It can be frustrating when we live in a world that glorifies busy-ness to then somehow fit in all these self care habits that we’re meant to be practicing. I’ve personally struggled with the “rushing woman syndrome” for years now, always putting work and the family’s needs before my own. There have been countless times when I’ve totally neglected self care altogether!
All too often we use excuses like “I’m too busy to stop and head out for a walk”. #I’m too busy to catch up with a friend for coffee”.
I’m. Just. Too. Busy!
Is this starting to sound familiar?
Well, today I am going to share with you how incorporating some simple self care habits into your daily routine can increase overall productivity and happiness. It can be as simple as getting some fresh air, clearing some space, listening to your feelings, or chatting to someone. It really doesn’t need to be over-complicated or time-consuming to set ourselves on an effective self care path.
1. Make a List
Bills, deadlines, kids running around screaming – my life can be pretty stressful. So if I don’t sit myself down for 10 minutes and just jot down what I want to achieve my day just turns into one giant stress pancake! In fact, I actually end up being less productive than if I had taken the time to really plan out my day.
Completing just one task releases the reward chemical dopamine!
I know not everyone is a list maker, however, if you’re struggling with feelings of stress and overwhelm then a list can save you time, energy, and your sanity! A basic outline of the things you want to achieve can be easier managed in smaller bite-size goals… one step at a time.
2. Clear Your Space
Can’t think for all the clutter and mess all around you? Yeah me neither!
Just like our mental clutter, physical clutter at home or at a workplace can have a detrimental effect on your mood and stress levels. When our time and energy is already limited doing housework on top of everything else can create some distress in our day. So I like to tackle one room at a time. I get my kitchen neat and tidy as soon as the big kids are out of the house, then I tackle just one other room. Each day of the week you can tackle a new room from top to bottom.
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the never-ending piles of laundry and grubby finger marks on the windows, then take a break. Take your child on a walk outside – fresh air and exercise do wonders for us and can be of the best self care habits to do daily! If you didn’t get everything done that you wanted too, forgive yourself and add to tomorrow’s list. Or you could…
3. Ask For Help
I had to retrain my brain to do this admittedly. Sometimes we don’t ask for help because we feel like should be able to do it all.
We can put on a brave face and smile our way through the day pretending that everything is A.OK. But actually, on the inside, we’re burnt-out, stressed, agitated, and anxious! Carrying around these intense emotions is exhausting!
When I’m overwhelmed by all my responsibilities I send out a StresSOS and ask the older kids (or hubby if he’s around) to help with vacuuming, taking out the rubbish, or just amusing the little one for a bit. Free up some time so you can catch a quick 15-minute break. Use that time to get some fresh air, make a cup of coffee, chat with the neighbor, water the garden, anything that will help you to relax and unwind for a bit.
4. Talk To Someone
The last 6 months have been emotionally hard for me as I am away from my family and friends in New Zealand. I’ve had days where I get really lonely and feel like I don’t have anyone to turn too. I’ve found the problem with isolation is all the negative self-talk. Like, you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off or get opinions from, or anyone to motivate you to keep going.
If you’re not able to communicate easily with friends or family, perhaps write your feelings down in a journal or join an online community of like-minded people. I love the Australian organization “Beyond Blue” who provide information and support to those feeling anxious or depressed. They’ve lots of online forums that cover many topics such as staying well, grief and loss, relationships and family issues, and support for those suffering from mental health issues.
5. Hug Someone
Family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” While that may sound like a lot of hugs, it seems that many hugs are better than not enough!
Touch helps promote relaxation since it lowers levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Even hugging yourself is a quick and free self care habit! Sure, a hug might not solve all your problems, but it can help to relieve some of your tension and stress. Have you hugged yourself today?
A simple hug releases the love chemical oxytocin!
6. Create a Skin Care Ritual
I know that some days just washing your face can feel like just one more thing you have to do before you jump into bed. But have you thought about transforming your skincare routine into a self-care ritual?
A self-care ritual is an empowering routine that’s infused with positive intentions for what you wish to accomplish. It’s about giving yourself the gift of time and space to focus on yourself as you thoughtfully apply your products. It’s a way to bring you into the present moment.
I started to rethink the way I looked at skin care a few years back now, and something funny happened. I was actually enjoying myself. And taking time for me! My anxiety decreased, and I felt happier and so much more relaxed. I’d created this special, ritualistic habit that was mine – all mine! It wasn’t rushed. It wasn’t a chore.
As you can see, with a few minor changes to your daily routine, you can quite easily get self-care habits to slot into your everyday life. Simply by being more organized, giving someone a bear hug, or putting your hand up and admitting you need some extra help.
Here at Green and Bare, we are all about making time for yourself (even if it means locking the bathroom door and ignoring the “what are you doing?” needling). Getting back to basics. Having fun and not taking life so seriously. Doing something good for yourself that doesn’t feel bad.
➤ Wanna kick-start that skincare habit with a homemade mask that packs some seriously skin-loving ingredients? Try my DIY mocha inspired cacao face mask recipe!