As mothers, wives, sisters, friends and daughters, women often experience a lot of pressure to manage their own wellbeing, while helping those around them. As with most things in life, the most important thing is balance – if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to fulfil any other responsibilities you might have, be they family or work-related.
These simple yet effective self-care ideas will help you improve your own health, wellbeing and overall happiness.
Physical exercise is crucial for both mental and physical health. While you don’t have to do a high-intensity workout every day, it’s important to move around for at least 30 minutes per day. Whether you head to the gym, take a relaxing lunchtime stroll or have your own dance party, this simple activity will boost your overall wellbeing.
In our busy modern world, some people think less sleep equals more productivity – but the opposite is more likely to be the case. During sleep, your brain forges critical connections and rids itself of toxins, enabling you to be alert and ready for the day. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-9 hours of good sleep per night to avoid burnout and unnecessary stress.
We all think we’re going to get our veggies in – until life gets in the way. Eating healthy, fresh food is an important way to get all the nutrients you need to operate at your best, so set out a menu for the week and do your best to stick to it. This will also minimise the stress of trying to think of something to make for dinner as well as the temptation to simply grab a takeaway or pre-made meal.
Taking time to breathe is a great way to centre yourself and destress. Put your phone away and turn off any music or background sound for 5 minutes each day, and just sit with your thoughts while breathing deeply and slowly. This mini-meditation can help reduce blood pressure, anxiety and more, and if it works for you, you can explore longer meditations.
Stress is your biggest enemy when it comes to guarding your wellbeing. With our busy lives seemingly leaving us no time to do what we love, you need to actively carve out some time to watch your favourite show, listen to some music, or whatever it is that you find relieves the stress of daily life.
No, not over social media. Humans are social animals, and your brain will reward you for spending time with the people you love. Maintaining close relationships with people who are special to you is one of the best ways to look after your mental health.
Most of the time, stress is caused by having too much to do and too little time to do it (or to look after yourself). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, find ways to reduce your workload, manage your time more effectively, and saying no to optional commitments if you need to.
Immersing yourself in nature has scientifically proven benefits for your physical and mental health. Find a nice green space near you, such as a park or tree-lined street, and take a walk through nature as often as you can. This will help you sleep better, manage your stress levels, boost your mental health, and even strengthen your immune system.
Turning off phones, screens and TVs is not only good for your mental health, but will actually help you sleep better. The blue light from these devices trigger something in our brains that makes it harder to sleep, so turn off for at least an hour or 2 before you go to sleep. Another benefit of this is the removal of social media scrolling just before bed, which can make you anxious, cause your brain to run in a million different directions, and even heighten your sense of loneliness – none of which are good for a great night’s sleep!
Have you ever put on a great outfit and immediately felt good about yourself? Sometimes dressing up for no reason is just what you need for a mental health boost. You can also treat yourself to an at-home pampering with face masks, cleansers and more, so you can face the world with confidence.
Remember – you can’t pour from an empty cup! Take care of yourself by boosting your mental and physical wellbeing today, so you can live a strong, healthy and productive life.