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 your 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 which 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.
Lite n’ Easy meals are a great foundation for a healthy life. Our meals take the hard work out of meal planning and preparation, and it means you can focus on other things you enjoy for your well-being. Give us a call on 13 15 12 or order online now.
Bell Silverthorne is an exercise physiologist, wellness coach and lifestyle medicine practitioner with a passion for every day Australians to be that little bit healthier. Whether it’s sleeping better, exercising more, eating more fruit and veggies each day or doing your best to maintain a good headspace. Bell is a massive advocate of lifestyle medicine – harnessing your everyday lifestyle habits to help prevent, manage or even reverse chronic disease.