Self-care is a broad term. It is defined by the NHS as ‘the actions we take to recognise, treat and manage our own health’. Whilst this covers us recognising minor ailments and treating them accordingly without seeking unnecessary advice from a doctor. This also refers to the everyday actions we can take to improve and maintain our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.
Ensuring these areas are kept in the best possible form makes us less likely to develop preventable health conditions, such as those linked to poor diet or stress. According to Wellness Coach Elizabeth Scott, self-care can also make us more resilient and may improve physical and emotional health. Rather than being reactive to problems, a daily self-care checklist can help you to establish a regular routine which is proactive in maintaining your wellbeing.
DAILY BASIC SELF-CARE CHECKLIST
Before you take the time out to focus on yourself, you need to make sure your basic daily needs are being met. These include eating three healthy meals a day. Drinking plenty of water, doing some form of physical exercise and getting a good night’s sleep. This is the most basic level of self-care. Furthermore, it is the most important in ensuring our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing is not deteriorating. If you struggle with the basics, Aloe Bud is a great app to try. It ensures your daily needs are catered for. It sends you gentle reminders and self-care tips throughout the day. Whilst providing you with a space to log activities and keep track of your progress.
To take this to the next level, create your own self care checklist. That is based around your needs and enjoyment. Some people find increased relaxation and self confidence from a pampering session. Whilst others prefer journaling and meditation to relax the mind. There isn’t a general list to fit all. In addition, you’ll find that a personalised schedule will be more enjoyable and easier to stick to, increasing the benefits. Regardless of your preferences, time restrictions or flexibility. There are three main intervals of the day which you can use as a foundation for your self-care checklist.
– Create a morning routine
A 2018 study published by The Lancet Psychiatry found that disruption of sleep and routine increased the risk of ill mental health and mood instability in participants. Creating a simple morning routine can reduce stress. By allowing us to be prepared and putting us in a positive mood. By celebrating small achievements at the beginning of the day. This could be anything from taking a shower, making your bed, or meditating before starting work. Dr. Steve Kay, a Professor at the University of Southern California states that body temperature is linked to energy levels. From the time we wake until midday our body temperature increases. This may be why many people find their concentration at its greatest mid-morning. Dr. Kay also suggests that a warm shower can help to speed up the process. By improving memory and alertness earlier in the day.
If a shower is part of your morning routine, this can also be a great time to check off your skincare. Without adding further steps to your checklist. Apply Malée’s Conditioning Body Cream to clean, damp skin. It ensures hydration levels are maintained, resulting in smooth, soft and healthy skin. Our moisturising cream is also packed full of natural antioxidants and nutrients. These help to replenish and nourish the skin. By ensuring the outer layer is kept at its best with very little effort. As part of our Verdure fragrance range, the cream is scented with fresh, energising citrus and notes of crisp mint, further helping to uplift your mood in the morning.
– Revaluate in the afternoon
Whether you’re at work or home, not every day will be exactly the same. By the afternoon your priorities may have changed. Therefore, it can be helpful to stop and take a few minutes to revaluate your mental, emotional, and physical state. Furthermore, it takes steps which will benefit you most that day. Perhaps you’ve not had the opportunity to get much exercise in. As such, going for an afternoon walk would be most beneficial. Maybe your home or working space has become a little cluttered and spending 20 minutes tidying would help to destress your mind. Your immediate needs will vary day to day. It’s important to not create a self-care checklist which will overwhelm you with chores. Rather, be flexible in how you maintain your wellbeing.
– Use the evening to unwind and relax
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology states that ‘being able to psychologically relax after work in the evening is important to the day-to-day recovery process’ and helps us to begin the next morning feeling energised. The way in which you relax is entirely your choice although avoiding technology is beneficial, with yoga, reading, journaling, or bathing being popular activities. A 2014 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that reducing light levels at least an hour before bed can reduce the time it takes for us to fall asleep, and having lights on at maximum levels can disrupt the circadian rhythm, resulting in a broken sleep pattern.
Candles are a great low light option that offer further benefits to our mental and emotional state. The National Sleep Foundation states that ‘any fragrance that makes you happy can promote sleep’ as our olfactory system links directly to the part of our brain which controls emotions, releasing relaxing chemicals. Malée’s Polyanthes Soybean Candle emits a gentle, floral fragrance with warm notes of vanilla and blonde woods for a calming scent. Inspired by African night flowers and containing 100% natural ingredients, this plant-based candle is the perfect choice to aid evening relaxation.
To see the best results from self-care, we need to create a personalised self-care checklist which considers our time, finances, and preferences. A regular circadian rhythm is essential to healthy sleep and a positive mood and splitting your day into three intervals can help to keep your self-care routine manageable, ensuring you get the most benefits and maintain a healthy body, mind and soul.
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