How to step up your self-care game

Practising good self-care habits

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed, tired, frazzled but not sure which piece of your life to tackle first? It’s one of the unfortunate ironies that when we most need some self TLC, we don’t prioritise it as much.

I recently had a wonderful convergence of big life events – moving house, starting my daughter at childcare and returning to work after maternity leave and I found myself paralysed in terms of where to start in the deluge of things to organise. Do you know what I did? I had a shower. I realised I hadn’t washed my hair in 5 days (which is a long time for me). This simple act of self-care made me feel physically better and put me in a better frame of mind to tackle my to-do list. Within a few hours, I had a huge sense of accomplishment and felt like I had my life back on track.

Regardless of what is happening in your world, we can all benefit from regular self-care. Self-care can be simple everyday things like brushing your teeth or bigger things such as catching up with friends.  In my opinion, self-care is the single most important set of actions we can do for ourselves mentally and physically. We all have different versions of what works best for us as different people respond differently. There are some common threads as to what works best though, check out some of the best self-care tips below to help make yourself a priority.

1. Make time for rest

Do you really need to watch one more episode of the latest series you’re hooked on? One hour less of sleep doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you do that a few times a week, I can guarantee your ability to cope with life is not as good. Making time for rest doesn’t just have to mean sleep. It could include, taking a bath, reading a book or doing some gentle stretches where you disconnect from all of your devices.

 

2. Get outside

Embrace the fresh air and sunshine and get into nature. Having a regular Vitamin D dose, along with spending time somewhere beautiful can remind you that you’re part of something bigger. Whether it’s being barefoot on the grass or having your hands in the dirt if you’re a gardener, having a tactile outdoor experience can be very calming.

3. Work it out

I challenge you….. next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, go for a 20-30 minute walk. Ideally somewhere where you can get a nature hit as well, but even if you can’t, after just half an hour of walking, chances are you will feel more equipped to cope with what’s going on in your life. Exercise is like a tune-up for your mind. Maybe it’s the increased blood flow to the brain, or perhaps it’s the feel-good endorphins that are released; somehow exercise just helps put things into better perspective.

 

4. Say no

Self-care also comes back to prioritising things which are most important to you. Helping out others is great, and it does produce a feel good hit, but you also need to mindful of people who don’t energise you and instead, just take-take-take. If your plate is already full because you are juggling a sick parent, your kids and a demanding job, now is probably not the best time to head up a committee for the school fair, even though you did volunteer for this last year when your world was less hectic. Saying no is allowing yourself permission to dial back your commitments and enact some self-preservation. Sometimes, you do what you have to do to keep your head above water, and that’s okay!

 

5. Eat more fruit and vegetables

Adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your day is like your silent, secret weapon of self-care. Being topped up with all that vitamin and mineral goodness helps from everything to keeping your immune system ready to fight sickness, to keeping your moods more stable. A nutritious diet like Lite n’ Easy helps supply the energy your mind and body needs to keep you tackle your to do list rather than falling in a heap.

 

6. Nurture your relationships

Nothing like being under stress and taking it out on those close to you, right? I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at some time or another, but your inner circle are very helpful to keep you being a great version of you. A text, phone call or in-person catch-up with someone who knows you well/understands you and helps bring out the best in you, can really help realign you. Old friends and family can often have a knack of making you laugh or taking you out of your own head, or just remind you what’s important to you. Checking in with those close to you reminds you that you’re not alone, and you have support and people that love you.

 

Last but not least, do activities which you find interesting and/or fun! Whether you love to paint, or find a game of bowling loads of fun, pick something to do that you will enjoy.  Practicing self-care isn’t selfish, it helps you replenish your sense of self. Put simply, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

How can Lite n’ Easy help?

Try Jump Start ActiveATE, the better approach to easy weight loss and long-term health. ActiveATE helps you achieve your health goals sooner by combining delicious, nutritionally balanced meals with the NEW and improved Jump Start ActiveATE mobile app. It’s like having a chef and a personal trainer in your pocket!

It’s FREE to download. Use the Jump Start ActiveATE app to track your weight, order your Lite n’ Easy meals from our chef-inspired seasonal menu or follow along with one of our many customisable workouts led by expert personal trainers.

Research shows a combined diet and exercise program can provide greater long-term weight loss than a diet or exercise-only program.

Take the small step to reach a healthier you. Let’s do it together with Jump Start ActiveATE!

 

Bell Silverthorne, Senior Wellbeing Advisor at Lite n' Easy