Don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of yourself. I read a quote on Positivity Blog:
“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
– Parker Palmer
You can only truly begin to offer to others once you have taken care of yourself. If you beat yourself up, exhaust yourself or put everyone else’s needs before your own, you will have little to offer.
With that in mind, begin by trying to follow at least one of these five self care tips this week.
1. Leave work on time
I once followed a life where I was in work by 7.30am and did not leave until at least 6pm. I also took work home with me and worked at the weekend. Did this life do me any good? No! This led to stress and anxiety, which made me not only less effective in my job, but also in my personal life. Leave work on time at least a few times a week, even if you enjoy your job this will be beneficial. Spend that time with family, friends or indulging in some ‘me-time’.
2. Go to bed early!
I swear, a good night’s sleep can sometimes cure a tonne of problems. Try not to get too wrapped up in ‘Netflix and Chill’ when you just keep hitting the next episode button until midnight. Set yourself a time to start chilling and getting ready for bed – it can be helpful to set a reminder on your phone for this. I need eight hours’ sleep and get up around 6am, so (if I’m good!) I head off around 9.30 to brush my teeth and settle into bed. Then I spend 30 minutes writing a journal and reading. A routine can make a big difference – I have no problems falling asleep nowadays.
3. Make sure you see some daylight
Particularly during the winter months, when you are coming back and/or forth from work in the darkness, it is easy to feel the blues. Make an extra effort to get out for a walk during work, even if it just a quick 10 minute walk around the block. I am very guilty of having lunch at my desk, but I do normally make sure I get out of my building at least once per day. If you can, invite a colleague out for a ‘walking meeting’ instead of staying in the office. I’ve done this a few times now and really enjoyed it!
4. Fuel your body well
Make time for breakfast – if you can, eat it at home before you leave. I personally think it is worth getting up 10 minutes earlier to sit down and enjoy a meal to start your day off right. I am also a big believer in healthy lunches – I have the odd ‘naughty’ lunch but I always end up feeling stuffed and tired in the afternoon. I don’t make time to do all this prepping on a Sunday for the week ahead, so I tend to take in shop-bought soups, salads or flatbreads/cottage cheese. I am a snacker, and I buy Graze boxes and take in fruit to keep me going. The best thing about eating healthy at work…I don’t feel so guilty about the cookie I eat after dinner!
5. Don’t just go home and sit on your…
After a hard day at work, it can be so tempting to just get straight into your pjs and make a home on the sofa for the night. Well…that is how I feel a lot of the time! This is great from time to time…but it can make you feel more tired and depressed if you do it too often. Do stuff which gets you up and about, gets you doing what makes you feel good. I have a dog, which has been brilliant for forcing me and my boyfriend outside for evening walks rather than our usual sofa flopping. We feel so much better for it! You could go to an exercise class, sign up to workshops, write a blog, meet friends, get creating, play music…there is so much you can do with your evening 🙂