#MotivationMonday. #WellnessWednesday. #ThrowbackThursday. There are all kinds of day-specific themes that people on social media and elsewhere follow these days!
Well, #SelfcareSunday is yet another and has definitely become a trending sensation on Instagram in recent years, with people all over the Internet posting about spa days and special treatments come the weekend. But who says self-care has to be a massive undertaking, and who says it should happen only one day a week?
Here at Active Goods, we think self-care is important every day of the week. So, for this week’s blog we thought we would put together a weekly schedule of self-care practices that you can do to make sure you’re giving yourself what you need to be at your best. But self-care shouldn’t just be written about – it should be done so we decided to put together a 7 day self-care schedule!
Monday – Get to sleep a half hour earlier than usual
Okay, this may sound silly, but try heading to bed at least a half an hour earlier than you usually would. Research shows that getting enough sleep is so important for healthy brain functioning, as well as emotional, mental and physical health overall. And yet, somehow it’s always so difficult to actually get enough! That said, try to make the conscious, deliberate choice to go to bed earlier and you’ll be more likely to follow through. If it helps, set an alarm an hour before you’re hoping to hit the hay so that you know it’s time to start wrapping things up and getting ready for some z’s.
While it was a little tough for me to get to bed at the right time, I have to be honest: once I was there, it was wonderful. It felt so luxurious to be in bed already, even that little bit earlier than usual, and to just be able to sink into my pillows and let the stress of the day melt away. Plus, I felt much more well-rested the following morning and was ready to tackle some more work.
Tuesday – Do a half an hour of yoga or meditation
Yoga or meditation are both excellent ways to wind down and destress, thus helping to improve your overall mental health (a huge part of self-care!). A half an hour of your day is not much to spare, especially if it puts you in a better state of mind. If you don’t have time in the evening, try closing your office door during lunch and enjoying some midday relaxation.
I chose to do yoga last week, because I like the incorporated aspect of movement and stretching while still letting your mind let go. I recently took up running and find it to be a little rough on the hips, so I chose to do this yoga routine specifically designed to release and strengthen that area. That said, there are tons of great guided videos on YouTube for either yoga or meditation, so find one that works for you!
Wednesday – Take a break from responsibilities and do something social
Sometimes, you just need to take a break from your work and do something fun with people you love. While it often seems counterproductive (particularly when you have a lot on your plate), taking a break for something social can work wonders. It refreshes you, builds you up and lets your brain take a much-needed breather.
Wednesday is the perfect day for something social to break up your work week nicely. Instead of going home and doing more homework or writing last week, I went over to a best friend’s house just to chat and hang out. I’ve known her for over 20 years and almost always feel considerably better after seeing her. Social health is severely underrated!
Thursday – Exercise!
What better self-care than to take care of your body! Putting in some time for a quick exercise routine can bring energy, improve mood and strengthen those key muscle groups. We always say integrate movement, and we mean it: our bodies were meant to move and exercise is simply key to a healthy lifestyle.
I went off to a spin class on Thursday night, and I try make a habit of going at least once or twice every week. Even though I felt tired beforehand, I loved it once I was there and felt great afterwards. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment when you are disciplined and actually get out and do it!
Friday – Take a long bubble bath
It’s been a long week – time for a nice relaxing bubble bath! Find a scent that calms you and add at least one healthy cap-full to get your tub nice and foamy. When you sink into that delightful hot water, the stress of the week just washes away. And take your time! Bring in a book, a glass of wine or even a snack (I myself opted for popcorn!). Me time like this is really important to make sure you can put your best foot forward with others.
Saturday – Do some cleaning!
This one sounds a little strange – isn’t cleaning a chore and therefore seemingly opposite to self-care practices?? Well, it could be. But it depends on how you look at it! Sometimes life gets so busy that things around the house or the office start to pile up. I don’t know about you, but looking at a dirty house just stresses me out even more, so taking the time to clean can actually be quite therapeutic.
My bedroom was getting to that point last weekend, so I decided to dedicate part of my Saturday to tidying it up. I was so tired before I started, but then I put on some of my favourite music, got energized, and my room looked like new before I knew it! Alternatively, you could leave the music out of it and once again use this as some quality me time with your thoughts.
Sunday – Self-affirmation exercises
And we’ve gotten to Sunday, the day that started it all! On this #SelfCareSunday, try doing some self-affirmation exercises. While at first it may feel weird or embarrassing to try, there is real power in saying positive statements out loud to get yourself feeling good for the week to come. If you’re unsure of where to start, here’s a helpful blog post on the subject.
I chose to write out a few statements on sticky notes and place them on my mirror so that I can see them regularly on a daily basis. I also took some time to say the statements out loud, which in the end felt really reassuring. We spend a lot of time telling ourselves negative statements and reasons why things aren’t good, that taking the time to flip the script felt really great!