Enjoyed the first part of our holistic self-care routines? Well, you’re in for a treat because here’s the second part ideas on how to effectively and immediately implement self-care into your daily lives.
Put YOURSELF on the calendar. Just like with our work schedules, block off time for self-care routines, include your exercise time in the morning or wind-down exercise before bed and pampering time whether for mani-pedis, facials or spa sessions. The idea is to make your self-care routines as part of your non-negotiables and honor them.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is usually the first to go when our schedules are full, but I personally know for a fact that the quality of my performance for the day highly depends on the quality of my sleep. If you can’t get a full night’s sleep, at least give in to an afternoon nap.
Take time in the morning to stretch, breathe and meditate. However I start-off my morning dictates the tone or mood of my day. I try to avoid starting my day feeling rushed or stressed. As soon as I open my eyes, I remind myself to feel grateful for another day. I take deep breaths and I “wake up” my mind by thinking deeply in silence (while still laying in bed) about my surroundings, my plans for the day and generally how blessed and grateful I feel.
Hydrate all throughout the day. We can be in a state of dehydration and we don’t even know it! Often our brains misinterpret our thirst as hunger, that leads us to eat more food. Dehydration also messes with our energy levels. So drinking enough water is essential in our daily lives. I drink two glasses of water on an empty stomach upon waking up, and at least thirty minutes before and after meals. I aim to drink a total of two liters a day.
Choose and eat healthy food, every chance you get. I know we are busy and it’s so tempting to order just any food that we think off top of mind when we are pressed for time. But what we did to cut-off the unhealthy food is we decided and planned that we are only going to eat home-cooked meals every Mondays to Fridays. It doesn’t have to be your own home cooking, it can be bought from a healthier restaurants or canteen. And we can eat out on the weekends. But when we dine out, we still try to choose the lesser evil of a meal whichever restaurant we find ourselves in. We also give-in to some chocolate or dessert temptations from time to time as to not feel deprived. The secret is having a meal plan, whether the plan is to eat at home or dine out. Remember to nourish your body with intention, as opposed to indulging your appetite or feeding your emotion.
Treat lunchtime as a sacred time. I’ve tried multi-tasking while eating lunch. I either feel like I didn’t digest my food well or I am easily hungry again. Plus, I wasn’t really being productive because I split my attention to eating and working (or browsing). Instead, focus on the food you’re nourishing your body and chew your food well. Enjoy your meal while chatting with whom you’re having lunch with, or people-watching, or letting your mind wander through your innermost thoughts or your daydreams to psyche you up for the rest of the day.
Take mini-breaks. We are not built to sit-down all day long in front of our work desks or computers. While working, you will notice from time to time that it’s getting harder to focus on what you’re working on. Take this as a cue to take a mini-break. Instead of mindlessly browsing through Facebook and Instagram or losing yourself in a long list of emails, a better use of your break time is to get up from your chair, get some water or prepare a cup of tea or coffee. Stretch your legs and do some walking, even inside the house. A change in place, posture and some movements will make it easier for you to focus again when your break is over.
Make time for rest. This is so important! Taking afternoon naps or power naps are one of my most favorite and effective form of rest. It’s so tempting to bring your smartphone to bed or open the tv, but if you want to effectively rest, you have to consciously push-aside work-related thoughts and worries away and turn off all electronics. It’s essential for our well-being to rest not only our bodies but our minds as well. Unplugging sometimes proves to be a challenge, but 5-minutes of stillness is better than 30-minutes of browsing or watching tv.
Develop a healthy way of dealing with stress. I know stressed spelled backwards is desserts but we should not do emotional eating! It’s also tempting to grab a beer or a glass of wine to calm the nerves but there are plenty of healthier ways to deal with our stress. Think of activities that are both enjoyable and relaxing for you. Like for example sipping herbal green tea, munching on a little piece of dark chocolate, or breaking a sweat through yoga.
Are you currently doing some or most of these? What other holistic self-care do you have in your routine? We’d love to know! Sharing is caring.