How do we define self care? The answer to this question is becoming more and more expansive. At its very core, self care is the practice of taking an active role in improving one's well-being and happiness, especially during periods of stress.
Studies show that it is significantly more beneficial for us to include small acts of self care into our daily routines. After all, self care is a need, not a treat. And while we’re influenced by millions of books, podcasts, vlogs, and Instagram reels on how to curate incredibly aesthetic “self care days”, the one question that nags us all is, "Where do I find the time to do this?"
Thus, we have put together a list of tiny moments of self care that you can include into your hectic days this festive season.
Starting your day by taking a few moments to catch up with the many thoughts you have even before you’ve opened your eyes is a true gamechanger.
Sunlight: We know you’ve heard this one before. If you are unable to go out for a walk in the morning, just spend five minutes basking in the sunlight and let it create magic for your physiological, physical, and mental well-being.
Guided Meditation: Spending even a mere five to ten minutes tuning inwards with the help of guided meditations on YouTube and apps like Calm and Headspace, can not only physiologically calm your body, but also build your resistance to stressors.
Positive Affirmations: We can’t promise that you won’t feel a little silly the first time you stand in front of a mirror or put your hand on your heart and recite your love and respect for yourself, but do it everyday and you'll see just how transformative it can be for your mind. It's an effective way to undo years of negative self talk and build a better narrative for yourself.
Full Body Stretch: A ten-minute total body stretch in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Done regularly, it can increase flexibility and make you feel your body is in better flow and can keep up with the demands of your day.
Never underestimate the importance of taking some steps to regulate yourself before you call it a night.
Digital Detox: You don’t have to go a month without scrolling on your phone, just keeping it away for an hour before you get into bed will do the trick. Give your tired eyes a break and allow your overstimulated self a chance to calm down and set the stage for a restful night.
Skin Care Routine: Reframe your skincare routine from a daunting tab on your checklist into a meditative experience. Align with your body, focus on your actions, apply your favourite face mask, moisturise, and use your serums. Take the moment to ground yourself after handling a thousand different tasks through the day.
Journalling: Take the time to journal at night as it can help you calm your mind, feel better prepared for the next day's tasks, and go to sleep without your mind at war. Don’t worry about following the rules when it comes to journaling, you do what works the best for you.
ALL DAY LONG
We all live different lives, have different commitments, and deal with stress in our own ways. There are some wholesome things you can do at any time of the day—whenever your schedule allows you—to keep yourself functioning from a healthy mind space.
Practise Saying ‘NO’: An old proverb says that you shouldn't set yourself on fire to keep others warm. Especially to the women reading this, take this as a reminder that there is only one of you—and you cannot be everything to everyone. Learning how to set boundaries and saying ‘no’ to things that don’t suit you is an invaluable way to manage your time, reduce stress, and champion your own emotional well-being.
Aromatherapy: This aligns beautifully with the festive season—who doesn’t want a lovely scent in their house. By carefully selecting scents that can help you, take charge of your own endorphin release and mood, stress, and anxiety management.
Small Pleasures: You may have come to believe that without purchasing some very aesthetic tools, it is impossible for you to indulge in self care, but what you truly need is to become intentional with your energy. Curate your own self-care moments through the day by simply being present in the moment and finding beauty in the ordinary, like taking in the Diwali lights bejewelling the city on your way back from work.