Write Yourself Positive NotesEveryone needs a cheerleader, someone who lifts you up, cheers you on and holds space for you in times of need. Some of us are lucky to have one or more such persons in our lives but what’s more important is that you are there for yourself. After all, self-love is the most impactful love because it determines your self-worth, value and esteem. One easy way to do this is to write yourself little messages of encouragement and motivation on post-it notes and stick them where you’ll see them first thing in the morning.
Unplug RegularlyNo news is good news – there’s no truer saying these days as we are constantly bombarded by social media posts and rants about Covid-19 and other pressing issues. Do a mini digital detox for at least 15-30 minutes each day, to give yourself a break from all the negativity and free your mind from more worries.
Check-In With Yourself“How are you?” is a question we commonly ask others but when was the last time you directed it to yourself? It’s important to identify and address your physical, mental and emotional needs. Tune in to yourself. Scan every part of your body and observe if there is pain or discomfort. Assess your emotions – what word(s) best describe how you feel?
Get MovingWhether it’s a short walk or an intense gym workout, as long as you’re moving, your body and mind will benefit from the release of endorphins. They are known as feel-good hormones because that’s exactly what they do – lift your mood and enhance your well-being.
Eat WellWhen we think of giving ourselves a treat, we tend to gravitate towards comfort food like ice cream, cakes, or pizza. But how are we actually treating ourselves when we feed on such sugary, high-carb, ultra-processed stuff? Be kind; feed yourself nutrient-dense, functional food that can be converted into efficient fuel that powers both body and mind.
Live In The MomentOften, we find ourselves down in the doldrums because we’re worried about something that has yet to happen or regret that which has already passed. Anxiety, stress and depression can result from these unhelpful mindsets so aim to be in the present instead. Meditation is very effective for that, or you can simply focus on your breathing. Sit in a quiet spot, close your eyes, and breathe normally while observing each inhale and exhale. Do this for at least 5 minutes each day.
Adopt Good Sleep HygieneSleep is important, period. You know how you feel if you didn’t get enough rest the night before and it’s not just about clocking enough hours – quality trumps quantity. Having good sleep hygiene i.e. restful bedtime rituals help. That includes shutting down your devices an hour before, taking a bath, meditating, or journaling to clear your mind and prepare it for rest.
Do At Least One Thing That Makes You HappyDance like nobody’s watching, cook your favourite dish, tend to your succulents…do at least one thing that brings you joy each day.
Acknowledge Your FeelingsThe word “emotion” is derived from the Latin word “emotere”, which means energy in motion. Emotions are thus meant to be free-flowing and not held back or suppressed. When we bottle up our feelings, we eventually hit the breaking point. The first step in avoiding this is to acknowledge how we feel and know that, good or bad, this too shall pass. It always helps to reach out to a friend or loved one. After all, human beings are social creatures who have always survived as tribes. Social connections are an important part of our identity and survival, even more so in this pandemic era as restrictions and distancing have become a way of life.
Do a Kind DeedWhen you’re kind to others, you’re being kind to yourself. This is not mere motivational speak but is actually backed by science. When you do a kind deed, the pleasure or reward centres in your brain light up, boosting the production of serotonin and dopamine and releasing endorphins. All these contribute to your good mood.
Forgive YourselfHere’s an inconvenient truth: We’re usually more forgiving of others than we are of ourselves. We tend to judge ourselves more harshly and find it hard to let go of mistakes we make. That means we continue to pay the price and carry the burden long after the events have occurred, which can be detrimental to our mental and emotional state. Choose to forgive yourself. When those regretful feelings come up, say to yourself: “I release the past so I can step into the future with pure intentions.” (Click herefor more self-forgiveness affirmations)
Of course, you’re breathing all the time but are you doing it right? Done correctly, your breath can be an effective tool to enhance all aspects of your well-being, including combating stress, increasing anger and boosting the immune system. Try the box breathing technique or follow the methods advocated by Wim Hof, famous for using breathing and cold exposure to control the body and mind to achieve extraordinary feats.