What self-care secrets should be part of your daily routine?

Self-care is about looking after yourself both physically and mentally. The idea of making time for yourself sounds good, but let’s face it, there just never seem to be enough hours in the day, right?

As we grow, so do our responsibilities. The pressure is on to succeed, and to work hard! Our minds are always racing, and we forget to do simple things to look after ourselves. Why not stay up just a little longer? What’s the harm in skipping one meal? What’s wrong with juggling everything at once?

Believe it or not, you’re never too busy for a bit of self-care. Starting something new or adding it to your schedule might feel a bit overwhelming, but self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

In this blog, we are going to get right back to the basics and share our self-care secrets with you.

Get Some Sleep

Why waste time sleeping when you can do other important things, you ask? So, you can do those important things, better! We get it, it’s a busy life. The recommended sleep for adults, according to the NHS, is 7 to 9 hours; that’s almost a third of your whole day. And sure, maybe you can survive one night working a little bit longer. But what happens when it becomes 2 nights, 5 nights, a whole month? Eventually, you’re left with a routine that leaves you feeling constantly tired. Whatever you need to do, the likelihood is that it can wait for the next day, so take a break!

You may have noticed as well that we are writing under the assumption the reason you are staying up late is to work as many of us do. However, there are many reasons to stay up late; whether you’re scrolling on social media for fun or trying to study, the list goes on. No matter the reason, late nights will add up and that has a big impact on your ability to function day-to-day.

Sleep isn’t just a refresh button to your mind; it’s rejuvenating physically and emotionally. If you’re interested in finding out how to regulate your body clock, check out this podcast episode with our guest speaker and life coach, Lex Lovell.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Yes, 5 a day. Yes, eat your greens. No, fast-food hamburgers with lettuce don’t count. We all understand what foods we should eat and what food isn’t so good for us, but one thing that’s not discussed as much is the reason why. Food is our energy source, it provides our bodies with nutrients and vitamins that help fuel our bodies.

Much like sleep, we can end up forgetting to eat (or skipping meals) when we get busy. Another reason people may want to skip meals is to lose weight. There’s so much pressure for people to look a ‘certain way’ that we push ourselves to fit in with toxic beauty standards. This is not healthy or recommended. Instead, all you are achieving is depriving your body of the energy it needs in the day.

When it comes to the food we eat, balance is key. Make sure you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snack in between. Don’t ignore your stomach if it is craving for food, just offer instead something healthy. We like to live by the 80:20 rule. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet 80% of the time and allow 20% for treats and things that you enjoy.

Use a Self-care Tracker

Using a self-care tracker is a great way to start incorporating self-care into your daily routine. It will help you to cultivate a bit more time within your day for you to focus on your wellbeing. In fact, incorporating a bit of self-care might help you dial down stress, improve your patience, and help you stay focused. It’s all about those small steps that can make a big difference in how you feel.

If you’d like to give it a go, we have a free template for you to download and use as and when you need it!

Mock-up of an A4 downloadable Self-Care Tracker on a purple background.

Exercise and Fitness

According to the UK Chief Medical Officer’s report, it is recommended we exercise 150 minutes a day. An hour and a half of walking, cycling, running, swimming, anything at all that is active. This can be incorporated into your life so easily, for example, consider how much you travel every day. Do you take a bus but could skip it for a walk? Perhaps cycle it? On your lunch breaks, do you sit in a room or go outside?

Exercising is an essential part of life, keeping you fit and healthy. There are so many different forms of exercise, there will be something out there you enjoy. The important thing is to get your body moving, so try new things, experiment and don’t be afraid to switch things up if it’s not working for you.

On the other hand, though, if you are excessively exercising at the gym every day or pushing yourself too hard, you could injure yourself. Remember to give your body a chance to repair itself. Daily exercise does not need to be painful, just active and energising.

Practice Meditation

By following the previous steps, your body will be a powerhouse that will not tire! Only now, it’s the mind running on fumes. Sure, sleeping will help relieve some of that tension built up in the day but it won’t always quieten the mind. A lot is going on in there; what to do today, what exams are coming up, group projects, driving lessons on Tuesday, picking up milk. When it all piles up, it’s like you are always switched on. No time to rest, you are busy!

Meditation is a great form of self-care and there are plenty of quick tutorials available online that you could follow. Allow yourself an allotted time in the day to just remain still and calm. Take a step back and pause. Focus on your breathing and your body in the moment and let those constant thoughts just flutter away.

Finding it hard? That’s okay! Don’t allow yourself to get angry or frustrated, there is no right or wrong way to do this. You can’t just tell yourself to stop thinking, that will only make you think more. Just be present, in the moment. If you’re struggling to get into the right frame of mind, why not try a local meditation class? It could be beneficial to get out of your own space and be in an environment with other people.

The importance of being kind to yourself

Consistently practising self-care will help you with all the things that are weighing you down. But life can still get tough at times, tiring you down with constant decisions and goals for the future. Like being stuck at a crossroads with so many choices and responsibilities, it doesn’t hurt to just pause and check in with yourself.

If you are struggling and would like some guidance, check out our book Don’t Get Your Neck Tattooed! It’s full of tips and essential life skills to keep you going, no matter what comes your way.

For more information on this topic

Listen to our podcast episode:
‘S for Self-care Secrets | Make Time For You’

Z to A of Life Skills Podcast with Mark and Jules Kennedy.

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