Healthy Self-Care Habits
By doing a regular self-care practice, you are prioritising to get to know yourself and what’s current for you. By allowing yourself the time and space to practice self-care, you are cultivating time to do what’s important to you and supports your wellbeing.
There are so many self-care options to consider. A self-care routine that might resonate with you, may be unappealing to others. Perhaps think about a specific area of your life that could do with extra care and attention. Be it:
- Mental and emotional
- Relationships (with self and others)
- Work and career.
While each of us have these areas, our level of satisfaction and the priority we give to each them varies over time.
Following are some examples of self-care practices:
- A daily meditation practice – it may be daunting to start. But even a few minutes can help with stress and anxiety, mental clarity and immune health. A breath practice can be a great way to start your meditation journey.
- Yoga – yoga is not all about being nimble. While it will help with flexibility, practising yoga also helps to improve balance, builds strength and cultivates calm and relaxation. Check out a yoga class near you or Youtube many videos.
- Practice Gratitude – we can get caught up in what we don’t have and forget what we do. Over 1.1 billion people globally live in extreme poverty. Take a few seconds every day to reflect on what you are grateful for.
EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL
- Do an activity that makes you happy e.g. dancing will increase your feel-good hormones and make you feel light and happy.
- Spending time with children or a pet – playing with or hugging a child or pet can increase oxytocin (stress reducing hormone) and decrease cortisol (stress hormone).
- Bodywork session – unexpressed emotions and mental blocks effect the way we communicate with others, our decisions and thoughts. A bodywork therapist (such as a kinesiologist) is trained to help you identify, connect with and release such tension.
- Ample quality sleep – aim for a regular sleep routine and try to get around 8 hours sleep per night. Try staying away from electronic devices before bed and instead do something relaxing like read.
- Spend time outdoors – there are so many health benefits from time outside. We can make simple, small changes to our daily routine to incorporate time outdoors, like a stroll during our lunchbreak, a hike with friends on the weekend or gardening.
- Eating healthy – there’s not one size fits all when it comes to healthy eating but focusing on a “fresh is best” approach (or limiting packaged food) is very beneficial. What we eat has an enormous impact on the way we approach life.
- Spending time with friends – for a chat, a walk, a hug and/or a laugh – spending time with a friend is simply good for us!
- Date yourself – alone time is important for your soul. Whether its reading, journal writing, or simply sitting still, you will get to know yourself better.
- Connect through conversation – Listening and sharing our feelings and emotions with others creates connection and along with other health benefits increases our “love” hormone (oxytocin).
WORK AND CAREER
- Goal Setting – allows you to think clearly about where you want to go in life. It can improve your focus, raised your motivation level and give you a sense of direction and purpose.
- Take time off. Plan a holiday – Without a regular break from work, burn out can set in and productivity can start to dwindle. A holiday acts like a reset. Giving you a chance to reduce stress and allow you to come back focused and clear headed.
- Learn a new skill – is great for brain function, prevents boredom, can help your career and make you more interesting!
There are so many benefits of a regular self-care practice. It will make you more connected to yourself and the people around you and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Be kind to yourself. Start with one that is realistic and suitable for your lifestyle.
Which self-care practice will you choose first?
Bringing our bodies back in to homeostasis and committing to our own wellness, is key to a lasting vibrant health and happiness.
Reduce your stress and make your health and wellbeing a priority.