It’s easy to let the days slip away, where we get consumed in work, errands and showing up for others that we forget to look after ourselves. What’s not easy is actually showing up for yourself. Yet this is crucial to maintaining healthy mental wellbeing levels as it creates an environment that allows one to be more aligned with the life you want - leading to increased “happy” endorphins in one’s system!
We’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why it’s important:
- Know your worth: Maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. It reminds yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.
- Healthy work-life balance: Overwork, and the accompanying stress and exhaustion can make you less productive, disorganized and emotionally depleted. It can also lead to all sorts of health problems, from anxiety and depression to insomnia and heart diseases
- Stress management: Constant stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health. Self-care habits like eating healthy, connecting with a loved one or practicing meditation cuts down the toxic effects of stress by improving your mood and boosting your energy and confidence levels.
- Start living, stop existing: Important to remember that taking care of yourself is your responsibility.
- Better physical health: Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, taking adequate sleep, caring about your hygiene, exercising regularly, etc.
Now that you know why it’s important, let's look at some ways you can incorporate self-care into your routine, even in the most busy of schedules:
- Light A Candle
- Name 3 Things You’re Grateful For
- Perform a small act of kindness
- Do 1 task from your to-do list
- Take your vitamins
- Drink a glass of water
- Intentionally pay attention: Next time you’re in the shower, eating, brushing your teeth, doing your makeup or any self-care routine, really pay attention to the feelings you experience during it and the sensations that accompany it.
- Brush your teeth (when life’s too much, even this could be enough!)
- Write our everything you need to do (no matter how big or small) & highlight 3 most important things
- Tell someone you’re grateful for them
- Have a dance party with yourself
- Chuck in your laundry into the washing machine
- Have a healthy snack
- Experiment with aromatherapy
- Tune into what your body needs
- Exercise (yes, even 10 minutes!)
- Make a fun mocktail
- Tidy your space - your environment has a big effect on your mental state
- Start a new habit or ritual
- Let yourself be sad! Yes we all need a cry sometimes
- Pamper yourself
- Find some new music
- Create a moodboard or a collage
- Take a walk!
Did you know self-care has a huge impact on productivity?
This is particularly important when working from home as research shows that we can only actually do about 4 hours of very focused creative work per day! Embrace this and let yourself focus on the most important asset in your life– you! No, it’s not selfish. It’s necessary in order to not experience burnout and produce quality work over quantitative work.
Ways to use self-care to improve your productivity:
- Practice the Pomodoro Technique
- A time management method that uses a time to break up work into chunks. It breaks up tasks into 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break which ensures maximum focus and creative freshness with less mental strain
- Try time blocking to dedicate time to yourself. Put it in your calendar.
- Starting a Morning Routine
- Starting a morning routine is a simple way to set the tone for the rest of your day making you more productive, happy and focused.
- Sustaining habits, routines & rituals allow you to do your best work!
- Making space for what makes you happy makes you more productive.
- Not feeling super productive? When you don’t feel like doing work?
- Actually taking a proper break. Your brain is telling you it’s too saturated… this means:
- Don’t look at your screen! That's not a real break.
- Go for a walk, grab a coffee or something away from everything.
- Relationship with time, stress & anxiety:
- Time anxiety is a nagging feeling like you never have enough time.
- Define what time well spent is for YOU (If there is nothing but you).
Self-care isn’t just small acts of kindness that are based on instant gratification. The thing about self-care is that while a lot of the acts are fulfilling in the moment, depending on your mindset, a big part of self-care is delayed gratification. The willpower of delaying gratification is a skill that requires intentional practice, and there is no better place to start than with personal health.
This is why aspects of self-care such as maintaining a healthy & well balanced diet, exercising 2-3 times a week and a regular sleeping schedule play a crucial role in balancing the endorphins your body produces and help with mental wellbeing - particularly feelings of dissociation during challenging periods.