5 easy ways to add self-care to your daily routine
Lately, I’ve been indulging in self-care. Unapologetically.
There are different levels and realms of self-care and all of them are of equal importance to your overall well-being. What’s emotional self-care without physical or mental self-care? And what’s social self-care without practical self-care?
For the sake of this post, I’ve narrowed it down to five main areas that require attention. The problem for most people is not having enough time to pay attention and apply self-care practices consistently. But like anything in life, it’s not about what you have time for, it’s about what you make time for.
One of the big misconceptions about self-care is that it requires time and money—a costly visit to the spa, maybe a vacation? But that’s not what self-care is about.
I get it. We’re busy. We have priorities. We have jobs. We have kids. We have partners and families and houses to maintain. But stopping to take some time for ourselves is critical in having enough fuel in the tank to tend to those daily activities.
So here’s how you do it if you’re short on time (and money.)
Use social media to reach out to your friends.
Most of us use social media every single day. According to a BBC report, Facebook lurking actually makes you miserable. So while much of our usage comes in the form of mindless scrolling, a little bit of judgment and some stalking here and there, there are better, more mindful ways to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The next time you find yourself aimlessly using social media, pick an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and reach out to them. Either send them a message, check in on them and ask how they are, or go the extra step in setting up a coffee date.
Squeeze in a workout at your desk.
Desk jobs are directly related to increased weight gain and health risks. But there are a lot of stretches and workouts that you can do without getting up and without stopping work.
Personally, I bring a resistance band with me to the newsroom. I tie it around my ankles and do a series of resistance exercises throughout my day. Every 45 minutes, I pause for a few minutes to do some stretches and look away from the screen.
But desk workers aren’t limited to just these. There are a lot of options available to those stuck with desk jobs. Check out Shape magazine’s suggestions on how to lose weight while sitting at your desk.
Stay on top of your emails.
Don’t underestimate the power of a clean inbox. At my job, most emails a day old are unnecessary, so it makes maintaining my inbox easy. However, my Outlook receives about an email a minute, so staying on top of everything is key.
Always check your email before you get into work. This helps you be in tune with the day, have advanced notice on any important events or communication threads that will be of use to you throughout your shift.
Create folders for important emails, and organize them in the most straight-forward way possible so that they’re easily accessible whenever you need to look for them.
Write in a journal
After I read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens”, I managed to maintain a daily journal from May 14, 2006 through to 2012. I fell off after starting university (story of my life).
Despite picking it back up here and there, I never fully returned to it. But on days that I feel the most emotional, I always pick up a pen and paper and write down what I’m going through and what I’m feeling, and it comes back just like riding a bike.
Journaling can help you to map out your emotions when you need it the most. If you have a few extra minutes throughout your day, jot down what’s happened so far in your day, how you feel about it and what you want to accomplish by the end of the day.
I’ve had a budget since I stopped journaling—because, well, adulthood. I use a very straightforward yet detailed template and I simply update it every night before I go to bed.
Having a handle on your finances will bring you more relief than I might ever be able to explain in a post or a conversation. And while it takes time to actually get a grasp on your finances, it doesn’t take long to feel the satisfaction of at least seeing and knowing where your money is going, and where it needs to be redirected.
Map out your payments, your monthly expenses, and keep track of how much money you have coming in and out of your pockets and bank account each month.
And don’t just make a budget, stick to it.
All of these things require no more than a few minutes at once, and can all easily be implemented into your daily routine. Don’t get so caught up in the everyday run around that you forget the peace of mind that comes with being organized and self-caring.
Can you imagine the impeccable care a mechanic must take of their car? How healthy a doctor must be after all that they know and all that they’ve seen?
You deserve to be taken care of in the way that a mechanic’s car is cared for, you deserve to be healthy the way a doctor might be, so who better to ensure that you get the care you deserve than you?