Summer is supposed to be about lazy days in the sun, beach vacations and family time for many! Yet for o many of us, it's about putting in extra hours to cover a colleague's vacation or working through the season so we can take our time off later in the year - by which point we become so stressed out and desperate for a break.
Think about how many times we de-prioritize our own needs because work has gotten crazy and deadlines have to be met? So we cancel our gym appointments, eat junk food to de-stress and don’t get enough sleep. How does that work out for us?
Not taking care of ourselves affects our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Here are some simple strategies to Make Self-Care A Daily To-Do so it becomes a habit and you don’t even have to think about it.
Make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Whether you enjoy a brisk walk in the park, a jog, yoga, Pilates or going to the gym, schedule time for physical activity.
Practice mindfulness. At it’s every core, mindfulness means, paying attention. Pay attention to how you feel – physically, mentally, emotionally. Set 5 mins daily on your calendar to check in with yourself. Ask yourself – am I feeling tired? Where does my body ache? Pay attention to your heart rate, your breathing pattern. Is your mind calm or are your thoughts racing? Take a few deep breaths. If you have wearable tech like the Apple Watch, the Breathe app is super helpful.
Choose who you spend time with: It’s amazing how much the company you keep can affect your mental health. I have learnt to identify “energy vampires” – people who are constantly negative and make every effort to bring you down -- be it at work or my personal life and I minimize my time with them. Be firm and say no to things and people that don’t serve you well.
Be conscious about what you eat: I truly believe you are what you eat. Look, I’m not asking you to dramatically change your lifestyle or diet. Just become mindful about what you choose to put into your body. The small changes I made, which have become a lifestyle – are to cut out processed sugars and food from my diet and drink more water. Totally do-able and sustainable in the long-term. Decide what small steps can you take to make a positive change.
Record and Track: Whether it’s setting reminders in your calendar or keeping a journal, the more you record how you’re caring about yourself, the more you’ll get into a habit of implementing. Amazon and Etsy have several options for journals that will help you make self-care a routine.
Commit to making Self-care a Daily To-do
What is the one thing you can do today to take better care of you?
How will you make time to do it?