forget about ourselves! Between work, looking after a family, keeping a house running, as well as any hobbies and social life, our well-being can fall through the cracks.
But it is important that we keep ourselves mentally and physically well in order to maintain such a busy existence. Self-care doesn’t have to be big life-altering changes, but little adjustments that can still make a huge difference. Don’t push through signs that your body is not happy, instead we need to recognise our needs and prioritise them.
What exactly is self-care?
Well the mental health charity Mind has self-care as ‘techniques and general lifestyle changes [that] can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse’.
With an increasing proportion of the population experiencing mental health problems, self-care could help alleviate the problem on a societal as well an individual level.
So where do I start?
Self-care is all about our physical and mental health, ensuring we are providing ourselves what we need to stay healthy!
- Check yourself
A good way to ensure you’re keeping yourself in mind is to take five minutes and check if you have any physical aches, pain or tension.
We often push through feelings of uncomfortableness because we’ve got so much to do! Sometimes we can be sat uncomfortably but haven’t noticed because our mind is elsewhere. Are you tensing muscles out of stress and worry?
If so, take some time to adjust or relax.
- How are you?
Secondly, check how you’re feeling. Stress and worry are a big influence on our physical health, so if you’re feeling stressed take some time to go for a walk, listen to some calming music, whatever helps!
Or if you’re feeling down, ask a friend to meet up, watch your favourite film, or treat yourself to some food you love. (You may want to check out Spotify’s ‘Have a Great Day!’ playlist)
- Stay hydrated.
Yes, we’ve all heard this one so many times, but drinking water is vital to the correct functioning of our bodies. Dehydration can affect us both mentally and physically!
- Be Selfish!
Do something just because you want to, or buy something just to treat yourself.
- Take regular breaks from work.
We’re all busy, all the time. But we all need a break, and we need to remember we’re humans not machines!
No work is more important than your health.
Make sure you take your full lunch break, get up from your desk regularly, go for a walk. Make sure you take time away from work
- Eat regular meals.
Often we wake up late, rush to work by 11am we realise we haven’t eaten breakfast. Then lunch is squeezed in between meetings, and we have a ready meal for tea because we’re too tired to cook.
If you don’t have time to cook, maybe look into meal prepping, where you prepare your meals for the coming days so that you can quickly have something nutritious to eat when you don’t have the time.
See the following websites for more information on food prepping!
Eating Well: Beginners Guide to Meal Prep
Culinary Nutrition: Five Essential Tips
- Sort out a little problem.
We’ve all had that problem that has been annoying us for so long, but we never get around to doing it. Well sort it, whether it be a creaking door or a scuffed shoe. Take some time to sort it and you will feel so much better afterwards!
- Yoga, exercise, stretching.
We don’t all have time to hit the gym every day, but when you have some time either go for a run, a walk, a cycle, do some yoga, or simply just stretch. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on your mental and physical well being and it doesn’t always have to be hard work!
- Watch what you eat.
We are all suckers for sugar, but moderating unhealthy foods can only help us to keep healthy and happy. A little treat is fine now and then, no one begrudges you that! But be mindful of what you are putting into your body, you need to make sure you’re fueling it with all the right stuff!
Also consider your gut, yes, your gut. Healthy guts = healthy brains. Read up on it here.
Take time away from technology and social media, be present in the moment.
- Say No.
We often feel pressured to please everyone, and be everything to everyone around us. But you need to remember that you’re one person, and you can only do so much!
Say no when you want to. If you don’t want to do something then don’t do it! This will not only help you feel more control of your life, but also help you gain confidence.
- Listen to a podcast.
There are so many great postcasts to listen to on the go, so when you’re commuting to work, or cleaning up after the kids you can put one on and do self-care on the go!
Great podcasts to listen to;
Talking in Circles
- Gratitude Journal.
Journalling is a great way to realise the great things we have in our lives and put things into perspective. Keep a journal and make a note of all the things you are grateful for, or compliments you have received or even great things that happened!
Then when you’re feeling down or stressed you can look back at your journal for a little boost in the right direction.
Please let me know if you have tried any of the above and found that they have worked, or even leave your own suggestions in the comments! I would love from you!