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Mind, body, and spirit… these three elements combine to make us whole. At least, they should do if we take regular steps to take good care of them all. But you know as well as I do that self-care can get knocked to the back of the to-do list we all have each day.
That’s why I have created this useful list of 12 tips you can resort to when time really isn’t on your side. No matter how busy you are, try and make room for a few of these suggestions each day.
I’ve divided them into tips for the mind, body, and spirit, so you can select one or two from each section to help you put yourself first occasionally.
1: TURN OFF YOUR DEVICES FOR 30 MINUTES
It doesn’t matter what you do in that time – just make sure you do it without having your phone, tablet, or computer nearby. Disconnecting from technology allows us to reconnect with ourselves.
2: DIVE INTO A GOOD BOOK
What better way to escape than to read a chapter of something you haven’t read before? Go for something you wouldn’t normally read to help expand your mind, or pick an old favourite.
3: SIMPLY BE
How many of us have forgotten how to do this? Yet doing it regularly, just appreciating being in the moment (I’m a huge fan of mindfulness, as you may know), helps us centre ourselves like nothing else.
4: INDULGE IN A MINI MEDITATION
Guidance for this is available online, or you can come up with your own ideas. Maybe you could download an app onto your phone? Do whatever works for you. Even the shortest meditation can calm your mind and help you feel less stressed.
5: SIT BACK AND FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING FOR 60 SECONDS
Use this whenever you’re feeling stressed or harried. Make sure you are breathing from your stomach rather than your chest; the latter is a sure indicator you’re feeling stressed.
6: FUEL YOUR BODY WITH A HEALTHY SNACK
Hungry? Grab some almonds, known for reducing hunger, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and helping with weight loss, too. That’s a good choice in my book! Other healthy nuts, or a piece of fruit, also work well.
7: GO FOR A WALK
Even if you can only spare 10 minutes, you’ll be surprised how refreshing it is to get out in the fresh air and get your body moving. Swing your arms to get everything going and don’t worry what others think. They probably won’t even notice you.
8: TAKE A POWER NAP
Good sleep is vital for health and wellbeing. Evidence suggests a quick afternoon nap can improve both, and make you feel more alert, too. The time you devote to napping will be repaid to you in greater productivity afterwards.
9: TAKE FIVE MINUTES TO WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THAT'S BUGGING AND FRUSTRATING YOU TODAY
Then rip the paper up into little pieces and throw it away. You’d be surprised how freeing this is. (Alternatively, if you’re at home, burn the pieces safely in a flameproof dish and scatter the ashes.
10: INTRODUCE A CALMING RITUAL TO YOUR DAY
It doesn’t need to be complex. I begin each day with a refreshing mug of green tea. It’s part of my routine now, and I make sure to enjoy it before doing anything else. If I miss it, I really do miss it.
11: TREAT YOURSELF
You’re worth it! A treat could be a couple of squares of chocolate, or a frothy coffee, or downloading a Kindle book you’ve been wanting to buy. What would work for you?
12: EXPERIMENT WITH AFFIRMATIONS
You can create your own, or find some online. Just reading through a few affirmations and repeating them to yourself for a couple of minutes (in your head is fine if you have company) can help centre your being again.
Lots of people make the mistake of sending self-care to the bottom of the list. I’ve done it in the past, but I try to put myself higher in the order of importance now. If you neglect your own mind, body, and spirit, you pay the price eventually, and this forces you to redress the balance.
If some of the above suggestions inspire you, those are the ones to go for. Of course, having read them, you may have thought of something else you can easily fit into your day. That’s fine – do whatever works for you in the time you have. Just remember it is easy to focus on self-care for just a few moments at a time, and the results will pay you back tenfold every time.
How will you take good care of yourself today?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.