Given the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and how it has affected our everyday lives, most people, myself included, will feel extreme stress or exhaustion from time to time. With this in mind, I have put together these tips to help you reach your self-care goals one day at a time. In the last year, I have had to really figure out how to stay healthy. Physically and mentally. Striving to find a balance in being a mom, home schooling and working full time. Oh yes, before I forget, taking care of myself too.
This is the part a lot of us forget. Often putting others before us. It’s okay to take a couple of minutes or hours a day to check in on yourself. Reconnect with your emotions and make decisions that improves your general wellbeing. Self care isn’t selfish. Self care is reminding yourself that you’re important too. Practise these self-care tips to de-stress, identify when you’re running low and replenish your resources.
There isn’t a one-size-fit-all self care tip or routine available out there. However, with time, you’ll find what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine.
1. Make Time
One of the most important daily self-care tips I can give is that you schedule some time in your day to focus on yourself and make yourself a priority. Making time for yourself in the midst of the daily chaos life brings isn’t selfish, it’s essential. It comes from a place of loving yourself enough to understand that you deserve to put your needs and wants first.
Be intentional with what you choose to do with your me-time. Use this time to do whatever will help reduce your stress levels. As long as it takes your mind off everything that isn’t of any benefit to your general wellbeing. Me-time doesn’t mean being alone, you can spend this time with others doing what you enjoy. Or, spent distancing yourself from anything or anyone that adds to your stress. Taking the time to refuel and replenish your resources is the first step in self-care.
2. Tune in
During this time you’ve set aside for yourself, remember to tune in with your emotions. Moments of introspection throughout the day will improve self awareness and help you identify your needs.
Get intimate and comfortable with yourself. Be present in the moment and acknowledge how you feel. The emotions you’re feeling, why you feel a certain way and how it can be helped. Keep a journal to write down your thoughts, reach out to friends and family for support, or consider talking to a licensed professional. This will go a long way in releasing anxiety and managing overwhelming emotions .
Most of the time we’re running around on auto-pilot, nurturing others and focusing on getting through our day that we are no longer self aware. I have found that mindful meditation has been beneficial in helping to relax my mind and re-connect with the present. You try try it yourself by downloading the Headspace App: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app.
Be invested in yourself.
Invest in what brings you joy. Have some structure and routine in your day that suits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your goals. Set achievable goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that following a routine takes time and requires some discipline. Focus on doing what makes you truly happy and takes the stress away.
Find hobbies that you enjoy and can fit into your self-care routine. Arts and Crafts, gardening, dancing, gaming or simply trying out new recipes. Cycling in the country park near my home has helped improve my mental wellbeing and I’ve since invested in a good bike.
Make healthy choices. Eat healthy meals and consider incorporating some exercise into your daily routine. Exercise is known to increase energy levels and improve mood. It is also a way to show love to, and care for your body amongst several other benefits. Go for a walk to get some fresh air, try a new fitness program or a workout you’ve never done before.
4. Positive affirmations
Affirmations are positive and clear definitive statements that you say to yourself daily and repeatedly, to build self confidence and change your mindset for the better. In simpler terms, positive affirmations is positive self -talk. Speaking to your self in the present tense as if the statement is already happening.
I am worthy.
I choose to be happy and love myself today.
My self care is a priority to me.
I deserve time to recharge.
Acknowledge your self worth, celebrate your successes and remind yourself daily that you deserve to be put first. This will go a long way in maintaining a positive mindset which is paramount to functioning at your full potential.
My list of self-care tips isn’t complete without a good rest. Prioritizing good sleep is self love. Sleep is an essential part of life, and giving your body time to relax and recharge does good to the body, mind and soul. To avoid sleep disruptions, remove any distractions around you an hour before bedtime. For me, this would be my phone and gadgets. Oftentimes, I find myself scrolling endlessly through social media in bed for hours when I should be asleep. Make an effort to disconnect from social media and silent all notifications so you can get some well deserved uninterrupted rest.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything”