The importance of self-care
With the constant stress of work, family life and social commitments, we often forget the importance of ‘me’ time. Indulging in daily self-care is very important for mental clarity and overall health. Dedicating a couple of minutes, an hour or even an entire day to focusing solely on YOU will do wonders for your soul.
So, what is self-care?
Self-care refers to any activity you do which helps maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It means taking a step back, forgetting about your responsibilities and doing what makes you happy. You must listen to your mind, body and soul and do what you want without resistance.
The practice is different for everybody. Self-care may mean waking up half an hour early to go for a run in your local park, cancelling all social commitments to lay in bed and watch Netflix all night or treating yourself to a hot, candlelit bath.
The best part about self-care is that it’s completely up to you!
Why is it important?
As modern day women, we’re always on the go. Between family, friends and our careers, we juggle multiple things at once and often put other people’s happiness before our own. In order to keep sane, reduce stress and maintain our own happiness, we must learn to slow down, take a deep breath and turn our focus inwards.
Indulging in self-care will help you feel calmer, more grounded and well prepared to take on the stress of daily life. And if you don’t take the time to look after yourself, then who will?
How can I implement it in my daily life?
Self-care comes in many shapes and forms. If you’re struggling to think of ways to take out time for yourself, then why not implement one of the following into your daily routine.
Warm lemon water upon rising:
This is a great idea for those of you with limited time. Taking just five minutes, first thing in the morning to brew a healthy, warm drink will help kick start your day and clear your mind. Upon rising, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water and enjoy. The drink itself will help hydrate your body and fire up your digestion pre-breakfast.
It’s no secret that exercise helps clear your mind and reduce stress. It not only improves your physical health, but your mental and emotional health too. We recommend taking at least half an hour every day to move your body.
Don’t feel like you need to push your body to its limits either – it’s fine to go for a leisurely walk or practice yoga in the comfort of your own home. If you’re dreading the impending exercise, it will most likely increase your stress levels (rather than reduce them!) As is important in self-care, do whatever makes you happy.
For meditation newbies, it may seem like an unusual, unachievable practice reserved for spiritual leaders and gurus. However, it’s really not that hard! Meditation simply refers to turning your focus inwards, and concentrating on your body and breath. We recommend taking five or ten minutes each day to sit in silence, with no distractions and meditate.
Concentrate on your breathing - is your breath shallow or deep? Are you breathing through your lungs, or all the way into your belly? Don’t evaluate or report, just notice what your body does. This will help you to let go, clear your mind and relax deeply.
Not at all interested in meditation? Take some time out with an adult colouring book. It’s like meditation for people who can't sit still.
Switch off all devices:
Yes, all of them – which means your iPhone, iPad, Apple watch, TV, computer, kindle and whatever other gadgets you may have. We know it’s hard to go a minute – let alone more – without checking emails, scrolling through Instagram or watching TV. However, for a clear, relaxed mind we recommend switching off all devices an hour before bed. This will help you focus on the present moment, calm your mind and prepare you for sleep. Alternatively, indulge in a good book or quality time (wink-wink) with your partner.
Do you indulge in self-care? What’s your favourite ‘me-time’ activity?