Written by Yosra Ahmed, BAME Ambassador.
It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy, and resilient.
1. Get a sufficient amount of sleep – Sleep can have a huge effect on how you function and feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can cause health issues and even take a toll on your mental health so it’s crucial to get between 7-9 hours of sleep at night.
2. Body Movement – We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily body movement can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Any type of body movement is good – so do whatever you are comfortable with and makes you happy, whether this is a walk, some yoga or having a dance in your bedroom. Health really is wealth, so getting in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day can also increase your physical and mental wellbeing.
3. Meditate – Just a few minutes of silencing your mind can help reduce stress and create a calming effect on the body. There are loads of YouTube videos on mediation and mindfulness which can help
4. Listen to music – Music can distract you from overthinking and release endorphins in your body that make you feel good. Try creating a playlist of all your favourite feel good songs and jam out to them as a good stress reliever.
5. Keep hydrated – Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to stimulate your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day. Try drinking a minimum of 2 litres throughout the day.
6. Write down your thoughts – Keep a bullet journal and keep a track of your daily thoughts and feelings. This will help you to put your thoughts into words and will help advance your self-reflection strategies. Like they say, ‘better out than in’.
7. Get organised – Small changes, such as keeping a planner of your events or a calendar on the fridge can help you remember all your responsibilities and appointments, whilst keeping your life a bit more organised and settled.
8. Food – Having a healthy balanced diet can have a great impact on your mental wellbeing. There are many types of food that can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and the rest of the body. Some good self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.
9. Social media detox – Spend less time on social media by limiting your screen time and having quality time for yourself. You might be amazed at the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Instead, try reaching out and connecting with friends/family for a nice catch up.
10. Read books on self-care – Inspirational and motivational books can positively change your perspective on life. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful. Some recommendations include: ‘Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown and ‘Good Vibes Good Life’ by Vex King.