During this stressful time, we are hoping families and in particular parents are focusing on their own self care. We encourage you to try to do three or four of these self care ideas each day.
Do a few affirmations
Add some simple but effective self care to your day by practicing affirmations. Choose a statement each day and take 5 minutes to say it out slowly loud to yourself 10 times. Really focus on the statement, don’t argue against it!
Accept or give a compliment
While not often something you can plan, accepting compliments can go a long way in improving your self esteem and sense of self care. Take care of yourself and practice some self love by giving someone a smile, and an earnest ‘thank you!’.
Research is showing just how much benefit mindfulness can have for improving mental health, lowering stress levels and producing positive emotions. Try an app like Smiling Mind or Headspace, which have mindfulness recordings that are 5-10 minutes long.
10 deep breaths
Oh the simple but beautiful power of the breath! Set an alarm on your phone several times through the day to remind you to stop, breathe, and continue.
Shut down your computer
Find yourself getting stressed at work, whether in the office or at home? Shut down that computer! Save everything, and hit the restart button. Take this opportunity to go and make a cup of tea, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths, or practice one of the other activities listed here.
Even 5-10 minutes of reading can slow down your heart rate and reduce your stress levels. So put down your phone and read something (from a book!) that puts a smile on your dial.
Moisturising can trigger the senses of smell, touch, and sight all at once and be a calming practice to use. Go and treat yourself to a really great smelling hand cream and take 5 minutes to slowly massage it into your hands, close your eyes and breathe it in.
Write in a gratitude journal
Gratitude is not about being happy for everything in your life. It is about paying attention and finding some things to be grateful/happy/thankful/appreciative for each day. Buy yourself a journal, and take 5-10 minutes each day to reflect.
Drink 2 glasses of water
Not only does this take 5 minutes away from the computer or other arduous tasks, but it also has the added benefit of increasing your water intake for the day, woo!
It doesn’t take long to get a good stretch in each day, and it’s a great way to connect with your body and engage in self care.
Message a loved one
We get so wrapped up in routine, work, family, stressors. Take 10 minutes each day to reach out to someone. It may be a quick call, a text, a social media comment, anything to connect with others.
Watch a funny YouTube clip
Laughter really is the best medicine for low mood, stress, and overwhelm. I love to take a few minutes out of my day to watch something that will make me smile or laugh
Put on an upbeat song and dance
The power of music is STRONG! Put on an upbeat song and just dance and sing around with full abandon. This helps you to connect with your body, feel happy, and get out of your head for a few minutes.
Read an inspiring quote on Instagram
Take care of your mind by giving it some good inspiration each day. You may need to remind yourself of how awesome you are, get your hustle on, or just have a laugh.
Make a cup of tea
The English were on to something with this habit. Making a cup of tea (or coffee, hot chocolate, chai) can be a self care activity for several reasons.
Drop your shoulders
Most of us carry tension in our shoulders, and they can creep up during the day without even noticing. Progressive muscle relaxation is a great technique that helps you tune in to your tension, and teach your body to recognise the difference between tense and relaxed muscles.
Light a candle and breathe
It can be a simple yet somehow luxurious thing to light a lovely smelling candle and just stare at it and breathe.
Get into the adult colouring fad
Remember to care for others, you need to care for yourself first!