It was a pretty stressful week. Longer hours at work, non-stop Zoom meetings, more emails than you’ve ever seen, a particularly grumpy boss… it seemed like the universe was testing you in every way possible.
But you did it. You made it through and now it’s time to relax! Be sure to spend some time with the family and connect with your friends. But above all else, make sure you devote some time to you.
Before starting another potentially tough work week, it’s important to give yourself some much needed rest and relaxation so you can tackle the world head-on. However, how do you relax when all you know how to do is work, work, work?
Practicing self-care techniques is nothing to be afraid of — you deserve some rest! But if you have no idea where to even start, we’ve got some great things you can do on your next self-care Sunday.
The Importance of Self-Care
Our society is structured in a way where we are expected to work long hours, every day of the week. This is why it seems unnatural to take some time off every now and then.
The thing is, always focusing on work will ultimately take away our opportunities to care for ourselves. It can strip us dry of the elements of our lives that we look forward to and hold so close, such as friends, family, or our wellbeing. Not to mention, stress can hamper our productivity, making us less hardworking in the office.
In fact, taking some time to practice self-care can help to improve productivity by relieving occupation-related pressures. It can hit a metaphorical reset button, giving us a needed boost to tackle the week ahead.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression, improve energy, relieve stress, and improve concentration. But what exactly is self-care, and when can you start?
Types of Self-Care
When many people think of self-care, they probably think of spa days, face masks, and cucumbers over the eyes. And while these are some great techniques to make you feel relaxed, self-care is more holistic, incorporating every element of your life to help you achieve a perfect balance.
There are five types of self-care that you can practice daily:
Let’s walk through all of these and list some things you can do to manage each one of these factors.
Especially with many of us working from home, it can be tough to think about our physical health. However, our physical health can have a direct effect on every other factor in the self-care list.
Physical self-care involves taking some time to improve your health or appearance. After all, when you look good, you feel good!
Physical Self-Care Activities
There are plenty of things you can do on this self-care Sunday to help support your physical health.
To start, why not try cooking healthy meals for the week? Not only is cooking a very therapeutic and relaxing activity, but making your own food gives you full authority over its ingredients. Plus, if you cook for the whole week now, you won’t need to worry about making dinner once you come home from work (or move to your living room from your home office!).
Going for a walk, hike, or bike ride is also a great way to get yourself out of the house while working up a little sweat. While you connect with nature, you can forget about everything else you have due for the week and get much-needed fresh air.
Pro tip: It’s helpful to have some pain cream on hand in case you push a little too hard and need some relief for sore muscles. Physical aches can have a negative effect on your productivity, so it’s good to try to soothe problems as soon as they occur.
Your body is undoubtedly important for your health, but what goes on underneath the surface is just as important! Your mental health should never be forgotten, especially during self-care days.
Stress and anxiety are common mental illnesses in the United States, so don’t feel bad about feeling a bit bad. The workplace is the most common cause of stress, so taking some time to de-stress and relax is imperative to prevent burnout.
Mental Self-Care Activities
It’s important to spend your self-care Sunday thinking about anything other than work.
You can do this by keeping your mind occupied with other activities that you enjoy. Do you like crosswords or word searches? Scratch off a few of those. Or maybe there’s a new Netflix show you’ve been wanting to watch? Spend the day binging.
As long as you’re enjoying the activity and focusing on yourself, you’re doing the right thing.
You can enhance the relaxation of these activities by dropping a few drops of a relaxing CBD oil into your coffee or tea. CBD can support your body’s natural response to stress and even promote focus. It might be just what you need to fill in that final sudoku line!
Practical self-care is closely intertwined with mental self-care, as they both will help decrease your stress. But practicality focuses on looking for ways that you can make your entire life less stressful for the long-term.
Finances and unfinished projects can be a nagging stress that is always in the back of your mind. Practicing practical self-care can help to alleviate some of these stressors.
Practical Self-Care Activities
Although it might not sound too fun, you might want to spend some of your self-care Sunday creating a budget or writing out a to-do list. Physically creating these will allow you to visualize what exactly needs to be done, and you can find some solace every time you get to cross something off your lists.
But you can also finally paint the living room, organize the office, or clean out the shed. If there are things that you have been wanting to do but have just never had the time, self-care days are better times than any. And once you complete your projects, you’ll feel accomplished and relieved, eliminating one more stress from your day-to-day.
Being connected to the earth through your spirit is very important when thinking about self-care. Engaging with your spiritual side can help you feel more grounded and purposeful, helping to relieve the pressures of everyday life.
Spiritual Self-Care Activities
Spiritual self-care looks different for everyone. For some, attending church or another religious service is a great way to think beyond oneself. However, religion is not the only way to engage with yourself in this type of way.
Meditation is something that anyone can do, anywhere. It’s about getting a healthy sense of perception and mindfulness. Through meditation, you may learn about your true thoughts and feelings, realizing that you’ve been stressing about some of the wrong things. It’s also perfect for helping you fall asleep, so consider completing your meditation routine as you unwind before bed.
Last but not least, it’s important to grow and maintain your existing relationships. Humans are social creatures, and we yearn for interaction with friends, family, and partners.
Staying connected can make us feel a sense of belonging, and these fun interactions are a nice change of pace from the typical day-to-day life at the office. Having people that you know you can count on can be extremely comforting.
Social Self-Care Activities
In a pre-pandemic society, being social was much easier. Going out to eat or going bowling with some friends was a great way to blow off some steam while connecting with the people around us.
But just because the world looks a bit different doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice socialization. Many streaming services have a watch party feature, allowing you to watch movies and shows with friends virtually. You can even go on socially distant nature walks, or eat a take-out meal in your backyard with the neighbors. Your life doesn’t need to stop just because things feel a bit different.
Practicing self-care doesn’t take a lot of time and effort, but it can have exponential effects on your life. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, practically, spiritually, and socially are imperative for ensuring that your work week starts off without a hitch.
Self-care is proven to relieve anxiety and stress, as well as increase your productivity overall. You work hard during the week, so there is no reason to feel guilty about taking some time for yourself once the weekend comes around.
During the next self-care Sunday, hopefully you can try some of these activities to gain a new perspective on your life. It can be daunting at first, but as long as you’re smiling and feeling good, you’re doing everything right!
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