What is it about warm weather that makes us feel the need to do *all the things*?? If you’re anything like us, your summer bucket list probably had about a thousand fun activities jam-packed into it, along with some personal and professional growth goals. Now that Labor Day is officially behind us, it’s tempting to look back on that summer list and feel as if we haven’t accomplished enough.
Whether we’re planning a summer packed full of fun or writing our weekly to-do list, we modern humans are programmed to want to do more than we can realistically achieve. It’s really an amazing thing – we are all so driven by our life goals that we feel confident we can truly do it all – but at a certain point, biting off more than we can chew becomes an unhealthy habit.
Recently, on a day spent entirely outdoors, one of our team members had a sudden realization: that sometimes the most productive thing to do is nothing at all. To let go of expectations, of the looming to-do list, and to just let go, breathe, and enjoy. When we sit back and relax, our body actually benefits from it. Our fight or flight system turns off, our stress hormones are lowered, and our creative juices are allowed to flow more easily.
Spending time just being rather than doing is clearly important for the health of the human body, but how do you do it? That’s where self-care comes in. Since this phrase has become so common, many people are asking; what is self-care? To us, self-care means intentionally doing things that support the wellbeing of your body and mind (or not doing things that do not support your wellbeing!). Self-care can be a big action, a small daily tweak, or a simple shift of mindset. It sounds like a lot, but once you have some practice, self-care can be easy!
So in the interest of slowing down for the fall season and carving out more time to just be, we are sharing five self-care ideas our team uses to pause and replenish ourselves so we can be better prepared for the truly busy moments in life.
Check out our five tips for self-care below!
1. Set boundaries: Boundaries are necessary in any relationship, whether with family, friends, or colleagues. In today’s digital world, it’s really easy for anyone to get in touch with you at any time of day, so setting boundaries around how and when you give your time and energy to certain people or tasks can make a huge difference in your daily life. Does responding to emails after working hours make you feel stressed and depleted? Change your settings so any emails after 5pm don’t get delivered to your inbox until 9am the next day. Do you have a friend who is constantly asking you for help but never helps you out in return? Let them know that you’re available but that you expect your time to be respected and your assistance to be appreciated. Sometimes setting boundaries can mean a tough conversation, but trust us when we say that your future self will thank you later!
2. Build a routine: Some people are really good at being flexible all the time, but for most of us, a little routine can go a long way. If you know you need to moisturize your skin before bed in order to feel relaxed, then you should make sure that you establish that as a self-care routine every day. If a cup of coffee and the news are your ideal way of waking up, then carve out time each morning to indulge in that small moment of calm. Does a dose of CBD and 5 minutes of meditation at lunch help you get through the rest of the day? Make sure that time is penciled into your calendar. The point is, if you have a routine where certain acts of self-care are pre-scheduled in, it’s much easier to actually do them than if they are just another task on your to-do list.
3. Eat good food: It sounds too simple, but eating food that nourishes your body is one easy way to practice self-care. There’s a reason that “sad desk lunch” is a thing – just think about how you feel after a heavy lunch full of junk versus the way you feel after chowing down on a fresh salad packed with protein. Junk food makes us feel sluggish, while healthy food acts like fuel. Fresh produce, leafy greens, lean proteins, and food that you know your body loves can do wonders for your energy levels, your mood, and your skin!
4. Get outside: There’s a reason our parents were always yelling at us to go play outside! Spending time in the sun actually improves our health in a ton of different ways, so it’s ideal to get outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day. Breathing in the fresh air, moving your body, and interacting with nature are all proven to boost your mood and keep you healthy. We find that taking our lunch outside of the office or going on a walk in the evening is a great way to relax, breathe, and enjoy our natural surroundings. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
5. Appreciate the little things: The best thing about self-care is that it doesn’t have to mean changing your life in a drastic way. Slowing down and moving through your day with a little more intention and awareness is all you really need to practice self-care. Figure out what little things in your life bring a smile to your face – is it the special tea you drink with breakfast? Watering your plants and watching them grow? Snuggling with your pup? Whatever it is that makes you happy, make sure you appreciate it. Sometimes life can get crazy, and taking a moment to enjoy and appreciate even the tiniest little thing can help quiet the chaos and calm your mind.
No matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re at in life, you deserve a moment to relax and just be. We hope that these simple self-care tips will help you do just that!