Sipping on my coffee I was watching and scrolling through all the spreadsheet analysis on my laptop completely ignoring the blissful raindrops on my glass window. Rummaging my brain and time through all the client calls in a day tired me to the core. But I ignored playing a melody to relax my day transitioning to a peaceful bedtime. Instead I kept thinking about tomorrow’s client calls and reports to write and publish. My work, my responsibilities, my success, my recognition, and every other worldly pleasure crosses my mind. But where is me amongst all these? When did I forget enjoying the raindrops while sipping on my coffee? When did I forget to relax my mind to a melody or two after an awfully long day?
To keep up with this warp speed lifestyle, we do not think twice before putting self-care on the back burner. The sad truth is that often, it requires a wake-up call to notice the toll it takes on our lives.
We forget that self-care is as important as the job to us, because it reminds us that life is precious. Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it helps in boosting your confidence and self-esteem. In contrast to the popular notion, workaholism is not a virtue. Working overtime each day loads you with heavy stress and exhaustion that reduces your productivity. Moreover, you feel disorganized and emotionally depleted. It is quite common to see health problems like anxiety or panic attacks, insomnia etc. among people who overwork. Yes, we are all busy and yes, we are all running after materialistic achievements – essential yes (it pays bills, I know!) – but not important than life itself. Hence, self-care shouldn’t be at the back of our mind, but it is something that we should incorporate daily. What can be worst than the feeling of guilt that we have when we take a short break to refresh ourselves than be a workaholic! Let’s try to break these shackles and look at 10 self-care habits that we can practise everyday without hassle. After all everything else is a part of life and we have somehow forgotten the core of everything, i.e., life.
A healthy work-life balance
Self-care habits like taking intermittent breaks (having lunch off your desk, taking a short walk, going for coffee or calling your mother), setting professional boundaries, avoiding over extension of work everyday ensures that you stay sharp, healthy and motivated.
A goodnight’s sleep is essential
Sleep can have a huge effect on your health – both emotionally and physically. As much as it is necessary to detach yourself from being a workaholic, it is equally important to have a 7-8 hours of goodnight sleep to de-stress your mind and recharge your body. Insomnia is the worst enemy to your mind, soul, and the body. Hence, it is an absolute necessity to avoid distractions like checking smartphones (mails, social media), watching TV or a laptop before sleeping. If you face difficulty in sleeping, try to induce in some calm spa music that will relax your mind or read a book.
Make exercising a part of your daily routine
Exercising is necessary – yes, but why? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. And, let us not forget it helps in shedding fat as well. Going to gym in your office or next to your house was a great thing before COVID. But we can still do a lot at home since most of us are working from home. Yoga at home, bodyweight exercises, dance fitness, etc. can be done at home and helps you feel charged up for the rest of the day. Apart from these, everyday walking is immensely helpful and thoroughly recommended by medical practitioners to keep mind and body healthy all the time.
Meditate every day to calm your mind
Deep breathing (or pranayama) exercises or meditation everyday helps to calm the mind and refreshes you from inside. It is recommended for every age person to at least meditate or do deep breathing for at least 5-10 mins per day. This helps you to deal with the anxious mind bringing a sense of stagnation to your ever-running thoughts.
Laugh heartily at least once a day
Laughter is the best medicine. And indeed so, I believe. Laughing heartily everyday changes your mood instantly. Be it talking to your best friend and discussing the funny memories or having group chat sharing funny memes, it is essential to release those endorphins. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. It also helps in strengthening your immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to diseases. So, let’s laugh more and worry less to protect our mind and body from the diseases around us.
Eat right for self-care
Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.
Take some lazy time out for yourself
Every day, do take some time out for yourself to indulge in anything you feel like. Sometime for yourself does not necessarily mean to do something creative or productive. It can also mean that you make some tea (or coffee) and watch the rain drops while sipping on it. You can also choose to lazily sway and dance on some music simultaneously singing on top of your voice. Giving time to yourself everyday to smile, dance look outside your window, enjoy tea on your balcony makes you alive again.
Start writing a journal
It is difficult to talk about some experiences or occurrences in our life that affects (or has affected) our mind in some way or the other. But it is not healthy to keep thinking about it time and again, as it infests negativity and sense of weakness in you. Writing a journal helps a lot. It has helped me to spit out all the hurting thoughts and then channelize my energy to something positive. Writing away your thoughts in that journal makes you feel lighter from the inside.
Learn to say ‘NO’
It is imperative that we understand our priorities and not overburden ourselves with professional or personal work on a day-to-day basis. Remember we only have 24 hours in a day, of which we need to dedicate at least 10 hours to ourselves – for our mind and body. So, learn to say ‘no’ when it is necessary, even if it is to yourself. There is always a choice between overburdening and taking care of yourself. Choose the latter by saying ‘no’ when we need to say it.
Read a book on self-care or take therapy classes
In a world where everything is just fingertips away from you, no wonder that smartphones have become our best friends. Rather than always looking at the blue light screen of the smartphones that infects our eyes as well as tires our brain more than it already is, let’s pick a book on self-care instead. Alternatively, you can also book therapy classes to attend. You will be amazed to know the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Reading a book or attending therapy classes improves your mood and it also helps you to stay more present and mindful.
Lastly, don’t put it off for the next weekend, Christmas holidays or the zombie apocalypse. Start today and be regular. It won’t take long before you begin to see the difference! Let’s put life at the pedestal and make a difference to ourselves and the community.
Stay safe and healthy!