There’s no disputing that the modern lifestyle is a stressful one. What with extended working weeks, longer commutes, and the like, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the 21st-century crowd to strike the right balance between work and play.
If we let the daily grind take over, though, we do so to our own detriment. Not only does an overly-hectic life lead to higher stress levels, irregular sleeping patterns, and other marked health issues, but surrendering to work and study can spell the death of our personal interests and relationships. So how do you go about getting your life back? The following self-care tips are a great place to start.
Many people reserve self-care for afterwork, but since we spend so much time in employment, it only makes sense to set aside some health and wellbeing practices for the office. Especially important is stabilizing stress levels and making sure that you don’t stay sitting in a chair all day long – which explains why taking active exercise breaks is our first tip. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a mid-day yoga class, or even a couple of targeted stretches at your desk, allowing your body a moment to breathe will do every worker a world of good.
Your work life is likely complicated enough already; when you’re at home, then, get back to basic principles. This means keeping your space clean and decluttered, saying no to unwanted responsibilities (i.e. more work), and – most essentially – unplugging from social media. Think of your home life as one extended detox.
A key part of getting back to basics, in turn, is spending time in nature. Kick off your shoes and go for a stroll in a local nature reserve – you’ll feel freer than you have in years.
If you regularly get less than six hours of sleep a night during your working week, then a one-day weekend sleep in just isn’t going to cut it in the long term. Challenge yourself – even if that means using an alarm – to get to bed earlier every night.
You’d be surprised how many of us are on the brink of dehydration. To properly fuel your brain and body, make sure you’re carrying a high-volume water bottle each day, and set yourself a daily consumption goal.
And hydration doesn’t stop on the inside: it’s vital to apply the right treatments to the outside of your body as well, particularly if you’ve got naturally dry skin to start with.
The excitement about endorphins is well-deserved. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, and what better way to re-energize and top up your optimism levels than by working out? So get moving!
Research demonstrates that loneliness can significantly impact health and wellbeing. If you’ve been wondering how an old high school friend is doing, get back in contact. If you’re after a new set of friends, consider signing up to a social group. Human connections are the elixir of life.
We’ve mentioned connecting with others; but what about connecting with yourself? Many people also find meditation and practicing the philosophy of mindfulness and presentism a vital part of their morning routines for this very reason. Simply sit in a comfortable place, and breathe slowly in and out, focusing on the rhythm of your exhalations, and visualizing a perfect sanctuary in your mind. Alternatively, keeping a diary might be the perfect means of self-reflection for you.
By implementing just one (and perhaps eventually all) of the above strategies into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving equilibrium. Good luck!
Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who loves relaxing outside in nature. You’ll often find Harper meditating in her yoga room at home or spending hours tending to her garden. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.
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This conversation is something that more and more people are talking about on the daily - practicing self care is practicing sustainability. And while it might seem obscure, hear me out: Paying attention to your mind and body is the best way to ensure longevity.
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