Self-care can be difficult in our ever so busy lives. Nonetheless, taking time to care for ourselves is necessary. As we welcome the new year, let us practise new habits to set up our year for success. Today, we will be sharing with you some self-care tips for a better 2021.
1. Spending quality time with loved ones
Spending time with our friends and family creates strong emotional support that bolsters us amid our busy and stressful lives. Interacting with our loved ones, especially physically, has significant benefits to our mental and physical health.
Momentarily switch off from work and other responsibilities and enjoy quality time with your loved ones doing the things you like. It could be as simple as enjoying a meal together, having meaningful conversations or exercising together.
2. Take sufficient breaks in between tasks
With the fast-paced nature of modern society, life can become very hectic. You deserve breaks.
Sitting for long periods of times increases your risk of chronic health problems. It is also detrimental to your mental health. Take breaks away from your workspace, stand up and move about. Switch off and stop worrying about work. Rest your eyes and stop looking at screens. Have a snack or take a sip of tea (available at our shop!)
Taking efficient breaks can also increase productivity. Sounds counterintuitive, but research supports this. They can help us refocus, make better decisions, spark creativity and motivate us.
Taking breaks is not being lazy, so don’t be afraid to take a pause and breathe.
3. Self-reflection is key
Most of us are always caught up with the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives. Only a small minority take the time to pause, breathe and reflect.
Self-reflection is the process of examining your inner ideas, thoughts and emotions. It is directly linked to better mental health. Self-reflection helps us become more self-aware, to be conscious of your thoughts, motivations and feelings as they arise. Self-aware people are better able to accept themselves and see themselves in a non-judgemental and objective manner.
At the end of each day, sit down, grab your journal and take a few minutes to reflect. Ask yourself questions. It could help to talk aloud or address yourself in a third-person point-of-view. How did I feel overall today? What have I accomplished today? Did I let issues out of my control affect myself? Have I spent my time wisely? What can I improve on? You can also set goals for yourself. Where do I want to be mentally and physically in a month? Visualise these goals.
Here are some self-reflection resources.
4. Declutter your space
Decluttering can sound dreadful. However, it is a form of long-term self-care. Research has shown that clutter has negative effects on your attention span, concentration levels and ability to focus.
Not only does clutter compromise productivity, but it also affects our mental health. Studies show a link between clutter and higher stress levels, anxiety and depression.
Start today by decluttering your room using the KonMari Method. You can discard unnecessary items by donating it to others in need, selling them for some extra cash, recycling them or simply throwing them away.
5. Stay active
Move your body! Stand up and take a stretch or put on your shoes and go for a run. Exercising has massive benefits for both your physical and mental health.
Exercise can significantly reduce your risk of a whole range of diseases. Exercise can also increase self-esteem and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. When we exercise, the brain releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. This is similar to how a lot of antidepressant drugs work.
The Health Promotion Board recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week. These numbers may sound daunting, but don’t worry. Start small and slowly work your way up!