Feeling stressed or anxious? Here are some simple self-care tips that will change your life.
It’s essential to care for your mind, body and soul – even more so these days, as we live in a time of coronavirus. Life may try to get in the way with stress, anxiety and busy schedules, but there’s always space for me-time. Besides adhering to the basics like eating right, sleeping well and taking a break when you need it, there are plenty of other tiny practices you can easily add to your regular routine. Even if it’s just a few minutes for yourself, they’ll help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. Want to make small changes to your life? Read on for more self-care tips!
Start the day early
You may not be the cheeriest morning person, but there’s something to be said for early birds. Aim for something achievable – if you’re not an exercise buff, even a hundred snoozes won’t wake you from your slumber to sweat it out. It can be as simple as getting up 10 to 15 minutes earlier to make a cup of coffee or tea and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Practice deep breathing and map out your to-do list before you hit the ground running.
Let loose your inner child
Think back on what you loved as a kid or teenager – something you haven’t done in a long time – and just give it a shot! You might find yourself getting nostalgic and reminiscing or laughing over how silly you were.
You should be your strongest supporter. So if you’ve been thinking about signing up for that course, trying out that hobby, launching that business idea, creating that piece of artwork or writing that book, give yourself the time and space to get started.
Take a slow stroll outdoors
Whether it’s in the morning before work, during lunch break or in the evening, pencilling a leisurely walk at your nearby park into your daily schedule will do you good. You’ll be filling your lungs with fresh air, basking in the sunshine and giving your eyes a break from the screen. Plus, a little outdoor physical activity can help you get a good night’s rest!
Pick up a new hobby
Always wanted to try art jamming? Or perhaps crafts are more your style? Whatever it is, engaging in fun activities can bring you joy and take your mind off stress.
Organise your space (and life)
You don’t have to redo your entire home or room. Just try tidying things up into boxes, investing in a planner or calendar, and picking out or arranging what you need for the next day. You can even spend just five minutes each day decluttering so everything goes into its rightful place eventually.
Embrace that compliment
Don’t try and be humble. Don’t reject the praise. Receive it wholeheartedly and just say ‘thank you’ instead of trying to deny it. It’s called self-empowerment, and yes, you can do it!
Cut out the noise
Avoid negative content online. Unfollow toxic friends or social media platforms that only serve to get you worked up about the wrong things. Learn to curate what you allow into your life for a happier you.
Flip through the pages of a book
Stop the mindless scrolling. Put aside your phone, tablet, laptop and any other screen. Replace ‘em with a good old novel, biography or even a title on self-care. You might be surprised when you feel your mood lift and your body naturally slowing down to enjoy the present. Need a recommendation? Check out our book club for bestsellers and great reads!
There are plenty of lifestyle approaches to happiness out there. But an easy, quick way to lift your mood is to read a cheery book, listen to an inspiring podcast or tune in to good news. Start your day with something positive – it’s as simple as that.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
We all need a little support and encouragement every now and then. So share your burden with those you love and trust, or humbly ask for assistance when you need it. There’s no need to shoulder the weight all by yourself.
Settle in for screen time
We’re not talking about obsessively binge-watching everything on your list. Instead, dim the lights, pour yourself a glass of wine, reach for that bucket of popcorn, and snuggle up on the couch to watch a good flick. No phones or distractions allowed, please.
Mask on, mask off
Sometimes, relaxing can be as easy as lying down in your comfiest PJs, sipping on a cup of tea and treating your skin to a soothing face mask for a couple of minutes.
Get your heart rate up
Regular exercise keeps your level of happy hormones up, so don’t slump onto the couch after work. Head out for a brisk walk nearby, do a quick 30-minute cardio routine in the living room or stretch out into yoga poses with free online fitness classes. A few sweat sessions each week can do wonders for self-care!
Plan your meals
Hands up if you’ve resorted to junk food or snacks for lunch when you’re just too busy to even order a meal delivery. Food can affect our health, but it can also have an impact on our mind. Loading up on immunity-boosters and healthy ingredients can help with everything from improving memory to keeping sickness at bay. Don’t have time to cook a meal? Try healthy food delivery services, hit up organic grocers for wholesome nibbles, or care for your gut with beverages like kombucha and kefir.
Make way for meditation
All you need is a few minutes. Set your timer, close your eyes, take that deep breath, clear your mind, and let loose all the tension and pressure in your body.
It’s okay to say no
Lesson learnt from Jim Carrey: Don’t be a yes man (or woman). Granted, most of us struggle to reject others, especially in difficult situations. But if you’re already exhausted and overwhelmed, saying yes to everyone you cross paths with can only result in anxiety and burnout. Self-care is prioritising the things and people important to you. And understanding that you can’t please everyone.
Be kind to your neighbour
What goes around may come around, but being nice to others (even strangers) is the easiest way to put a smile on everyone’s faces. So the next time you see someone struggling, help ‘em. And don’t hold back on your ‘thank yous’.
Adore those animals
If you can’t stop your fingers from scrolling through social media, at least make it a point to check out photos, videos or memes of furry cuties. After several listicles of good doggos and wholesome pets, you’ll realise this world isn’t all that bad.
Keep a journal
Yeah, we know, you probably haven’t done this since your school days. But hear us out: Giving thanks each day for the small things will cultivate an attitude of gratitude. It can be as easy as typing it out on your phone or jotting it down on a notebook – just to appreciate every little thing you have!
Grow your green thumb
Plants are lovely to look at. And it’s believed that indoor greens can help reduce blood pressure, giving you a sense of calm. But if you’re not really the nurturing type, just get a succulent. They’re almost indestructible.
Forget your failures. Yes, mistakes are there to help you learn and push you to be better and stronger, but dwelling on the negative can only serve to bring you down. So replace those defeatist thoughts with an encouraging mindset and focus on your growth. Give yourself small daily affirmations like “I can do this” and “I will overcome.”
Laughter is the best medicine
Life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Let go, be playful, relax a little. Hang out with friends and loved ones (online), and cherish those fun times.
Calm down with aromatherapy
From candles to pillow sprays to essential oils and their diffusers, soothing scents like lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine and bergamot can ease anxiety. Plus, they’ll fill your room with their lovely fragrance, which can lull you to sleep. Got worries weighing you down? Try sleep tricks like turning the lights down and weaning yourself off digital screens before bedtime.
Donate your time
Time is precious, but even more so when you’re sharing it with others and creating your own community. Find the cause you’re passionate about and volunteer for charities, non-profit organisations or welfare groups to assist someone else in need.
No more FOMO
These days, it’s about the joy of missing out so you can have time for yourself. Pick and choose what you want to participate in and avoid being stretched too thin.
Get that snapshot
Photos are great and all, but your camera wasn’t meant to snap 1,001 pictures of your daily lunch. Keep physical copies of the memories – both good and bad – so you can look back a year later and reflect.
Embark on a solo trip
Even if you can’t travel right now, you can always sweat it out at your neighbourhood park or plan a weekend getaway for the future. The whole idea is for you to have that exclusive me-time so you can disconnect, wind down, take a break from your regular schedule and just focus on yourself.
Make the connection
Don’t just be Facebook friends or Instagram followers. Put in the effort to have that personal touch in your relationships and you’ll see them start to blossom.