by Aakanksha Tangri, Founder of Re:Set
How’re you doing with your new year resolutions so far? Are you working out as frequently as you said you would? Or eating more home-cooked meals? Finding time to do something for yourself? Forming new routines and healthy habits can take time, and it’s easy to fall back into our old ways. However, we must take time out to take care of our mental health. Only when you’re feeling optimal will you be able to give back to those around you. Self-care doesn’t have to be hard — incorporating a few simple steps into your daily routine can make a difference over time. Here are some ways:
You don’t have to work out for a full hour every time – even moving for 15 minutes can help invigorate you. The weather is great outside. Grab that mask, put on your favourite playlist or podcast and go for a walk! It is even possible to get your steps walking around your home. Blast a song and dance it out. Asking your friends to join you, turning it into a fun challenge where you all feel connected and motivated is a great way to kick start these new habits.
When we’re stressed or anxious, our heart tends to race. Set yourself a reminder to breathe deeply every so often. It’ll help regulate your emotions and heart rate, and it doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Meditation can be a tough habit to cultivate and can seem intimidating, particularly when you can’t focus. Start with 30-seconds of deep breathing, and once you master that, increase the time by small increments until you reach 15 – 30 minute sessions. This can take months to master, but it will soon become a natural part of your day. Before a big meeting or when you find yourself overwhelmed, it can be a coping tool for you to easily turn to.
Eat Away From Your Desk
We’re all too guilty of having our lunch in front of our screens while shuffling between windows and sending out an email in between mouthfuls. Take time away from your desk and your overflowing inbox to practice some mindful eating and give yourself a break. Research suggests that mindful eating can help with better healthier eating choices, gastrointestinal problems and weight gain. Mindfulness will soon trickle down to other aspects of your life and contribute to your overall well-being.
Weekly Goals and Time Blocking
Setting weekly targets will help you remain focused and know what to prioritise as your to-do list builds up during the week. Time blocking is a great technique to get a handle on your tasks and organise your day to manage stress. Next to each task or in your calendar, block out the time it’ll take you to complete it. You’ll realise that it can be easier to club in smaller tasks and that your list isn’t as mammoth as it seems! Once you start checking off your to-do list, you’ll feel productive, and it’ll motivate you throughout the day!
This one might be the toughest yet because we’re so inclined to absentmindedly pick up our phones and scroll. We know the downsides of social media, including comparisons, feeling bad about our lives and its impact on our mental health. Try to do one activity during the day that doesn’t involve scrolling or looking at a screen. Read a book, connect with your thoughts, cook, or even take a quick power nap! Weaning yourself off your phone or TV will have a tremendous impact on your well-being, and you’ll realise how much time you have to do other things!
Well-being and establishing a healthy routine doesn’t have to be a tedious and overwhelming task. Start slowly and build up with these approachable steps, and you will over time notice that they’ve become a natural part of your life, allowing you to lead a healthy lifestyle and at the same time open yourself up to larger well-being habits.