10 tips for good self-care
1) Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial to your physical and mental health. There are many professional studies that link the lack of sleep quantity and quality to risk factors involved with physical and mental health issues.
Despite many professionals agreeing that an adult should be getting on average 7-9 hours sleep per night, a large percentage of adults often get less than 7.
Knowing its importance, there are some tips you can use to give yourself the best possible chance of hitting that magic mark of sleep per night.
To start with, set an alarm for 30 minutes before you want to go to bed. It is crazy how often time slips away and people forget to actually got to bed on time so they can get enough sleep.
Secondly, put your phone away an hour before you want to go to bed. Looking at your phone screen is proven to make sleep more difficult.
Start with these two things and work towards getting your sleep back on track!
2) Include some exercise into your daily routine
People can often roll their eyes at the seemingly persistent advice on how important exercise is for physical and mental health.
In fact, getting your body to simply move is one of the best things you can implement for good self-care.
Exercising doesn’t have to be difficult; it doesn’t even have to break a sweat. Something as simple as going for 30 minutes’ walk each day will do wonders to help with both your physical and mental health.
And if you haven’t tried it, you will be shocked how quickly 30 minutes disappears when walking with a podcast or your favourite music playing!
3) Eat some fresh nutritious food
We aren’t about demonising people’s food choices and habits, we strongly believe a healthy relationship with food includes the occasional pizza, donut, and chocolate biscuit.
In saying this it is also just as important to recognise the impact fresh nutrient dense foods can have on your overall health.
If fruit is your thing, incorporate some fresh fruit. If veggies are your thing, eat some fresh veggies. Whatever you are into, try and include as many fresh versions of them as possible.
There are also so many services out there to help if cooking isn’t your thing. A simple google search will provide you with plenty of delivery options that can give you ready-made meals that just need to be heated, or even ones that simply deliver the exact ingredients with instructions.
Whatever it is, do what you want to do, don’t do it just because someone has told you that eating kale is good for you!
4) Stay socially connected
Now we completely appreciate this is more difficult for some than others, but the impact that having a good support network can have is immeasurable.
Make time to catch up with friends and family where you can really invest yourself into finding out what is going on in their lives.
Humans are social creatures and staying connected will do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
And the good news? Even if you don’t have any close friends or family right now, there are plenty of options to still stay connected both in person and online.
Think about maybe joining a local social club of something you are interested in. It could be anything from lawn bowls to knitting, if you have an interest there is almost guaranteed to be a group of people who come together for that interest.
There are also plenty of options online as well – google is your new friend matchmaker!
5) Meditate and stretch
Taking the time to slow down and realign yourself with your body and your surroundings can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
There are loads of tutorials on YouTube that can walk you through simple stretching and meditation routines.
Or if you fancy a more socially connected space, try different types of yoga or specific meditation classes to get you started.
However you do it, you will thank yourself for taking the time to slow down from the distractions of the outside world.
6) Limit your screen time
Another thing almost all experts agree on is that spending as much time on our phones/computers/laptops as we do could be detrimental to our physical and mental health.
In our ‘always on’ world where we are constantly reachable and seemingly never disconnected from our devices it can be hard to limit the time we spend absorbed in the online world.
But doing so will help you disconnect and give you the opportunity to spend time engaging with yourself and things you love doing.
7) Drink Water
Now, it is no secret water is essential to living, but drinking adequate amounts of water can have immensely positive benefits for both your physical and mental health and wellbeing.
You would be astonished how much more energetic, motivated and productive you can feel just from drinking enough water.
Many experts say that you should aim for about 2 litres a day.
Our best suggestion is to just start somewhere! Buy a new re-usable drink bottle and set a goal to drink 2 or 3 of them a day and see how you go.
8) Journal/self reflect
Journaling is an often great way to help people gain clarity and ownerships over their thoughts. In the stressful times we live in, it can be all too easy to get caught up in one’s emotions and overwhelmed by everything going through your head.
Something as simple as taking the time 2 or 3 times a week to sit down with no distractions and reflect on yourself and your experiences over the past couple of days can go a long way in benefitting ones mental health and wellbeing.
9) Practice saying no
For a lot of people this can be one of the toughest things to put into practice. People often are hesitant to say no in the workplace, in relationships, in friendships, all with the concern they will be letting people down.
The issue is this can come at the cost of your own health and wellbeing.
Saying no is something everyone should be comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be blunt, and can be worded in nicer, more gentler ways, but the act of putting yourself first will go a long way.
Start practicing by saying no to the little things in situations you are most comfortable in, for example with close friends or your family. Build up your confidence to eventually be comfortable with the idea of saying no.
10) Get some sun
Vitamin D is great because it has numerous health benefits and it’s also free!
Trying to get some fresh air and sunshine every day will not only help benefit you through increased Vitamin D levels, but it will also help set up habits of getting you up outside and moving every day.
With all things, start off slow and simply try and feel the sun on your skin every day (which can be tricky in the middle of a Melbourne winter, we know) and try to incorporate it more and more each day.
With all things self-care and wellbeing related, they will always be different for each individual. Hopefully these tips can give you some advice on changes you can make to incorporate more self-care habits into your routines!