Want increased positivity, productivity and concentration both at home and work? Start a self-care schedule.
Self-care is anything but selfish.
By allocating time and space to care for your body and mind, you’ll not only boost your own health but also the energy levels required to care for those around you.
Rashida Dungarwalla, registered psychologist with The Indigo Project, shares her five simple suggestions.
1. No is the new yes
Engaging in self-care rituals allows time to fulfil a need for something you desire rather than dread.
Learning to say no is an empowering way to start looking after yourself.
“Instead of being on the go and saying yes to tasks that drain us, we can slowly learn to say no and incorporate time in our routine for ourselves,” Rashida explains.
“This helps us have the extra energy to concentrate and be productive as we have not overextended.”
2. Set aside 15 self-loving minutes each day
Dedicate 15 minutes purely to unwinding.
That means no planning dinner or cleaning up mess around the house when you arrive home from work.
“Listen to your favourite song or podcast,” Rashida suggests.
“You could also go for a walk, relax with a cuppa or have a leisurely read of a book or the newspaper.”
3. Spark a dreamy new night routine
Once you’re in the habit of setting aside “me” time, begin to incorporate it as a daily ritual. If you find it hard to nod off, try allocating your self-care slot to later in the evening.
“Have a hot shower or bath before going to bed,” Rashida says.
“Or simply light a candle. If possible, turn off the lights and spend one night a week in candlelight to encourage relaxation.”
4. Make work work for you
Knowing how to leave work at work is the ultimate self-care saviour for a harmonious home life.
“We have a limited amount of both emotional and physical energy and much of this gets used up at work, leaving us limited supplies to spend on ourselves,” Rashida says.
Setting and then understanding your work boundaries will make the switch from desk to home clearer.
“Decide when you will turn your phone or laptop off and stick to it as you transition into home time,” she says.
5. Journal your journey
Taking time out to write about your self-care schedule is caring in itself.
Research shows expressive writing reduces intrusive thoughts about negative events and improves working memory.
Rashida suggests making it a mini gratitude session, where you write down five things you are grateful for from your day.