5 WAYS TO PRACTISE BETTER SELF-CARE IN 2021
If 2020 has taught us anything useful, it’s that proper self-care can help minimise – and in some cases, prevent – the need for healthcare. Try out these five tips to help see you through the next 12 months.
Sort Out Your SleepingWhen you’re spending more hours at home, it’s easy to get carried away doing mindless things like stalking social media or binge-watching the latest K-drama. There is nothing wrong with those things unless it gets in the way of your sleep, that is.
Studies show that lack of sleep (think quality sleep, not just the quantity you get each night) will make you more likely to be unwell from exposure to a virus and slower to recover from it. Long-term sleep deficiency has also been linked to higher risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Do yourself a favour: switch your handphone/laptop/TV off by 11 pm.
Exercise RegularlyWant more of those “feel good” moments in your life? You get those warm, fuzzy feelings when a neurotransmitter called endorphin is released in your brain. And for that, you need to get moving. Exercise boosts endorphin production, giving you what is sometimes referred to as “runner’s high”. Other beneficial effects include reduced stress and anxiety, and improved sleep. Set aside at least 30 minutes for exercise each day if you can.
Be Kind To YourselfHaving our movements restricted due to the pandemic has not been easy and some of us are still going through some form of lockdown. At times like this, everyone can do with more kindness, understanding and compassion. According to the Mayo Clinic, being kind to others means being kind to yourself too, as you will be rewarded with better physical, mental and emotional health. Reduced blood pressure and stress, improved moods and sense of satisfaction are among the benefits.
Set Aside “Me Time”Take a good look at your daily schedule. Have you slot in any “me time” sessions? What we meant by this is the few minutes – or hours if you can spare the time – where you take time out to be alone and tune in to your emotions and needs.
Listen to that inner voice and let your instincts guide you as to what will lift your spirits. Meditate, read, nap, journal, paint, bake … the possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours to make. Science has shown that “me time” delivers multiple enhancements to one’s overall well-being and even helps spark creativity and productivity.
Believe That You Are “Enough”It’s also known as the Impostor Syndrome, Fraud Syndrome or very simply, the “I am not enough” syndrome and is believed to affect 70% of us, at one point or another. Characteristics include self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy or incompetency, perfectionism and workaholism.
If you identify as one (take the test here), then it’s all the most important to practise the tip to make “me time” for yourself as mentioned above. Get to the core of it and figure out why you feel that way. Here are some things you can do to manage this syndrome, one of which is repeating this mantra to yourself several times daily: I am enough.