There’s no doubt that the past few years have been a rollercoaster of emotions for everyone, with many people stretched to their limits both physically and mentally.

Self-care is a multifaceted approach to taking care of yourself, and is critical to good health – it allows us to fill up our own cup, and in turn, show up for all of the other people and responsibilities in our lives.

Here are 10 simple self-care tips that can be implemented throughout the week, without an expensive spa day or face mask in sight. These tips can positively impact all areas of life, while helping you feel less stressed, more resilient and ready to face the world.

Physical self-care

1. Prioritise sleep – let’s face it, sleep is always a good idea, and is one of the best things you can do for your health. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your perception and judgement, make you more sensitive to the effects of stress and in turn can affect heart health, mental health and diet choices. Sleep gives the body the chance to clear the cobwebs from the previous day, so it makes sense that a good night’s rest equals the ultimate self-care act.

2. Spend time in the great outdoors – the environment can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health, and for many people is a go-to strategy to calm and decompress. Spending time in nature can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and provides space for mental clarity. Remember that you can just as easily connect with nature in your own garden or nearest park, as you can on a hike through the forest.

3.Food for thought – how you fuel your body can have a huge impact on your health and overall wellbeing. Cooking wholesome and nutritious meals and snacks is absolutely an act of self-care, and a tasty one at that!

Social self-care

4.Get face-to-face – more than ever, close connections are important to wellbeing and mental health. Everyone has slightly different social needs, but it’s important to spend time cultivating positive relationships with the people in your life who make you feel your best. Friendships can help prevent isolation and loneliness, increase your sense of purpose and belonging and ultimately boost happiness and reduce stress levels.

5.Try a new hobby – learning a new skill or revisiting an old hobby can put you in a different frame of mind and give you a new perspective on life. Why not try an activity or class that involves spending time with friends or meeting new people to boost those social skills and reap the endorphin rewards that come with it.

Mental self-care

6.Take a microbreak – if you find your motivation is dipping, take a step back and refocus your attention elsewhere for a microbreak. A five-minute time out when neded can help you remain stress-free during the workday. During lunch, consider taking a walk outdoors if possible. A 20 minute walk or bike ride can help to increase blood flow to the brain and improve motivation, attention and perception – all of which will help you get back to the task at hand.

7.Financial check – financial instability can cause a build up of stress, so having a solid financial plan can be a positive act of self-care. A great place to start is by using free apps like Pocketbook or Moneybrilliant to boost your budgeting skills and set you on the way to financial peace of mind.

8.Declutter – you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’. It turns out that a quick clean up of a disorganised space can be an act of self-care. A study from the Mayo Clinic found that extra ‘stuff’ is stressful and can lead to higher levels of cortisol (the hormone related to stress response) in the body. Set a timer for 15 minutes and choose one area of the house to give a once over.

Emotional self-care

9. Practise positive self-talk – we praise our friends, family members and colleagues almost every single day, but forget about one important person – ourselves. Try putting the ‘self’ in ‘self-care’ and celebrate your little wins with positive words and encouragement. Even if you run on the more pessimistic side of life, studies have shown that you can train your brain to learn positive thinking skills.

10. Consume with care – while it’s important to stay up-to-date with current affairs and the news cycle, it can be emotionally and mentally draining. Limit how much time you spend consuming news and current affairs and avoid checking just before bed so that you are not left feeling anxious, stressed or upset before sleep. Following accounts such as the Good News Movement can be a fun and uplifting way to break up often negative news cycles.

If you’re looking for ways to build resilience and improve mental fitness for your team, we’re here to help. We have a range of webinars, virtual or face to face health checks, and wellness programs, that will teach you and your employees how to perform at their best, whilst maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Get in touch via [email protected] to find out more.