As adults we are hardwired to prioritise our work and being busy over health and wellness. We are expected to present our best self day in and day out, without cracking under the pressure of an increasingly bustling world.
Taking care of your body and mind is the most basic principle when it comes to having a self-care routine, but what does it all mean? What does it mean to meet your own needs on a regular basis? Is it really that important?
The mental image we all get when thinking about self-care is a day filled with pampering, namely spa days or a quick trip to the mall for some retail therapy. Those are well and good but taking good care of yourself goes way beyond that.
Self-love involves a holistic approach and mindset towards wellness, blending physical health and mental strength together. Whether you are experiencing good days or tough times, being mindful and looking after yourself is important.
If you are among those people who feel like their days zip by in a droning routine then you might be on the verge of experiencing burnout and that is never a good thing.
Luckily, we prepared these simple and realistic self-care tips to get you started or back to your own path towards the best version of you. Read on!
Don't overindulge on social media
We are so consumed with social media these days that it’s rare for young people to NOT be on at least one platform! To put it in numbers, 71% of Australian are active on social media for a minimum of an hour and 47 minutes a day.
Instead of being on your favourite social network site for over an hour a day, take the time away from your phone to do things to fill your cup and feel more relaxed. This could be reading a good book, exploring parts of your city that you've always wanted to visit or try to take in some nature.
Checking off things on your to-do list
As adults, our days are filled with tasks and chores in need of our attention and most times, we get drained after two or three finished ones. At times, it even gets overwhelming and you get the feeling that you aren't getting enough work done.
In order to improve your morale and mental health, make it a habit to tick things off your to-do list regardless of how simple or significant a finished task is. Not only does it keep you updated but also you get that sense of accomplishment. This is also part of self-care because by completing some tasks, you can allow yourself to relax and take breaks with less stress.
Give morning exercises a go
People wake up differently and the way we start our day normally dictates how the rest of our day can pan out, from energy levels to different activities. Therefore, establishing a morning routine with a bit of exercise could be a great way to look after your physical and mental health.
For starters, physical activity in the mornings, even for a few minutes, loosens tight muscles and gives you an adrenaline boost to conquer your day. It doesn’t have to be anything intense; maybe incorporate a walk or some yoga to get your body moving. Getting it done in the morning also means you don’t need to worry about it for the rest of the day!
Get as much quality sleep as you can
Along with establishing a morning routine, setting up a regular sleep schedule is a must. With the world's ever increasing pace, a 24/7 economy growing, and interactions at a click of a button, sleep is important now more than ever.
However, not all sleeps are the same. What you must aim for is the kind where both your brain and body are well-rested. To achieve that, it is advisable that you set a schedule of going to bed at the same time every night and stick to it so that it can be a habit.
Hot tip: if you are struggling with your sleep and waking up in pain, maybe it’s time to invest in a new mattress. Meet the Ecosa Mattress and get ready for your perfect night's sleep.
Remember, it's not the amount of hours you spend dozing off, but the quality of your sleep which dictates if you have the energy to last the entire day.
Self-love involves saying no
Humans are social creatures and as such, we need the presence and interaction with other people such as friends or loved ones. It is only normal that to socialise we agree to do things or to plans in order to feel that we belong.
However, self-care also means that if you're tired or you have plans to relax by yourself, saying not to invitations on the occasion is okay. While it is necessary that we mingle with other people, spending time with yourself is not so bad.
We feel the need to fill our social calendars and be on the go all the time, saying yes to everything. Saying “no” when you need a day to yourself should be celebrated, especially in these trying times.
Maintain a nutritious diet
Along with movement, eating healthy and abstaining from overindulgent food is synonymous with taking better care of yourself. Aside from the obvious health reasons, a good diet allows you to create a sense of discipline.
When you’re feeling down and looking for that extra bit of self-care, you might want to head straight for the “soul food”. Eating less nutritious foods can sometimes make you feel worse, so opting for a healthy, balanced and tasty meal will help you feel better physically and mentally.
There is a common misconception that eating healthy is an expensive lifestyle choice as we rarely see veggies on fast-food menus. That is far from the truth. There are establishments that offer fresh produce at farm prices along with other ingredients.
Do your immune system and yourself a favour and instil a sense of mindfulness when it comes to the things you eat.
Time to spruce it up
There's a reason that most people believe that first impressions last. Everyday we meet strangers and forge connections that may be lasting or shallow, defined by how these people perceive us.
While it is true that we dress up so that people would notice, it is also good for our self esteem. Find an outfit that you feel confident in, or style your hair or beard even if you’re not going anywhere. It’s crazy how much these small actions can impact our self worth esteem.
Create your own self-care checklist
While these tips and ideas may provide you with a rough look at what realistic self-care may look like, you may still have a different view. And that's fine. Self-care, as the word implies, is deeply personal.
What might work for others won't for you and vice versa. However, try out these self-care ideas and see if it sticks. There's no harm in trying and always remember to love and be yourself.