In a world full of distractions, self care strategies from practising gratitude to digital detoxing can help improve your overall wellbeing.
Though most are aware of the importance of a work-life balance, it can often seem like an elusive concept to actualise in our own lives. Research has proven that integrating self care strategies into your daily life can lead to feelings of happiness, helping to reduce stress, increase productivity and improve mental and physical wellbeing. By taking better care of your own wellbeing, you can learn to build a healthy relationship with yourself and, in turn, improve your relationships with others. We’ve rounded up our favourite tips to help you in your journey to being kinder to yourself.
The first step to taking better care of your wellbeing is getting organised. A cluttered environment can translate into a cluttered mind, and may in turn negatively affect your mood, which is why it can be helpful to put extra time into cleaning up your surroundings. In fact, a study from Princeton University found that individuals experienced decreased performance and increased stress when surrounded by physical clutter. You can also mentally declutter by making small lifestyle changes like keeping a planner or making a to-do list, which enables you to keep track of your responsibilities and stay on top of your tasks even when life gets overwhelming.
Introduce positivity into your life by learning to feel thankful for what you have. One of the most important self care strategies, practising gratitude reshapes your mindset in a positive way by helping you focus on appreciating the things already in your life, rather than feeling unsatisfied and constantly hoping for something new. In fact, studies have shown that practising gratitude can lead to numerous benefits, such as alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression, sharpening brain function, improving relationships and boosting your overall happiness levels.
Unplug Your Devices
Nowadays, our smartphones offer instant access to distractions like social media, making it easy to fall down a rabbit hole. Constant notifications can make it tempting for you to constantly reach for your phone, taking up hours of your time as you mindlessly refresh your Instagram page or scroll through your Facebook timeline. Cutting down on screen time can help you to destress and unwind, improving mental awareness and leading to better productivity in the long run. Learning to unplug can also free up time to focus on the other priorities in your life, like spending quality time with family and friends. Our guide to digital detox habits can help you get started.
While it can be tempting to laze around, it’s important to incorporate physical activity into your daily life. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that increase feelings of happiness. Studies have shown that the average adult needs 30 minutes of daily exercise, but don’t worry – you don’t need to hit the gym to be active. Instead, choose a form of physical activity that suits your lifestyle, whether it be going on an early morning hike, going geocaching over the weekend, taking your dog for a walk or even throwing impromptu dance parties with friends! There are also plenty of workout routines that can be done right at home.
Eat Healthily and Mindfully
In order to stay healthy and functioning, your body requires a balanced diet of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Studies have also shown that a nutritious diet can reduce symptoms of depression. Though it may be tempting to reach for highly processed junk foods, too much sugar only provides short-term energy boosts and leads to ‘crashes’ that can leave you groggy and distracted. Instead, swap out sugary snacks for healthy alternatives to ensure that you stay physically healthy and mentally sharp.
It is also important to afford yourself the luxury of having mindful, uninterrupted meals. Whether you are working through lunches or sitting in front of the television at dinnertime, we may often find ourselves getting distracted during mealtime. Research has found that multitasking during a meal makes it difficult for us to listen to our body’s hunger cues, leading to overeating, weight gain and indigestion.
Setting healthy boundaries plays a crucial role in your mental wellbeing by letting you focus on your own emotional, psychological and physical needs rather than the needs of others. If you’re constantly finding yourself feeling overwhelmed by your obligations, whether it be in a romantic relationship, at work with colleagues, or with family or friends, it’s high time for you to commit to setting – and maintaining – firm boundaries with the people in your life. Being mindful of boundaries can help relieve stress by reducing your workload, helping you to manage your time more efficiently and allowing you to pay attention to the things most important to you.
Make Sleep A Priority
Although going to sleep makes up the last part of your day, that certainly doesn’t undermine its importance. Research has proven that getting adequate sleep is vital to our overall health and well-being and can lead to improvements in mental health. Often hailed as a fundamental part of self-care, developing healthy sleep habits can help refresh and energise you for the day, so make sure you’re getting enough rest – experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Feeling restless? Try these apps and podcasts to help you doze off.