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Five Self-Care Tips You can Start Today

by Sher Manimtim 24 Apr 2019

Each morning, as your day starts even before the sun rises, you have already made a list  of at least five items you need to accomplish by the end of the day.

Take a good look at your list.

Is there a dedicated schedule for your "me" time?

In a 2014 TED Talk by psychologist Dr. Guy Winch in Linnaeus University, he stressed the importance of  “practicing emotional first aid.” He explained, that our emotional health suffers much more than our physical one, and yet we seldom address the damage. Loneliness and failure both distorts our perception and misleads us, often times we choose to ignore (suppress) them not knowing how it affects our decision-making.

Time is the currency of life and to delay would be costly at times. In an effort to do everything and check off our “to do “ list we forget the importance of slowing down and taking care of our mental well-being.

Here are quick ways on how you can squeeze in some emotional self-care into your daily schedule.


1. Disconnect to Connect


Who does not love technology? Mobile phones and the internet makes it possible for us to stay connected to our love one and help us stay on top of our work obligations. Technology and gadgets have slowly become the extra appendage we cannot live without and sometimes they can become a source of stress and anxiety. 

Why don't you try disconnecting for a few minutes each day?

Leave those notifications behind for a few minutes and connect with yourself for a change, you will find that doing this for at least 15 minutes a day for 21 consecutive days will make you more productive and efficient.


2. Incorporate movement into your schedule


Setting aside a time for exercise seems impossible with a million things on you list. But did you know that according to Michael Otto, PhD, a professor of psychology at Boston University, " The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong, usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect." 

It also a well-known fact that exercise increases your serotonin level, also know as the "happiness hormone". So if you are feeling a surge of big emotions like anger and bouts of sadness, try high impact exercises like running, boxing or zumba.

But if you cannot fit those kinds of activities in your schedule then low impact exercises like yoga and Pilates at night might work for you. These exercises focus on breathing and stretching that helps your body and mind relax and can improve the quality of your sleep.


  • 3. Treat yourself to something that "sparks joy"

    Ladies, let’s be honest, it seems like ever since we became mothers we have placed our needs in the back seat. Yes, we do know the thrill of getting the baby  a new toy or outfit but you might be forgetting how great it feels to treat yourself to a something that is just for you.

    It does not have to be a weekly pedicure, or a regular spa appointment, it can be simple things like dancing to you favorite song when you were in your twenties, that extra candy bar or a Netflix binge while the whole house sleeps. 

    4. Be kind to yourself 


    We get too caught up on reaching the finish line that we sometimes forget to enjoy the game. We get easily frustrated the moment something does not go as planned, we lose hope and sometimes we even begin to doubt ourselves.

    The next time you feel like nothing is going your way, stop and breathe. Remember your small wins and pay yourself a compliment. Be patient with yourself, you are a work in progress.
    As Dr. Winch mentioned in his talk, “You cannot allow yourself to become convinced you cannot succeed. You have to fight feeling of helplessness.  You have to break this negative cycle before it begins”.
    Studies have shown that two minutes of distraction is sufficient to break the urge to get stuck in a negative thought or moment.
    So the next time you are feeling frustrated, try to shake it off by distracting yourself from the negativity,  take a walk or do some quick meditations. Most importantly, be patient with yourself, you are a work in progress.
  • 5. Ask for help

    We can be “on point” 24/7, there are times when it can get a little overwhelming and when that time comes don’t hesitate to pick up that phone. A quick chat with a good friend will help clear your mind and give you some perspective.

    Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength.
    Remember, good things take time.  Try to take things in stride and remember that your demeanor affects everyone around you. Refocus and allow yourself to recharge because as the saying goes,   “we cannot pour from an empty cup”.
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