How to practice self-care for a healthier, happier you

When we think about self-improvement we tend to set goals related to our physical or financial health. We believe that being fitter, slimmer or wealthier will enable us to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. While our physical fitness is important for our health and financial security can undeniably make life a little less stressful, there is another critical factor which we often neglect and that’s our mental wellbeing.

With this in mind, we have explored some top self-care tips designed to improved your overall wellbeing and boost happiness in the long term.

Start as you mean to go on

Getting eight hours sleep is a sure-fire way to feel more energised, motivated and positive, but so too is giving yourself enough time in the morning to set up your day. Without compromising on hours of shut-eye, set your alarm a little earlier and give yourself plenty of time to wake up, have a coffee, go for a run, or simply get ready at a pace that doesn’t mean you’re running around like a lunatic.

The age-old phrase, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ has stood the test of time for a reason. Not only will you have a chance to gather your thoughts, but experiencing the day before the hustle and bustle kicks in is good for the soul.

Bang your own drum     

A little positivity goes a long way and all too often we neglect to give ourselves credit for what we’re capable of and what we can achieve. We are all good enough, we can all accomplish more than we think we can, and nobody needs to make excuses for who they are. Find a moment each day to tell yourself that you’re powerful enough to tackle anything that comes your way.

We’re all guilty of putting ourselves down, believing that we’re unworthy or incapable, but that simply isn’t true. In order to flourish, we need to be happy in our own skin and nurture and nourish ourselves. We can do this by becoming more mindful of how we talk to ourselves and by choosing self-kindness.

Ban digital devices

The fact that ‘digital detoxing’ is a thing epitomises our reliance on technology as a society. In 2018 watching television, while scrolling through Instagram is commonplace – we’re all too often engaged in an online world or immersed in a screen. Social media content can be extremely detrimental to mental health and that is discounting associated disadvantages such as lack of human interaction.

When we’re looking at a screen we’re ignoring the world around us. Set aside a minimum of an hour a day when you don’t engage with your phone, a laptop, tablet or any other digital device. Be mindful of what’s happening in the real world and appreciate your surroundings, this will help to restore balance in your mind and re-focus your attention on the things that are truly important.

Spend time in the great outdoors  

Stepping outside is a great way of putting things in perspective. Fresh air, seeing different scenery and experiencing nature is a wonderful way of resetting and refocusing your energy. Often the same four walls can send you a bit stir crazy and going for a walk, sitting in the garden or even throwing open the windows can help you de-stress and promote relaxation.

Don’t worry about what other people think

Don’t waste your time worrying about what other people think about you. You can’t influence their opinion and their opinion shouldn’t have an impact on how you feel about yourself.

Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you, lift you up and make you feel good. Distance yourself from anybody that brings you down or spreads negativity. Remember, your vibe attracts your tribe, and the more you listen to your gut instinct the more you’ll naturally gravitate towards likeminded, positive people that appreciate you for who you truly are.

Learn how to manage your time

Time management is really important when it comes to living a happier, less stressful life. We’ve all been there; we’ve double booked an evening and feel dreadful about letting someone down, we end up burning the candle at both ends because we didn’t manage our time earlier in the month when we had more flexibility, or we panic ourselves and feel totally unprepared because we didn’t leave enough time to get ready.

Planning our time using a diary or calendar will do away with unnecessary pressure and give you the time to think about what it is you do and don’t want to do.

Put yourself first

Perhaps the most important self-care step you can take is making time for yourself. Focus on yourself before work, friends, family or relationships – they will thank you for it in the long run.

Take time to rejuvenate, do the things you love with your loved ones and enjoy life. It doesn’t always have to be a big gesture; life’s simple pleasures are what makes it all worthwhile. Take a bath with a glass of wine, listen to your favourite album, or treat yourself to a bunch of flowers. Believe in yourself and you can achieve the world.

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