By Liza-Jane Saban, Founder Sanctum Self Care
Exhausted and uninspired? Read these self-care tips to take care of yourself.
Putting yourself first isn’t easy. It seems as if there is always an impending deadline or someone that is fighting for your energy and time. Despite being mostly home-bound this past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has left many of us exhausted and burnt-out, which is where a little bit of self-care comes into play. Self-care has been around for decades, but it’s seen a resurgence in our tech-driven, always-on society. That’s because self-care is necessary for our physical, mental, and emotional health. While it manifests itself differently for each person, the objective remains the same, it is deliberately self-prioritising your health, happiness, and overall well-being. It lets us know when we’re running on empty so we can replenish our resources, and it shouldn’t be surprising that self-care can help us become more productive as well.
Why Do We Often Fail at Self-Care?
Most of us are crazy busy and me-time is usually last on the agenda. Worse, we feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. So getting started with self-care can be challenging but it really doesn’t need to be some grand act! Here are some small deliberate things to do and their benefits:
1. Self-care gives you a break from stress and anxiety
Self-care won’t eliminate all of the stress and anxiety in your life. It will, however, give you a much-needed break from common workplace and life stressors. Walking releases the feel-good endorphins. Even a quick 10-minute walk can do wonders to lift your mood. If you can take it in nature, even better! Move your body in a way you like it most — dance in your lounge, do a bike tour or go to a yoga class. Or you could retreat with a book or magazines, and read for pure pleasure. You could also do things that make you happy, like crafting, gardening or baking.
2. Self-care improves your cognitive functions
Mindfulness, as an example, can reduce mind-wandering and improve focus and concentration. If you’re sleep-deprived, your decision-making abilities, focus, memory, and motivation will all be affected.
You could engage in spiritual activities, like lighting an aromatherapy candle while listening to a guided meditation. Try switching off your electronics to do breathing exercises. If you’re new to both, it can feel awkward at first, so just know that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable. One easy place to start is with a short, guided meditation. Download a free app like Headspace or Calm and start exploring meditation at your own pace.
3. Self-care provides some alone time
Science shows that alone time can spark creativity, build mental strength, and increase empathy and productivity. It allows you to reflect, process ideas and thoughts, solve problems, and get better acquainted with yourself.
And when you’re alone, it’s much easier to get into a meditative state and practice gratitude. Both are great ways to reduce stress and fuel your motivation. You can listen to an uplifting song, and focus on the words, don’t multitask. Carefully massage your skin care products or body lotion into your skin instead of mindlessly applying it. Or start your day by writing down 5 things you are grateful for. Accumulate these small moments of alone time, to take care of yourself.
4. Self-care allows you to give more to others
There’s no denying that helping others makes you feel amazing. Whether it’s volunteering or mentoring an employee, when you help others, feel-good chemicals are triggered in your brain. Helping others gives you perspective and strengthens the important relationships in your life. Of course, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Engaging in self-care will give you the energy and capacity to give more to others.
This should clear up the misconception: Self-care is not self-indulgent or selfish. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.
For more tips on self-care, visit www.sanctumselfcare.com
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