5 Steps to Self Care
The world moves pretty fast and sometimes it can feel like being on a roundabout that is spinning faster and faster and tricky to get off. As humans we’re programmed to think of others before we think of ourselves. To look after and care for friends and family before we worry about what we might need. There is nothing wrong with that, that’s how communities are built. But, sometimes, the pendulum swings too far in the wrong direction. We can forget that if we don’t look after ourselves then we won’t be able to keep spinning round and round.
Carving out a little time to care for yourself can be no easy feat at times, but it’s imperative for your health and wellbeing. Self care is about actually stopping and taking care of yourself first and a big part of doing that successfully is mindset. Teaching yourself that from time to time it really does have to just be all about you, even if only for 5 minutes.
So what can you do to make sure that the time you have sets you up to get back on that roundabout? Our team at Nourish HQ share a few of their favourite ways to slow down and spend a little time on their own self care.
When the world is busy and you’re feeling overwhelmed then just 5 minutes (really, we do only mean 5 minutes!) away from it all can make a big difference to how you cope. Turn your phone off, step away from your screen or settle the kids somewhere happily, switch the kettle on and grab a healthy energy boosting snack. Sit quietly, maybe read a book or a magazine or catch up with a friend. We like to call this a #macaroonmoment and we often share one as a team!
We’ve talked about this before but getting outside is one of the Nourish team’s favourite ways of destressing. The Japanese call walking in the woods, forest bathing, isn’t it a lovely description? Most of us, whether working at home or the office, can forget that the outdoors even exists on a busy day. However, if you can find time to walk to the station or even just do a quick lunchtime circuit outdoors, you can really feel the benefits. Gentle outdoors exercise is proven to help lower blood pressure and increase productivity.
When we are dealing with stress then sleep can be one of the things that becomes tricky. Clearing the mind before bedtime isn’t always simple but it is possible. Creating healthy bedtime habits will help to ensure that your sleep is valuable. We all have different tricks that work for us so play around and see what works for you. For some it’s the meditation app, Calm, for others a warm Epsom salts bath with sleep inducing essential oils like lavender. We all agree though that leaving electronic devices, phones and tablets outside the bedroom was important as the blue light from these can seriously disrupt your brain’s ability to slow down. If you have trouble sleeping then getting into bed at a sensible hour is also important. Try setting an alarm to remind you to get to bed.
It might seem like the opposite of all the calm activity above but doing something active can help to reduce all those pesky stress hormone. So long as you don’t overdo it. Get out for a long walk with friends and put the world to rights or head to a yoga class and concentrate only on yourself and your movement. It doesn’t have to be complicated and the endorphins that are released afterwards will give you that natural high and help you cope with the stresses of the day.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Take a big, long, slow, deep breath right now……feels amazing doesn’t it? When you are feeling tense you have a physical tendency to stop breathing deeply and this doesn’t help when you’re trying to wind down. We like the BreathingApp for making us slow down and focus on our breath. Deep breathing can help to improve concentration and energy levels. Give it a try just before bed when you are comfortable and free from distraction, we promise you’ll have a better nights sleep.