Most of us live for the weekends. From packed daily schedules, endless deadlines at work, and 24/7 parental duties, there rarely seems to be time for anything else. Our self-care is shifted to Saturday or Sunday, where we finally take time for the things that make us happy.
But what if we told you that taking TLC time for yourself can happen every day? No more looking forward to that one day of the week where you finally get to relax and recharge your batteries.
It all comes down to planning and making YOU a priority each day. Find what works for you and be inspired by our list of self-care practices to incorporate into your life to ensure a rejuvenated body and balanced mind throughout the week.
Relax, sleep, repeat
Upending your entire week with me-time activities right off the bat may not be feasible for everyone. So, to ease yourself into a self-care routine, make sure to get enough sleep at night. The Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for adults. It’s interesting to note that sleep rejuvenates the mind while restoring the body. Meaning that once you start zzz-ing, your body gets to work on repairing things inside to help you get through the next day.
Good quality sleep starts with budgeting the hours and allowing yourself time to relax and unwind beforehand. Next, avoid any electronics – you don’t want to go down a rabbit hole surfing the web and lose track of time. Switch off your mind to distractions and sink into sleep.
Learn to meditate
This one may get a little tricky if you have a busy household. However, you can meditate almost anywhere and at any time. Start by closing your eyes, sitting up straight, and focusing on slow and deep breathing. Next, clear your mind of any distractions, and as you breathe out, let go of the day’s stresses and worries. As meditation can be as simple as a breathing exercise, you can easily do it in the car before heading into the office or get up a little earlier and meditate before the family wakes up.
But why meditate? Meditation helps you centre your mind, giving you a new perspective on stressful situations. It’s also a stress reliever, can promote self-awareness, and might even make you more tolerant of things you can’t control that happen throughout the day.
Try mindful stretching
Similar to meditation, stretching can help relieve stress. That’s why activities like yoga and Pilates have become so popular because they bring the mind and body together through a mix of gentle exercises, breathing control, and meditation.
Pilates and yoga can also improve muscular and postural strength, which will not only make you feel stronger and walk taller but will aid in your overall well-being.
Try practising at home by following free YouTube videos or online classes. You could also join a studio that offers yoga or Pilates for the full experience. It’s no secret that when you feel strong and centred on the inside, you walk with a little more confidence.
Exercise using light weights
CrossFit, gym or any type of exhaustive exercise isn’t for everyone, but moving your body is said to have tons of great health benefits. Firstly, you will start feeling stronger after time and build on your endurance. Let’s face it – stairs have gotten the best of most of us.
Invest in low-impact equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or a medicine ball. These are small enough that you can store them in a cupboard and take them out when you have a gap to pound some iron. Preferably start with 1kg weights and move up as you get stronger. You can even watch your favourite show while you do weighted sit-ups or a few bicep-curls. There really is no excuse not to get on this now.
By all means, continue to pamper yourself on your weekends with a well-deserved bubble bath, facial, or your favourite meal – just remember to take care of your mind and body every other day too.
“Self-care is a daily activity. As the year speeds up, so does the pace in which we lead our lives. We need to see it that we take a holistic approach to our health. We need find activities that look after our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and ensure we feel great everyday”, comments Dr Sivuyile Madikana, Herbalife Nutrition Southern Africa NAB.