Modern life is stressful. We’re always working, looking after other people, trying to stay fit and healthy and be our best. Around one in three of us are also trying to earn extra money with a side hustle. Stress is becoming a common part of life, and more of us than ever are finding that the pressures of our lifestyles – many of which we put on ourselves – are leading to mental health concerns and starting to affect both our health and happiness.
Self-care is a relatively new term for a very old tool. People have always taken time for themselves, done things to care for their physical and mental health and to make themselves feel better. Even something as simple as getting an early night before a big day is an act of self-care.
Unfortunately, when we are busy, and we need to give ourselves some extra TLC, these acts of self-care are often the first things that we cut from our to-do lists. The good news is, with the right habits, self-care can be something that you do without thinking. Here are seven habits that can make you healthier and happier.
There are so many advantages to daily yoga practice. Getting on the mat for 15 minutes in the morning, and another 15 before bed can reduce stress and tension, help you to sleep, build strength, improve your posture, and build flexibility. This can have a big impact on your mental and physical health.
More Time Outdoors
More time outdoors helps you to get fresh air and exercise, but it also gives you a chance to immerse yourself in nature, which is a great way of putting your life and your worries into perspective. Try to get out for a walk, run, or gentle jog every day. When you don’t have time, even eating your lunch outdoors is enough to improve your mood.
Learn to Recognize Stress
We all need tools to deal with stress. For some, it’s exercise – for others, it’s rest. But part of being able to deal with stress is recognizing the signs, understanding your stressors, and knowing when you need to do something about it.
A Better Work-Life Balance
One of the reasons we get so stressed out, and one of the biggest dangers to our mental health and happiness, is that we work too much and too hard. We give work more importance than other things in our lives.
A better work-life balance, with a greater focus on friends, family, and hobbies is one of the best things that you can do for your health and happiness.
Do Something for Yourself Every Day
Get into the habit of doing one thing, just for you, every day. Some days this might be something big, like a night out with friends or a big shopping spree. Other days, it might be extra yoga, a walk, or reading for a few minutes in the afternoon. Shop a variety of wellness products to make sure you’ve got options when it comes to self-care and enjoy a little time for yourself every single day.
Eating clean doesn’t have to mean dieting or obsessing about what you eat. In fact, it shouldn’t mean dieting or calorie counting at all. Instead, focus on cutting processed food and refined sugars and healthy eating starts to come naturally. Enjoy treats in moderation and try to fill your plates with color and natural ingredients.
Focus on Strength and Fitness
One of the biggest mistakes that we make is obsessing over our weight. We calorie count, we cut food groups and we worry about what we are eating. We exercise to lose weight. If you stop thinking about what you can lose by exercising and instead think about the strength and fitness that you can gain, you’ll be far healthier and happier.
Usually, when it comes to self-care, it’s the smaller habits you can practice daily that have the biggest effect on our health and happiness.