For many, self care feels like a selfish thing. I wade in and out of feeling guilty for taking time to care for myself, but the more I do it, the more I realise that in the long run it makes me more productive, healthier, happier, and generally... a much nicer person to be around!
THink about it, if you don't look after yourself, how can you expect yourself to look after anyone else, let alone be successful in your work, or any other aspect of your life? They say that you need at least 7h of sleep a night (more if you're a teenager, and less if you're over 50), and I can guarnatee you that it's true. I notice a HUGE difference if I don't get a proper nights sleep!
"I don't have time for self care." I hear you say. Well, I'm going to prove you wrong! I don't believe that self care needs to take long. In fact, it can be as much as taking 10 minutes out of your day to do something nice. So today, I wanted to take a minute to share just a handful of things you can do every day to add a bit of self care back into your life.
1) Meditate: You've probably seen me talk about meditation a lot lately, but there's a reason for it: it really works! I've been practicing meditation most days for the past two months, and I can see a vast difference in my mental health, and my productivity. Try the app Calm and give their "Daily Calm's" a go. They post a new 10 minute meditation every day, and thats what I do!
2) Eat A Yummy Breakfast: Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day, so I make it a priority everyday. Most people know that I make pancakes almost every morning, and thats because they make me so happy! It takes me 10 minutes to make them, and they keep my full for hours. Taking the time to prepare a breakfast that will nourish you, that tastes really good and keeps you full will do wonders for how you feel throughout the day.
3) Take regular work breaks: I can't say I'm always the best at this, but for the past two months or so I've had terrible back ache, so I'm now being forced to move more (sitting at my desk for hours makes my back pain worse). But I've noticed that these short breaks (we're talking 5-10 minutes every hour- hour and a half) clear my head, make my focus shift and I come back to my desk with a clear mind.
4) Make exercise part of your routine, but don't over do it: If you knew me a year ago, you knew that I worked out pretty much 5-6 times a week. It was fun, but come January this year, I was totally burnt out, my whole body hurt, my back was in agony, and I felt tired all the time. I made a conscious decision to cut down, and now I practice yoga 2-3 times a week, and one higher intensity class a week, plus a lot of walking. I'm still moving, still getting those endorphins flowing, but I'm not killing my body in the process! Exercise should be fun and invigorating, not painful and exhausting. Learn from my mistake!
5) Read More: 2016 and 2017 will have become the years that I finally got into my reading groove. I've never been much of a reader until now, but lately I can't stop! It's because I've found the niche that I love, and I'm no longer embarrassed about it: self help and business books! I just love to learn, and develop myself. As a result, I'm reading more than ever, and I can't tell you how great it is. Reading for an hour every night before I go to sleep almost guarantee's that I'll sleep well.