For the majority of us, life is constantly busy. There is always something that needs doing, our to-do lists are forever going and our minds always seem to be whirling with this or that. It’s likely you’ve just come to acknowledge that “this is just how it is” but implementing self-care where you can is vital for your mental health and well-being.
Now hear me out. Exercise isn’t the first thing I think about when I get a spare moment either but there’s no doubt that while you might dread the idea of it, the endorphins that are released when you exercise trigger positive feelings, helping to fight any stress you might be experiencing. I’m not suggesting pounding a treadmill or anything that makes you tired just thinking about it but why not something a bit more relaxing? Exercises like Pilates and Yoga are great for muscular strength and flexibility. There’s no sweating and a lot of people find it incredibly soothing as well as a form of escapism. Other benefits can include sleep regulation and mood improvement. If you fancy a go, take a look at Yoga with Adriene.
We’re constantly trying to make the most of our day and squeeze every last drop out of it. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, too much of it can leave you exhausted and not performing your best. When you can afford to, think about ways you can slow to and take it easy on yourself. Leave yourself longer to get ready in the morning so you’re not starting the day in a hectic environment or force yourself to walk slower on your walk to work and really pay attention to what’s around you rather than what you’ve got to do. Even something simple like taking the time to enjoy a hot drink without multitasking is a really nice way of giving yourself a small break.
Ahhh. Now this is my favourite kind of self-care. Indulging yourself means different things to different people and it’s really about thinking about what brings you enjoyment. That might be buying yourself something pretty, baking a yummy cake or even something as simple has having an evening binge watching your favourite TV show. For me, there’s nothing nicer than snuggling up on the sofa or even climbing into bed and losing myself in a good book with something tasty to dip into. I have a serious sweet tooth and the new Aero Heavenly* has been keeping me very good company lately. There are two delicious flavours to choose from: Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate and it’s a lovely big tub of velvety mousse with a sweet caramel sauce and either hazelnuts or pecans. Admittedly, this is great to share with a mate or your other half in the evening but I’ve been keeping mine all to myself! I love that all I need is a spoon and it’s the perfect accompaniment to curl up with while reading.
I’ll admit this one isn’t something that comes easy to me as like most people, my phone is constantly glued to my hand. But it can be difficult to realise just how stressful having a phone – or indeed any electronic device – actually is and at times, bad for us. A lot of you reading this will be bloggers and will constantly obsess over views, likes and social media. You don’t need me to tell you this isn’t exactly healthy so all I’ll say is this: challenge yourself to switch off all of your devices for one hour. It is completely up to you what you do during this time but just allow yourself that time away from checking in on what everyone is doing and live in blissful ignorance for just a short time.
With so much going on in our heads, it can be difficult to get a good perspective on thoughts and feelings. The simple answer? Write it down. You’d be surprised how much difference it makes writing something down and seeing it in black and white. You are automatically able to understand things more comprehensively and have better luck figuring out the answers to any problems that have been bothering you. Checking in with your emotions is helpful in acknowledging feelings that otherwise you might push to the back of your mind but will continue to plague you. E.g. A colleague at work gets a promotion but you don’t. Write out why it might be she got it and the actions you personally can implement so you stand in better stead for a promotion next time.
I really believe strongly that we should all invest the time to implement some self-care practices into our lives. They are such small things but they can make the world of difference to how you feel. How do you self-care? Could you be doing more?
This post was in collaboration with Aero. All opions are 100% my own. Read more on my disclaimer here.