Our day to day lives can have moments of overwhelm and stress, causing us to we lose sight of our feelings and ability to stay in the present moment. Being able to bring yourself out of the moments of chaos is a skill that takes lots of practice. Similar to a muscle, the strength of self-care and mindfulness can grow when done regularly, even if you only have 5 minutes to spare. Here are our favourite ways to practice a little self-care every day and when feelings of stress and anxiety pop up.
When we start to worry and stress, we can forget to breathe. Even though it is unintentional, this change in breathing pattern increases our heart rate, making it difficult to think clearly. Luckily, our breath is something we can control, and we can take 5 minutes to slow down our breathing to help reduce our body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction to a situation. A common breathwork exercise is called Box Breathing. There is where you breathe in counting to 4 slowly, hold your breath for 4 seconds and then slowly exhale your breath through your mouth for 4 more seconds. This exercise can be repeated as many times and as often as you need.
If you find this tricky to do on your own, you can follow our Instagram for a series of guided box breathing exercises whenever you need.
Switch Off Devices
Our phones, emails and screens can be a constant distraction and bring about feelings of pressure and stress. When you feel like things are getting a little too much and you just need some time to disconnect, try switching off your screens and walking away for 5 minutes. The limited distractions will allow you to pay greater attention to our surroundings and act as a quick reset. Switching off our screens before we go to bed is another great way to remove distractions and allow our minds to stop being so stimulated when it’s time to wind down.
Brush Your Hair
Self-care isn’t always about calming our mind and resetting our breath. Self-care can simply be taking a couple of minutes to look after ourselves. When life gets busy, we prioritise everyone around us first and ourselves last. Which means things like doing our hair and putting on makeup become a second thought compared to everything else that goes on. Taking just 5 minutes to brush our hair doesn’t take long but makes us feel better about ourselves and when done consciously, can act as a mini head massage.
You don’t have to be confident in yoga practice to include some stretching in your day. If you have been sitting at a desk all day, standing and stretching your neck and shoulders can release built up tensions and stress. Stretching also allows us to be more in tune with our bodies. Listening to the muscles and aches we feel and moving in a way that works for us- with no pressure to look a certain way.
Some common stretches to try.
The most important thing is finding the self care activity that work best for you. And sometimes this can take a while to determine what you need in certain moments. The challenge is recognizing when its required and being able to bring yourself back to the present and in control of your emotions.
Tell us what your every day self-care practice looks like and maybe you will inspire others to do the same.