We all know life can be extremely hectic sometimes, what with work, family commitments and trying to maintain our responsibilities and social lives. There is a lot to try and keep in balance, and often the first thing to get squeezed out is self-care. But lack of relaxation over time causes serious mental and physical problems. And if no one is caring for the carer, she can’t care for anyone else. So it’s important to make sure you have time to wind down – but how, when there is a to-do list a mile long clamouring for your attention? Well, one thing that can help when time is in short supply is adopting some relaxing daily rituals that restore your wellbeing and serenity. They don’t have to be time-consuming, but make them a part of your life and you’ll feel much better for it.
Refocus On Your Body
Often we are used to suppressing minor health issues, aches and pains, deeming them not serious enough to be deserving of our limited time and attention. However, this approach is asking for trouble to be stored up for the future. Take the time to tune in to your body and listening to what it’s trying to tell you. If you are constantly run down and low energy, it isn’t a normal state of affairs – your body is trying to tell you to slow down. Many people find that practising yoga or using a mindfulness app helps them to reconnect with their physical selves. Or it could be that you just take forty minutes for a deep bath with Epsom Salts to detox and tune in, with fluffy spa robes waiting for you when you get out!
Shake Off The Sugar
Especially when we are suffering from low energy, it’s easy to turn to sugary coffees, sweets or chocolates in an effort to try and keep going, but this is one of the worst moves to make. Excess sugar consumption leads to dramatic spikes in energy levels which will make you feel worse and also leads to disturbed sleeping patterns at night. You need to bring awareness to what you eat instead of shovelling in chocolate while gazing at Netflix in the evening. A good start is to ban eating on the sofa, as this is usually not mindful eating. When you do have a treat, really focus on it and be fully conscious of the tastes and smells – savour it. You’ll find you feel a lot more satisfied that way and so are likely to have fewer cravings and so minimise the health issues and mood swings that come with eating sweets all the time.
Limit Your Screen Time
Most of us are overly attached to our smartphones and tablets, and this can lead to anxiety, fractured attention spans and poor sleep. Try to schedule in regular time away from your phone – perhaps taking a walk outside at lunchtime away from a screen, or only allowing yourself to use one for an hour at home. If you struggle to do this, consider downloading an app that blocks your social media accounts for a certain time. Or make sure you schedule family weekends where smartphones aren’t welcome. Don’t experience everything in life from behind a screen. Certainly, these gadgets should be banned from the bedroom, as the blue light they emit interferes with sleep hormones.
Make Time To Be Outside
Once the mercury starts dropping and the days are drawing in, many of us start slipping into hibernation mode. And while there is nothing wrong with getting your cosy on, try to make sure you’re still spending time outdoors. This is especially important in winter when lack of exposure to sunlight and fresh air can result in lethargy, a low mood, disturbed sleeping patterns and vitamin D deficiency. Try to leave work a bit earlier or enjoy a walk at lunchtime to freshen up your outlook. If you can, try to take your exercise outdoors rather than inside a gym – a jog outside rather than on the treadmill is much more energising, or wrap up for some HIIT training or Pilates in the garden. It may be hard to persuade yourself to begin with, but the buzz you get afterwards will be more than worth it.
These simple steps are just the start of some positive changes you can make in your life to put your wellbeing front and centre.