In these unprecedented times, there have been many studies indicating that the number of people experiencing mental health issues has risen. It is an important time to ensure that we are looking after ourselves.
Let us just remind ourselves that our primary responsibility in life is to look after our health and wellbeing, because everything starts and stops there.
Never has self-care been more crucial. In fact, self-care is essential for self-love. As we go about our day fulfilling our many tasks and duties, we can sometimes forget to nurture ourselves. This is a reminder to you all that you cannot pour from an empty cup, you need to take care of yourself first.
With that in mind, I would like to share some ideas with you, which you may be able to implement into your lives to try and get some extra self-care time.
Can you start by dedicating one hour of your day to yourself? That is one 24th of the day.
It has been proven that giving yourself one hour of committed time in the morning sets you up for the day and it naturally adds more positivity to your day too. Purely because you have done something for yourself. You have nourished yourself.
This may mean getting up an hour before the rest of the household gets up, so you can get that uninterrupted quiet time to do what you want to do.
If an hour is too optimistic to start with, why not try half an hour initially and then build it up to an hour. If you really are not a morning person, could you try to give yourself one hour later in the day, or in the evening before you go to bed?
So, I hear you ask, what am I meant to do in this one hour? Well, the answer lies with you. Your one hour of self-care time is to be spent solely on yourself, doing the things that bring you joy and a sense of self-nurturing.
In his most recent book, The 5AM Club, international bestseller author Robin Sharma shares his theory and practice of a one-hour power formula. In a nutshell, you elevate your morning by devoting 20 minutes to your body, 20 minutes to your mind, and 20 minutes to your soul. I believe it is like a power hour for your wellbeing!
Some examples for each aspect are shared below.
Move for your body
This could involve either high or low impact exercises, such as stretching, yoga, walking, skipping, jogging, Pilates, skipping or HIIT workouts.
Reflection for your mind
This could involve planning your day, praying, journaling, meditation, affirmations and gratitude (reminding yourself of three things that you are grateful for; gratitude develops positive thinking, because you focus on what you have already).
Growth for your soul
This could include reviewing your goals, reading books, listening to audiobooks, inspirational videos, or podcasts.
This type of set-up may not work for everyone, but it reinforces the need to give yourself some time first thing in the morning, to set you up for the day. You may just want to focus on one activity e.g., one hour of reflection, someone may just want to exercise and then listen to a podcast. These are just ideas, but they are tried and tested and have helped individuals to regain the power to self-nurture.
I discussed this concept with one of my colleagues, who subsequently told me she got up an hour early, but she just organised everything for the day, and this made her feel so much better. She said she felt “ready for the day ahead”.
Take from this what you wish, but ultimately the message we are trying to share is that you should try and prioritise your health and wellbeing. Nothing is more important than your health. We all, at this time, need to become a little more conscious of our needs and what we need to be doing for our own wellbeing.