Self-Care Tips You Should Be Practicing Regularly
December 1, 2021
Let’s face it – life is busy. There are days where you barely get a chance to stop and think let alone take time for yourself. However, everyone should make time to practice self-care to revitalise themselves for the day ahead. If you’re not practising these self-care tips regularly, there’s no time like the present to start!
Self-care doesn’t need to be anything too expensive or full-on like treating yourself to a full spa day (but by all means, feel free to!). It can be smaller things that make you happy and reset your body and mind.
While self-care is something that makes you feel good, not all activities that make you feel good are classified as self-care. Finding a balance between what is and isn’t self-care behaviour can feel tricky, However, by simply asking yourself, “is this benefiting my health in the long run?” If the answer’s yes, keep those activities going! If the answer is no, you may have to readdress this and how it’s impacting your health. An example of something that may make you feel good in the short term, but bad in the long run is smoking a cigarette. While many smokers often feel good after having a cigarette, there are no positive long-term health benefits. Another way we can be tricked into thinking things are self-care is through things that are good for us, such as running. However, if you don’t enjoy running, this isn’t classified as self-care.
If you’re looking to introduce some more positive behaviours into your routine, here are our self-care tips.
Drinking enough water So many of us don’t drink enough water throughout the day (nope, coffee doesn’t count as water!). Drinking water – especially first thing in the morning when you wake up a little dehydrated – is a great way to look after your body. On average, men should drink 3.7 litres of water and women 2.7 litres to keep their bodies functioning. This may vary based on external factors such as how hot the day is, or if you’ve been exercising. Drinking water first thing in the morning also helps you to start the day off on a positive note.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet Planning and preparing your meals for the week not only is a huge time saver, but it also allows you to choose what you’re having every day. Eating a balanced diet means you’re fuelling your body with all the right ingredients to make it through the day. By creating a meal plan, you also eliminate room to spontaneously pick up takeaway or other unhealthy alternatives when you need a quick meal.
Write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day We know, not every day can be the best day ever, but there are good things to find every day. By making it part of your daily routine to practice gratitude, you’ll begin to find new things to be grateful for. These things you’re thankful for don’t have to be anything big – it can be a list of smaller things. No matter how bad your day is, we all have something to be grateful for—a home, a car, vision, two legs, etc.
Move your body every day Whether it’s going for a walk at lunchtime, or doing a full-blown workout at the gym, moving your body in some form every day is important to lead a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be something you don’t enjoy – there are so many ways to move your body which means you can try out a few until you find the one that suits you. This could be anything from team sports, dancing, self-defence lessons, aerobics – the list is endless! No matter what it is, exercise releases endorphins (feel-good hormones), sharpens focus and aids sleep. Find something that works for you and make it part of your self-care routine.
Get enough sleep We all love to sleep, but are you getting enough of it? Research shows that adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep is vital for allowing your body to recharge and shut off from the previous day, as well as prepare for the day ahead. Sleep is a great form of self-care as it reduces stress, improves your mood, lowers your risk for serious health problems, allows you to focus more clearly and much more.
Sit up straight How many times did your mother tell you when you were younger to stand up straight? Turns out she was right! If you work at a desk job, chances are your posture isn’t the best. Many of us have hunched shoulders or sit slouched. Good posture is crucial to overall body care. You can practice good posture daily by sitting up straight, placing your hands on your thighs and squeezing your shoulder blades together for 5 seconds 3-4 times a day. This form of self-care will take a little bit of time but can improve overall posture.
Have a screen-free hour every day In today’s world, we’re all glued to our screens. A lot of us sit in front of a screen all day at work before going home and spending the evening scrolling through Instagram. Spending too much time staring at our screen isn’t good for our health and can cause issues such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. Schedule an hour each day to turn off all screens (this includes your phone, tablet, TV, and anything else electronic with a screen!) and take some time for yourself. This will give you the chance to reset and take a break from the blue light your phone emits. Try and do something that gives you joy such as reading a book, painting, or meditating where you don’t have to look at a screen. Block out this hour every day and make sure you stick to it!
Set boundaries After COVID as things started to go back to normal, everyone began making plans to meet up with friends. However, a lot of us felt overwhelmed or even burnt out in the transition from lockdown to being let out. While you may feel an obligation to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen for a long time, it’s important to set boundaries and go at your own pace. If you don’t feel quite ready to go out just yet, that’s more than ok. Tell people no when you need to and don’t feel guilty. Everyone has been affected differently over these past couple of years, so you should never have to apologise or explain yourself. Setting boundaries is a great way of self-care, as you should never be made to do something you don’t want to do.
Get silly! When was the last time you had a good, long belly laugh? Not just a normal laugh but a laugh where your stomach hurts and you have tears streaming down your face? It sounds a bit strange to schedule in time to be silly but letting loose and having a laugh can do wonders for your mood. Is there a TV show that makes you laugh every time you watch it? Do your kids or fur-kids do something that makes you laugh uncontrollably? What about a fun games’ night with your partner? At the end of a long workday, so many of us just plonk ourselves down on the couch and don’t move until it’s time for bed. Take a little time to unwind and do something that makes you feel like a kid again. Play in any form can cause a cascade of positive neurochemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Sign us up!
Positive self-talk One thing we don’t do enough of is positive self-talk. It feels like an odd thing to do but can change how you view and talk to yourself. Practice speaking in a positive voice to yourself. Whether it’s congratulating yourself on something you achieved that day, hyping yourself up for the day ahead, or even telling yourself in the mirror that you look great today! It might feel weird at first, but your brain will soak up that self-care goodness, and research suggests it can help begin to turn your thoughts and feelings in a happier direction.
Practice deep breathing Deep breathing gives you the chance to slow down. It’s a great stress reliever – especially in periods of heightened awareness. Deep breathing (or diaphragm breathing) encourages you to breathe much more deeply than normal while controlling your breath. There are so many benefits to it with the main one being it eases stress. Practising this a few times a day can do wonders for your health. You can learn more about deep breathing and how to do it here.
Self-care is much more than taking a bath or having a spa treatment. Everyone should be undertaking some form of self-care every day, whether it’s by drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, or simply moving your body. We hope these self-care tips have given you some inspiration on how you can look after yourself through different techniques. If your favourite form of self-care is shopping, you can head into one of our Fashion Biz Canada distributors today.