Is self-care one of those things you always intend to do, but maybe don’t get to? Here is a list of our top tips to ensuring you take the time to take care of yourself and some ideas to get you started.
Self-care is taking care of our own well-being and happiness. It often looks different for everyone as we all have those activities that help us to feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on our lives. Self-care in its essence is taking the time to something that makes you feel good.
Prioritize self-care practices.
If you struggle with setting time aside for self-care activities, start by scheduling them into your weekly planner to make those self-care practices a part of your daily or weekly routine. If you integrate these activities into your schedule, you’re more likely to follow through with the plans.
Reflect and relax a little each day.
Taking 5 -10 minutes to decompress everyday is a great way to unwind. Whether you’ve had a busy day at work or spent the day running errands and checking items off your to do list, don’t forget to take time each day to reflect and just breath. Take a moment to just sit quietly with your own thoughts.
Switch it up and get moving.
Self-care inspiration can be hard to find if you are spending time in the same place everyday. Whether you are back working in the office or still working from home, don’t forget the value in taking the time to get up and move throughout the day. This could be a short walk around the block or even working in a different space for a few hours. If you are looking for a way to stay moving throughout the day, check out our blog post from last fall on a few exercises that can be completed at your desk!
Stay well rested.
Often it is easy for our routines to be a bit off during the summer, but getting enough sleep is a great way to participate in self-care on a daily basis. We might be staying up later because the sun stays up later, but this later bedtime could result in a few sluggish mornings. Although it is nice to enjoy this time, it’s also important to also prioritize rest and relaxation so you can wake up feeling rested rather than hitting the snooze button until the last possible second. Try to go to bed at a reasonable time throughout the week to ensure you are allowing yourself enough sleep.
Disconnect when needed.
There is no shame in needing a little break from the constant connection. Having our entire digital lives at our fingertips is great most of the time, but take a moment to reflect how this constant connection is impacting your mental and personal wellness. Are there specific ways you can take a little detox from the constant connection? Maybe it’s leaving your phone at home when you go to hang out with friends or leaving your phone and computer in the other room when you go to bed at night. Self-care can sometimes look like taking a step back.
Take the time to enjoy the little things.
Take (or make) the time to enjoy moments that make you happy. Do you find yourself thinking you wish you had more time to do certain activities? If making and enjoying a tasty coffee and breakfast on Sunday morning is one of the best parts of the weekend for you, consider getting up earlier during the week to be able to enjoy these moments more often. Whatever it may be, remind yourself often to stop and enjoy the small moments in life.
Say no when your plate is too full.
Remember it is okay to say no those extra plans. A form of self-care can also be taking a step back and doing nothing! If those Friday night dinner plans with friends is too much on top of a busy week, it is okay to say no or reschedule for next week. Listen to your body for when you know you need a little more relaxation time.
Build a self-care kit.
Make engaging in self-care easy. First, take a moment to reflect on those things or activities that make you happy. Next, fill a basket or box with those things to have on hand next time you are looking to engage in some self-care. In the kit, you could include a new pair of socks, a bubble bath, a reminder to phone a loved one, your favourite photos, a gift card to your favourite restaurant (a gift from you to you), and anything else to show yourself a little love. You could also include a list of ideas for participating in self-care if you sometimes feel stuck on what to do. Keep this kit near-by and reach for it next time you want to treat yourself!
Stay in touch.
Staying connected to loved ones is always important, but especially now. Although our province is opening up, it is not always easy to get together with friends or family on a regular basis. Staying connected is important for maintaining mental wellness as well.
Make the effort for those self-care activities.
Having an idea of a few self-care activities you want to do and actually doing them can sometimes be two very different things. If self-care for you is booking a massage or a trip to the hair salon, book the appointments in advance! This will ensure you have time for them, as they are already scheduled in, but will also give you something to look forward to.
Self-care is different for everyone and what might work for some, might not work for others. Try out a few of these tips to see if they can help you prioritize self-care into your life.
Thanks to Women’s Health Magazine for some of the ideas! If you are looking for more ideas on how you can engage in self-care, click here to read our blog post from earlier in the year featuring a list of ideas (remember to practice physical distancing where necessary!).
Make engaging in self-care even easier by purchasing a Personal Health Plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross. Health coverage gives you the opportunity to seek treatments that can help you take care of yourself, with coverage for health practitioners like massage therapists, chiropractors and acupuncture.