The importance of incorporating a self-care routine into your daily schedule has never been more talked about than in the last couple of years. With all of the challenges, the recent crisis has brought to our lives, creating a self-care routine checklist and scheduling this in your planner is a must.
As with every practice, the benefit of a self-care routine will be felt gradually, over time. Improved mental and physical health, a better work/life balance and an overall feel-good factor are just a few of the positives that come out of this enriching practice.
Well, what is self-care you might ask? To put it simply, it is taking simple steps to a happier and healthier you! Essentially self-care covers a wide range of activities from your favourite pampering routine, to taking a walk in nature or engaging in your favourite hobby.
As the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, meaning that to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves. Easier said than done, I know.
Here I have listed some of the top self-care tips to get you started on your self-care journey. Best of all, most of these steps are easily achievable and can be done from anywhere, with no travel to and from the spa, or gym memberships.
The first and most simple tip is in fact one of the most powerful. When we are tense or anxious our breathing pattern changes, becoming more rapid, increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. Create a sense of calm by using the simple technique of ‘Box Breathing’. Inhale deeply through your nose to the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, exhale slowly to the count of 4 and again hold for the count of 4. Repeat until you feel centered and calm. If you want to delve deeper, Breathwork is a fascinating subject and so beneficial to your overall well-being.
Practice random acts of kindness every day. It could be a nice genuine comment, offering a helping hand or even volunteering some of your time to a good cause close to your heart. There is nothing better than knowing you helped brighten someone’s day!
Cook a Nourishing Meal
Nothing beats preparing a healthy meal from scratch. Be mindful about the ingredients you choose. Experiment with exciting recipes from different parts of the world. Take time to prepare and enjoy a delicious plate of goodness. The extra effort will be worth it!
Enjoy The Fresh Air
Spending time outdoors first thing in the morning is the best wake up call. Enjoy your morning coffee watching the day unfold. Go for a walk in whatever nature surrounds you. Take your lunch outside or why not go for a scrumptious picnic somewhere nice.
Find a Hobby
Having a hobby has so many benefits to our well-being, not only does it keep you mentally and physically active it can also be a great social outlet. For any type of hobbies whether it’s cooking, gardening or writing, there are groups you can join online and off. Meeting and engaging with people that share your passion is fun and a great way to add value to your life.
Take a Pampering Shower
Getting ready for the day is usually a race against time for most of us. But what if you set your alarm to 30 minutes earlier to spend that extra time enjoying a full pampering session? Start with a mini facial, hair mask and an invigorating shower or bath, and finish off with your favorite body lotion and fake tan for that all important glow.
Similar to breathe meditation is another of the most powerful steps in any self-care routine. Meditation is known to increase self-awareness, aid in managing stress, reduce negative emotions, improve sleep and strengthen the immune. If you are new to meditation try a 5 minute meditation first thing in the morning and build up from there. The benefits are almost immediate. You will find yourself feeling calmer and more focused throughout the day.
Go Phone Free
Limiting your screen time and just being in the present moment has a number of benefits. Less anxiety, no FOMO (fear of missing out) leading to a more positive outlook in the long run. Luckily there are a number of apps namely Instagram, where you can manage your time and set a daily limit to usage. Carving out a set time to check your emails and social media is also a good idea. Be conscious of how you spend your time online and dedicate this time to other activities that truly enhance your life.