Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Do you allow enough time for self-care?
Self-care: Looking After Your Physical & Mental Health
Do you allow enough time for self-care? When did you last stop to reflect on whether you’re looking after your physical and mental health? Despite these challenging times, are you living your best life? Sometimes, simply slowing down and making time for ourselves gives us a fresh perspective on the world around us. It also helps us to enjoy our chosen lifestyle.
So, we thought we’d share some self-care tips to help you stay well and make the most of your time:
How to start your day
Wake up those brain cells by feeding some extra oxygen into your grey matter – start with some deep breaths. Aim for 5 mins and follow this with a further 5 mins of body stretches. Why not listen to your favourite song at the same time? When you’re done, make a list of three achievable things you need to get done that day. Tick these off as you go along to give you a sense of reward and satisfaction.
Whether it’s daily or 3 times a week, try to include some early-morning meditation time before your day runs away with itself. Either lie on the bed, floor (use a yoga mat) or find a comfy chair to sit in. Meditation has been shown to help manage stress. You could also practise being mindful. Mindfulness is about being in the present moment. Why not take your morning cuppa outside and listen to the birds sing?
Healthy eating & exercise
It’s lunchtime, but instead of just grabbing a sandwich, eating at your desk, and then continuing to work, stop for 15 minutes. Go for a walk in the fresh air, even if it’s only around the block. If you practise getting up just 15 mins earlier, you may be able to fit in a 10 min yoga or a HIIT routine each day. Or research a sporting activity you can do in the evenings (when more normal times resume!), so you can enjoy some social time, too. Humans need other humans!
How healthy are your meals? Aim for a balanced diet with plenty of protein and less processed foods, sugar and starchy carbs. Add a few plant-based meals into the mix. Try cooking a new meal idea a couple of times a week, and batch cook so you have your very own pre-cooked meals on hand in your freezer whenever you need them.
Stay hydrated. Your water intake plays a vital part in keeping your body and mind working properly. Water helps your brain and organs to function, and it lubricates your joints, too. Drink a glass of water after every cup of coffee, as caffeine can dehydrate you.
How to end your day
If you’ve had a challenging day, why not spend 15 mins journaling your thoughts? Find a notepad or use a paper diary; the simple act of writing stuff down can be very cathartic. Afterwards, before flopping down on your favourite sofa, why not think up a tasty new dish you can cook, which is both healthy and nutritious? Or get crafty with an artistic hobby that helps to focus your mind away from any daily pressures.
When it’s time for bed, make sure you stop using your phone or tablet at least 1 hour before sleep. ‘Blue light’ from smart phones can interrupt your sleep patterns, so switch off and read a book instead. And swapping your social media for a best-selling novel will also help you to switch off your brain from work and life stress.
So, why are we telling you all this? Because learning to look after yourself will help you to enjoy your chosen lifestyle. It’s important to make sure your mental health and physical health are always your top priority, so you can take pleasure in all aspects of your life. Staying healthy will enable you to be happy and to take joy in your home surroundings.
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