5 Simple Steps to Self Care

Administrator Happiness, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Sometimes when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed we struggle to see a way to get a break.  We feel unable to do anything significant to change our situation like take a holiday or sometimes even just a day off.  Instead, we reach for a coffee or a chocolate bar to give us a quick lift and get us through.

However, there are a number of little things that you can do to make your day better.  Small things done regularly can have a significant impact.  You may think that taking 10 minutes of time out isn’t going to help much, but a 10 minute break is doable, and begins to release you from your overwhelm mindset.  It turns ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’.  Doing something for yourself, even small things, can have double benefits.  There is the benefit of the action itself, and the emotional lift that comes from the knowledge that you have shown yourself care today.

Ask yourself: what is one thing I can do today to make my day better? What is one thing I can plan to look forward to?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Just breathe.
When you get up in the morning, instead of checking your emails or social media, take 10 minutes to sit and focus on taking deep, slow breaths.  Relax and centre yourself before launching into the fray.  Listening to a guided meditation may help by giving you a lead to follow and marking out an acceptable block of time.

Sit down and look up
Unplug when you eat your lunch.  Again this only takes about 10-15 minutes.  Stop and sit down to eat.  Try and sit somewhere where there is a view even if it only a window looking out onto buildings.  Look into the distance while you eat.  Physically looking up helps to lift your mental perspective as well.  Simply sit, watch, day dream and eat, or engage in light conversation with someone.

Hoop Snack
Put on your favourite song and hoop for 5 or 10 minutes and enjoy the flow of feel good endorphins.  The physical activity also releases tension in your body and increases the flow of oxygenated blood to your brain.  A brisk walk has a similar effect.

Give or receive a hug.  This could be with another person or a pet.  When you share close physical contact with a loved one it stimulates the release of the feel good hormones oxytocin, dopamine and seratonin.  Research has shown that enjoying a hug can lower your blood pressure, reduce your heart rate and alleviate feelings of fear and anxiety.  Hugging someone also helps us feel connected to that person and decreases feelings of loneliness.

Watch a sunset
When was the last time you allowed yourself to stop and watch a sunset?  We tend to see watching a sunset as some significant event, but it can be something you enjoy on an ordinary day.  Sunsets happen quite quickly, but are usually soul-feeding to watch.  Not only is it a beautiful scene, but again you are looking up into the distance which lifts your mental perspective.  Up the impact by watching it while cuddled up with someone you care about.

Before you reach for a candy bar comforter, try some of these practices instead.  They are just as good for a quick fix and much better for your health.


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