There’s so little time left at the end of the day and no matter how much you promise yourself that today ‘i’ll find some time for myself’ you just never seem to get there! Your head hits the pillow and then it’s time to get up and start again...I think we’ve all been there! It’s taken me years to cultivate a daily self care practice that I love - and it all started with the commitment to finding just 2 minutes a day to meditate (and who doesn’t have 2 minutes, right)?
Those 2 minutes, taught me this...
That finding a place to start, no matter how small is the key to creating change and increasing our daily self care. Because, taking time for ourselves shouldn’t be reserved for holidays and the occasional spa day.
I know you’ve heard this before…
Self care isn’t a luxury. But, neither should it feel like another obligation on your ‘to do’ list. I think that the easiest way to approach self care is to add a few small habits into your routine, ones that take next to no time and soon feel like second nature to you.
So, if you’re running on empty and need a little help getting your self care practice off the ground, here are 6 tips that can all be done in a matter of minutes...
Let's start by tackling that inner critic because it can easily affect your mood and make you feel depleted and unworthy. I work on this daily and so I’m not suggesting that there’s a quick fix here but small steps make all the difference. Give it a try. Rather than submit to the chatter of your mind, pause and think about the words that you’re using. Are they kind or critical? Try increasing the kinder ones by speaking to yourself the same way you would to a friend in the same situation - you’ll be amazed how differently it makes you feel.
There's nothing like high energy, feel good exercise to get those happy hormones flowing and boost your mood. And, there are so many ways to do it; listen to your favourite playlist (90’s music for me every time) and dance around the house. If you’re at work, then take a brisk walk on your lunch break. Try and stay active for at least 10 minutes to help those feel good hormones take hold.
I love using positive affirmations to reassure myself that I’m on the right path and also to fill my mind with some positivity. If you’ve never used them before then I think the best advice is to just go with it, even if you feel a bit silly at first - because they work. You can create your own, be sure to keep them positive and in the present tense - for example “I’m welcoming new opportunities into my life’. Say them outloud when you can but in your head is just fine too. I like to choose one for the day or sometimes the week or month if I’m working on a particular issue. I’ve shared 25 of my favourite positive affirmations here to help get you started…
I love this because you can do it anywhere, in a meeting, stuck in traffic and even at your desk. Sit or stand comfortably and become focused on your breath moving in and out of your body. The intention is simply to connect to it. Resist the urge to control it, just experience it coming and going naturally. Thoughts will interrupt, that’s perfectly normal but try not to engage with them; let them pass by clouds. It sounds simple but in just a couple of minutes you'll feel much more present and balanced.
I’m super practical and so when I’m feeling out of balance and at risk from feeling overwhelmed, I organise! It stops me from free falling into a stressed out state. Start by looking at what you’ve got left to do today and ask yourself 'if nothing else gets done today what are my 3 main tasks or intentions?' Circle them and make those the focus of your day. If that still leaves things that need to be done then try rescheduling or delegating them.
Saying thank you for the blessings in your life, lies at the heart of so many self care practices. Why? Because it opens your heart and mind to all that you already have; the things that we can easily take for granted. And, it makes us happier and more positive.
It’s easy too; pause while you think of three things that you’re grateful for, start a daily gratitude journal or simply make a point of saying thank you a few more times during your day - it can work wonders for improving relationships. Here are 4 reasons why thank you should be your daily mantra.
I hope that you can fit at least one of these self care tips into your day. They’re simple to get started and with a little consistency you’ll really feel the benefits; helping you to feel more valued and cared for every day.
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.