There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of self-care lately and for good reason. Looking after yourself can have incredible benefits on both your mental and physical health, but when life gets busy it can be easy to put your well-being on the bottom of your priority list. Luckily, there are simple and effective practices that you can add to your daily routine. We’ve partnered with Sleep Number to show you the easy ways you can start incorporating self-care into your everyday.
A little fresh air and sunshine can go a long way. Instead of taking that afternoon coffee break, opt for a trip outdoors.
“Walking freshens my mind and gives me more energy,” explained Ruth Anderson, who added a walk to her daily routine last year. “I feel more grounded and connected to the things around me.”
Researchers found that it only takes five minutes of “green exercise” like walking or gardening to experience a boost in mood and self-esteem. Not to mention, the great outdoors can help you recharge and refocus.
Set a Bedtime
A good night’s rest is one of the easiest ways to practice self-care. Try scheduling a fixed bedtime, so that you can get your desired amount of sleep and give your body enough time to relax and repair.
“I am not as tired and stressed during the day when I get my proper rest,” Gayle Miller-Cooper told HuffPost. The retired police officer and mother of three has implemented a strict 10 o’clock bedtime, even though it’s not always easy to get to bed when she has so much to do. “When I stick to my bedtime I wake up more refreshed and I am way more productive.”
Most adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep to function their best. Unplugging an hour before bed will help put your mind at ease before hitting the hay.
While you might not be able to do an hour-long yoga class everyday, dedicating five minutes to the practice can still offer plenty of mental and physical benefits. Yoga can help improve brain function and reduce stress, in addition to strengthening your bones and burning calories. You can start by trying this 5-minute sequence.
Relax With Aromatherapy
“We use oils for relaxation and sleep,” explained Trisha Zaller, a busy mother of two with one on the way. She keeps an oil diffuser next to her bed to improve her sleep.
“I used to buy a lot of different scented lotions because I found certain smells to relax me and make me feel uplifted. I have used the oils the same way, sometimes the smell of vacation can make you feel like you are relaxing on a beach chair rather than in bed.”
Essential oils have many different uses, but they are especially good for aromatherapy. Scents like sandalwood can increase relaxation and uplift your mood, while those like rose can help you sleep.
Start a Journal
Research continues to show that journaling is more than just writing an entry in your diary, it can actually make you healthier and happier. Journaling has been found to increase creativity and improve emotional intelligence. It also creates a much-needed private space just for you. Taking time to journal each day, whether it’s for reflecting on the day or writing a to-do list, is a simple way to stay in-tune with yourself.