6 ideas to start your self-care routine
Self-care may not seem like an urgency to many, but it can actually make a huge difference to the state of your mind, your overall health, and the quality of your life. Not sure where to start? We have compiled some of the easiest ways for you to learn to love yourself:
Keep a positivity journal
Immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, we almost always forget to take a moment to appreciate the positives. However, taking some time each day to focus on the things that are okay (no matter how small they are) can greatly improve your mood, release tension in the body, and stem the tendency to negativity.
Can’t find anything positive? Start small: even a sunny day, good music or a good cappuccino are things that are worth being grateful for!
While staying positive is great for mental balance, being open about your feelings (even when they are negative) is equally advisable. Write down everything that goes through your head in a dedicated notebook; Sometimes, something you thought was super negative might not actually look that bad when put on paper.
Plan the meals for the week
What we eat can have strong influences on our mood, our stress levels and our daily focus and productivity. If you are someone who does the shopping when it happens and you only go to the supermarket when you have an empty pantry or when you are hungry, you may find yourself buying unhealthy ready-made meals, snacks and drinks. If you plan your meal week in advance (like Sunday), you will be able to shop systematically to make sure you have enough nutritious food to fill you up and give you healthy energy, every day.
Don’t neglect sleep
Sleeping is the glue that holds us together and makes us operational, and is therefore essential for self-care. We’ve all experienced that moody feeling that comes after a bad night’s sleep, so getting enough sleep always makes a difference – aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and try to create a healthy routine , so you go to bed and get up at the same time every night and every morning.
Late in the evening, relax by turning off your devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed and calm down with an herbal tea or a hot shower to ease the numbness of sleep.
The act of doing something good for less fortunate people can actually boost our self-esteem and make us feel good about ourselves. There is no need to volunteer every day or every week; try a few hours a month, perhaps for a local charity or homeless shelter. Helping others is an easy way to improve your mood and certainly that of others too!
It might seem absurd to take 5 minutes a day to sit completely still and meditate, but the benefits could be truly remarkable, especially if you suffer from stress and anxiety (you’re not alone!).
Meditation implies staying in the present, without worrying about the past or the future: stay still, focus on your breath and avoid the temptation to start wandering with your mind.
To begin, just sit down, close your eyes and focus on the rhythm of your breath. If your mind starts to drift, simply bring it back to the present. Aim to do this for 3 minutes, and over time, gradually builds up to 5 or even 10 minutes.
Try including meditation in your daily routine to make it a habit. It is recommended to do this for 5 minutes in the morning or otherwise at any time of the day that allows you to focus.
Make some order
Clutter and confusion can generate and fuel stress and create a psychologically chaotic environment. Put your shoes and clothes in order, make the bed, keep the bare minimum on the kitchen countertops and keep the work environment tidy.
You could even go all the way with a real rearrangement: get rid of the clothes you don’t wear anymore and the objects that are just there to gather dust. If they are still in good condition, donate them to charity or sell them online to make some quick cash!
If your bedroom is in chaos, it’s really worth a makeover, because a messy bedroom can actually make it more difficult to fall asleep and sleep well. Instead, create a calm and orderly environment for a peaceful sleep.