With our busy lives and responsibilities, self-care is something that often gets pushed down towards the bottom of our to-do lists. But that is the reason why looking after yourself is so crucial these days. Here are twelve things you can do today to be healthier and happier.
#1 Take Regular Breaks to Breathe
Taking a moment to breathe can be the difference between coping with a stressful situation and not. Take regular breaks to focus on controlled, deep breathing and learn easy breathing exercises that can help you relax or manage stressful situations.
#2 Spend Time Outside
Getting back to nature can remind us of the simple things in life and give you the time and space that you need to relax and clear your mind. Go for a walk in your lunch break, or spend a weekend in the countryside to enjoy the landscape.
#3 Keep a Gratitude Journal
At the end of each day (or every couple of hours), write down five things for which you are grateful. Focusing on the things that have gone well in a day can help you to reframe any negative feelings you might be experiencing and realise that today was a good day.
#4 Carve Out ‘Me Time’
You are important. So, however you decide to look after yourself, make sure that you give yourself the time and space to do it. A few times throughout your day, find an undisturbed space and time and promise yourself that you will use it to look after you.
#5 Practise Mindfulness
Practise mindfulness throughout your day by becoming aware of your senses and checking in with your mind and body at regular intervals. A moment of quiet reflection will help you to manage stress and make you feel in control.
#6 Get Involved in Random Acts of Kindness
Being kind can increase your production of oxytocin, or the love hormone. Quite simply, being generous can make you happier. Why not volunteer for a local charity or offer help or smile to a stranger?
#7 Talk About Your Feelings
Bottling up your feelings is never a good idea. Talk to a friend, a family member, or even a journal. Sharing your feelings can help to make sense of them, embrace the positive ones and deal with the negative ones.
#8 Sleep Well and Enough
We should be getting eight hours of sleep a night. Switch off your gadgets an hour before bed to avoid the harmful effects of blue light and enjoy a good book. Not only will it relax you, but it will help you to fall asleep naturally, making you feel well rested next day.
#9 Enjoy New Experiences
New experiences can be terrifying, exhilarating and exciting. Getting out of your comfort zone can help you to feel more alive and improve your happiness. Try and couple it with exercising and socialising by trying out a new sport with a friend.
#10 Find Yourself a Hobby
Pursuing a hobby will help you feel a sense of purpose, achievement and get you out there doing something you enjoy. Creative activities, in particular, will make you feel happier and provide a respite from the stress of life.
#11 Take a Bath
Light a few candles and shut your bathroom door, break away from it all and enjoy a soak in the bath. Use aromatic salts, essential oils or incense sticks to add to the relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom.
#12 Take a Break from Social Media
Social media is addictive, and it is hard to resist scrolling through the latest posts. What you will see is not reality; neither should you aspire for it to be yours. Take a social media detox and spend time with your friends in real life instead.
Of course, each of these suggestions won’t make much difference on its own or if completed one off. You need to build a system, a daily self-care routine that works for you to instigate real changes.
Start setting those self-care reminders now.