Feeling stressed or anxious? Take small steps to change your life with these self-care routines.
It’s essential to care for your mind, body and soul. Life may get in the way with stress, anxiety and busy schedules, but there’s always space for solo 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 self-care practices you can add to your regular routine to boost your mental health. Even if it’s just a few minutes for yourself, they’ll help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
Simple self-care tips that will change your life
1. 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 at the gym. It can be as simple as waking up 10 to 15 minutes earlier to get a breakfast bite and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Practice deep breathing and map out your to-do list before you hit the ground running.
2. Switch out your coffee for tea
Those who can’t live without coffee, we hear your gasp of horror. You don’t have to do this all the time – just when you’re feeling stressed or irritable. A soothing brew can work wonders to calm your nerves. Try herbal variations or teas like chamomile and peppermint.
3. Treat yourself to a massage
There’s nothing more relaxing than getting a pampering massage that relieves your body of tension. Head to one of the best spas in Singapore and try your treatment of choice to alleviate any pain or muscle soreness, boost relaxation, reduce stress and improve circulation.
4. Unplug and disconnect
From your digital devices, that is. Before bedtime, put aside your phone, tablet, laptop and any other gadget with a screen, so you can wind down and take a break from social media for a bit. This gives your brain a breather and encourages better sleep.
5. 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 at silly things.
6. Champion yourself
Be your strongest supporter. If you’ve been thinking about signing up for a craft workshop, trying that new course, launching your business idea, creating that piece of artwork or writing a book, give yourself the time and space to get started.
7. Take a leisurely stroll outdoors
Whether it’s in the morning before work, during lunch or in the evening, enjoying a leisurely walk at your nearby park will do you good. You’ll fill your lungs with fresh air, bask in the sunshine and give your eyes a break. Plus, a little outdoor physical activity can help you get a good night’s rest!
8. Pick up a new hobby
Always wanted to try art jamming? Or perhaps tufting or pottery classes are more your style. Maybe you’ve even been thinking about learning how to sew. Whatever it is, engaging in fun activities can bring you joy and take your mind off stress.
9. 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. Spend five minutes each day decluttering so everything goes into its rightful place eventually. And donate your pre-loved items to charity so they get a second life.
10. 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 self-empowering, and yes, you can do it!
11. Cut out the noise
Getting overwhelmed by negative content online? Unfollow toxic friends or accounts that only get you worked up about the wrong things. Learn to curate what you allow into your life for a happier you.
12. Flip through the pages of a book
Stop the mindless scrolling. Instead, replace your screen 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 slow down to enjoy the present. Need a recommendation? Check out our book club for bestsellers and great reads!
13. Choose happiness
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 by manifesting positive energy – it’s as simple as that.
14. 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 by yourself.
15. 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 distractions allowed, please.
16. Mask on, mask off
17. 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, stretch out at yoga or Pilates studios, or hit up your personal trainer. A few sweat sessions each week can do wonders for self-care!
18. Plan your meals
Hands up if you’ve resorted to junk food or snacks for lunch when you’re too busy to even order a meal delivery. Food can affect our health, but it can also have an impact on our minds. Loading up on immunity-boosters and healthy ingredients helps with everything from improving memory to keeping sickness at bay. Don’t have time to cook a meal? Try healthy food delivery services, head to organic grocers for wholesome nibbles, or care for your gut with beverages like kombucha and kefir.
19. Make way for meditation
All you need is a few minutes to meditate. Set your timer, close your eyes, take that deep breath, clear your mind, and let loose all the tension and pressure in your body.
20. It’s okay to say no
Lesson learnt from Jim Carrey: Don’t be a yes man (or woman). It can be a 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.
21. Adore those animals
So you can’t stop your fingers from scrolling through social media. Why not fall down the rabbit hole of adorable pets? After being bombarded by wholesome cuties, you’ll realise this world isn’t all that bad. If you’re thinking of bringing home a new furry member of the family, head to animal shelters to adopt a pet.
22. 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 face. So the next time you see someone struggling, help ‘em. And don’t hold back on your ‘thank yous’.
23. Keep a journal
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 in a notebook – just to appreciate every little thing you have!
24. Adopt a house plant
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.
25. Pamper yourself
26. Move on from your failures
Mistakes push you to be better and stronger, but dwelling on the negative can only bring you down. So replace those defeatist thoughts with an encouraging mindset and focus on your growth. Give yourself small affirmations like “I can do this” and “I will overcome” whenever you need a mood booster.
27. Calm down with aromatherapy
From candles to pillow sprays to essential oils, 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 practising breathing techniques before bedtime.
28. Laughter is the best medicine
Life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Let go, be playful, and relax a little. Hang out with friends and loved ones, and cherish those fun times.
29. 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.
30. Embark on a solo trip
Need some me-time? Pack your bags and head off on an adventure by your own sweet self. Your solo travels can take you to places off the beaten track to discover amazing experiences rich in heritage and culture. Just pick a destination and jet off – even if it’s just for a short weekend getaway or a nearby wellness retreat.
31. No more FOMO
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.
32. 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.
33. Make the connection
Try these self-care tips for better mind and body wellness!