Self-Care: 5 Benefits + 10 Easy to Use Ideas to Practice

Do you ever hear people saying they struggle to set aside time for themselves because they're too busy? Or, how about describing "me time" as being self-indulgent or selfish?

Thing is, these ways of thinking are often associated with self-care. Which for many, can be an unhelpful barrier to taking better care of themselves.

Overview

Self-care is a conscious decision to act in ways that support and promote your health and wellbeing. A holistic approach will likely cover the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life.

Though varied, self-care can include more than just those commonly known activities such as exercise, eating well, meditating, and journaling.

What is self-care?

Though it’s become more popular in everyday conversations, the idea of self-care isn’t new. However, when mentioned nowadays, we assume people are talking about engaging in activities that are healthy and good.

The Self Care Forum describes...

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Powerful Questions to Check If Your Rituals Are Working for You

We all have rituals of some kind. These could be described as routine tasks or activities we do on a regular basis; more often than not, on autopilot. Showering, exercising, and drinking a morning coffee, are typical examples. 

Some of your rituals occur by default, as they'd have been ingrained in you from an early age. For example, bed making, teeth brushing, and locking the front door at night. Possibly!

However, there'll be others you might've introduced in later life. Which I suspect, in most cases would've been incorporated in an effort to improve your lives in some way shape or form.

For example, a daily exercise schedule, self-care practice, or productivity routine, are each forms of rituals you may have introduced into your life to either improve yourself, or how you work.

But with time, what can happen if we're not careful, is that our rituals can become an obstacle to our wellbeing and progress, rather than an...

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5 Simple Steps to Being More Productive

For some people, just the idea of being ‘more productive’ can either feel intimidating or cause them to shy away from it altogether.

And this is because productivity is one of those things that, although you know it has huge benefits for achieving important things, it can be difficult to maintain.

But if you’re willing to take some achievable and effective first steps, ‘being more productive’ doesn't need to be too difficult.

In this video, I share five simple steps to being more productive that can help you to start making better use of your time and energy today!

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Reducing Decision Fatigue to Improve Your Mental Health

In processing too much information we limit our ability to perform at our best and increase the risk of decision fatigue. This is why finding ways to avoid brain overload is key to our effectiveness.

Each day we’re faced with making thousands of decisions. Some are mundane, like what cereal to have, while others are more serious. For example, whether to sell our home or undergo surgery.

Decision making is also taxing on our working memory. That is, our ability to hold, process and use new information to guide our behaviour (Hall & Jarrold, 2015).

Similarly, as we use our decision making muscles, our ability to self-regulate and make sound choices reduces. This results in an increased risk of making poor, unethical, and possibly costly decisions (Kouchaki & Smith, 2014).

So what can we do?

The mental demands of responsibility

It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed or stressed by the number of decisions you need to make on a daily basis. Some may also find...

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3 Basic Distraction Techniques to Help Manage Anxiety

The connection between your thoughts and feelings can be so strong that you respond to events on autopilot.

These default responses can develop into unhealthy thought cycles, which result in you becoming more and more tense and anxious.

In this video, I share three basic distraction techniques you can use to overcome worrying thoughts that might be preventing you from performing at your best.

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Improve Your Wellbeing with Mood Tracking

Reviewing your wellbeing is good for your health. Learning what affects you is also helpful for making decisions about any improvements needed to take better care of yourself.

Management expert, Peter Drucker, stated:

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” 

For high achievers, I believe this maxim applies to performance and wellbeing. So, just as tracking your habits can help you achieve more, mood tracking is worth consideration as a method for analysing and improving your wellbeing.

Defining emotion and mood

In addition to feelings, the terms emotion and mood are often used interchangeably to describe a state of wellbeing. Due to this, there can be some confusion about their meanings, so let’s take a brief look at each.

Emotion

An emotion is your reaction to something and generally connected to an event. It’s a term used to define the affect you experience and usually occurs immediately or shortly after...

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5 Ways to Stop Overthinking

Overthinking is a learnt behaviour, which can develop into an unhealthy habit. And if you struggle with it, you wouldn't be alone.

But with time, overthinking can to lead to procrastination, place tension on your relationships, and result in severe anxiety and depression.

In this video, I share five ways to stop overthinking, which can help you with managing your problems and making decisions in a healthier way.

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Beat Anxiety in Small Steps

Dave, a twenty-something professional that I've worked with for some time now, lives with social anxiety but is learning to overcome it - one day at a time!

From the outside he appears calm. To his work colleagues reasonably composed and confident. But to his closest friends and partner, Dave's anxiety has been, on occasion, a disruption.

Take for example his partner changing plans for a day trip at the last minute because he was anxious of being alone until evening. Or, his friends being unable to enjoy an evening out, as a result of him having a panic attack at the thought of being around a crowd.

Social anxiety

But Dave's story isn't uncommon. Though anxiety disorders are twice as likely to affect women than men, along with depression, they're the most common type of mental ill health in the UK, with approximately 8 million diagnosed in 2013.

And despite what some might think, social anxiety is more than shyness or feelings of awkwardness in...

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3 Helpful Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is an all too familiar struggle for most people. So much so, that it can easily become viewed as something we just need to learn to deal with. To get on with. To live with!

But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, with a little thought and a commitment to regularly practicing some simple techniques, we can learn to keep a good handle on the stressors we face in life.

Now, let me be clear; there's no silver bullet that will eradicate stress from your life forever. And this is because stress is a natural response to situations your brain views as being a threat to your safety.

And this is actually a good thing, as it can serve to keep you from danger, keep you alert to making better decisions, and motivate you to make changes when needed.

However, being in a constant state of stress can become a problem you'll need to address if you want to avoid more significant health risks like high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. 

So, to...

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4 Types of Boundaries and How to Communicate Them

The idea of boundaries can be easily misunderstood. As can the importance and value of having them in your life.

But when it comes to your wellbeing and the health of your relationships, the benefits of being clear about your own boundaries are huge.

In this video, I share four types of boundaries key for maintaining your health and relationships, and some examples of how to communicate them.

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