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Self-care ideas that you need to try

This February, we’re celebrating love and that includes self-love too!

Picture this, you’re at work – a last minute meeting has just been put into your diary, your to-do list is already too long to even think about and you have to pop to the post office before it closes. First thing you cancel is your gym class, then you quickly text your friend and ask to re-arrange the drinks you were meant to be going out for and as for dinner? Well, it looks like it will be toast – you’ve nothing in and no time to cook anything. Sound familiar? We’re all guilty of living life at 100 miles an hour, being workaholics and putting everything and everyone else first. Ultimately taking care of ourselves ends up bottom of our priorities and before we know it we’re run down and burnt out. We’ve come up with some self-care ideas to inspire you to start looking after yourself whether you have 10 minutes or 2 hours, we have something for you.

 

1. Go for a massage

Going for a massage feels indulgent and it’s a chance for your mind and body to relax and switch off for 40 minutes or so. If you’re a regular gym goer than massages are great for relieving tension and helping your muscles recover.

2. Meditate

Meditation has been getting a lot of air time in recent years and there’s a reason why. Adding meditation in to your daily routine will bring you both mental and physical benefits and it can even help you get a better night’s kip. Research shows that regular meditation can change brain waves, increasing the amount of alpha waves which are associated with relaxation and increased alpha brain waves can help reduce negative moods and feelings.

3. Make time for a gym session

When we’re busy, skipping the gym seems the quickest way to make time in our day but we’re all guilty of using this excuse as an easy option out of getting a sweat on. We bang on about it all the time but exercising releases feel good hormones and reduces stress so when it comes down to self-care, hitting the gym should be a priority.

4. Practise Yoga

Yoga is the perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breathing and focus on the present – shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is calming and restorative; it lowers both breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure and increases blood flow to vital organs. So you can go in feeling stressed and come out feeling zen. We’re up for trying anything that leaves us feeling that way!

5. Go for a dog walk

We’re a nation of dog lovers and studies show that spending time with our furry friends can leave us feeling more relaxed, optimistic and less preoccupied with everyday worries. So there’s nothing better than making time to take your dog out for a walk – plus the fresh air and daily dose of vitamin D will also help us in feeling healthier and have a clearer head. Don’t have a dog? Don’t worry, websites like BorrowMyDoggy.com hooks dog lovers up with dog owners needing someone to help them out with pet care.

6. Go for a swim

Like other forms of exercise, swimming releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings. The rhythmic strokes and sounds of the water mean most people find swimming more relaxing. Studies show that swimming produces the same relaxation response as yoga, so if getting into the downward dog isn’t your thing then don’t worry, you can still reap the same benefits in the pool.