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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 quickly get pushed to the bottom of that ‘to-do’ list that we all have.
That’s why I wanted to share with you my list of 12 self-care tips that you can pick up and use, even when time isn’t on your side. No matter how busy you are, I’m sure that you can make room for one or two of these today.
To help you create more balance in your day, I’ve divided them into tips for the mind, body, and spirit – make sure to take different actions on different days
1: TURN OFF YOUR DEVICES FOR 15-30 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. Try starting small, a few minutes here and there and then build up to more solid blocks of time away from technology.
2: DIVE INTO A GOOD BOOK
What better way to relax than to read a chapter of something you haven’t read before? Try picking up something you wouldn’t normally read to help expand your mind or if you have an old favourite that warms your heart that’s good too.
3: SIMPLY BE
How many of us have forgotten how to do this? Yet doing it regularly, just stopping to appreciate being in the present moment (I’m a huge fan of mindfulness) helps us centre ourselves like nothing else.
4: ENJOY A MINI MEDITATION
Even the shortest meditation can calm your mind and help you feel calmer. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, find a guided meditation online or download an app onto your phone that you can use during your day. It’s simple but very effective once you’ve found what works for you.
5: FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING FOR 60 SECONDS
Use this to combat negative emotions like stress, anger and anxiety. Be sure to breathe from your stomach rather than your chest; the latter is a sure indicator you’re feeling stressed.
6: RE-FUEL WITH A HEALTHY SNACK
Hungry? Choose something healthy to nourish your body with. Grab some almonds, known for reducing hunger, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and helping with weight loss, too - 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 even as short as 10-15 minutes can improve both, and make you feel more alert, too. The time you devote to napping is also repaid to you in greater productivity afterwards.
Take five minutes to write down everything that is 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: CREATE A CALMING RITUAL
It doesn’t need to be complex. I like to take my time over a mug of hot tea in the morning, unrushed and present in the moment. It sounds simple but these small things can really help us to stay balanced and calm
11: TREAT YOURSELF
Show yourself love with a gift; fresh flowers, your favourite chocolate or that book you’ve been just waiting to read. It doesn’t take that much to lift our spirit a little and we don’t have to wait for someone else to do it for us.
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 really help you feel centred and positive.
Self care is not a luxury
Lots of people make the mistake of putting self-care to the bottom of the list. I’ve done it in the past, but I’ve learnt that caring for myself helps me to grow and bring light into the world in a way that I can’t if I’m depleted and feeling low. Remember that if you neglect your own mind, body, and spirit, there’s always a price to pay and eventually that forces you to redress the balance.
I hope that some of my suggestions inspire you, pick the ones that speak to you the most. Their purpose is to bring more harmony and balance into your days not stress and so go for the easiest ones first!
If you’d like a little more support along the way then I’ve created this printable self-care for the soul checklist there’s 20 more ideas on it for you and you can tick off each one as you go!...
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.