The daily grind of our workday lives can easily take its toll, overwhelming us with commutes, stress, deadlines, and exhaustion. There's a false narrative that any semblance of relaxation can’t begin until the weekend. However, we believe in peppering our day with small acts of selfcare everyday (hint: think of it like a game!). After all--great things start small and that includes habit building and mood improvement. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate simple self-care methods throughout the workday, alleviating stress and boosting energy so you don't have to live for the weekend.
Gratitude List - Beginning each morning with this positive routine sets the stage for the rest of your day. Hand write your gratitudes in a journal or on post-its to keep at your desk. There are even gratitude apps you can use on the go (Gratitude Journal Affirmations or 365 Gratitude Journal). Being conscious of these things improves focus and awareness, as well as uplifting your overall mood.
Consider your caffeine source - Coffee may contain up to twice as much caffeine as tea, but tea has antioxidants that are beneficial to our immune systems. And if you want to cut out caffeine altogether, herbal teas are a perfect substitute. If you can't resist coffee (we often can't ourselves!), opt for dairy free mylk such as oat, or organic dairy, consider going half-caff, and ditch the sweetener. Whatever you choose as your energizing morning bev, be sure not to drink caffeine on an empty stomach to avoid a blood sugar crash, and drink water along with your caffeine, as caffeine is a diuretic and may lead to dehydration.
A Symphony of Sound - Listening to certain genres of music can do a world of good for your workday. Classical music improves mental focus. Nature sounds such as ocean waves, rain falling, or water flowing can help lower stress and improve mood. By choosing pieces without singing (or even actual music), you can tune out the distractions around you and focus on your own work or studying.
Move Around - Whether you’re sitting at a desk or standing up during your shift, taking a short walk or doing some light stretching can not only break you out of a monotonous routine, but also help posture, relieve tension, and reset your mood for the afternoon. We keep a foam roller in our studio and often take a pause for a mid-day roll out of the spine--ahh!
Go Outside - Step away from your desk and get some fresh air. Whether that’s a walk around the block, a work call outside in the sunshine, or eating your lunch outside, this is an easy way to get some sun and clear your mind.
Meditate - A nice way to re-enter the second half of your day is a short, ten minute meditation. Transition back into work mode by doing a simple breathing exercise (we love a quick round of breath of fire for a natural energy boost) or a calming meditation via an app (Headspace or Happify).
Unwind Off-Screen - Allow yourself time to unwind before bed, away from screens. Screens emit blue light, which can be hard on our eyes, but also keep our brains stimulated in a way that will interfere with sleep. Plan to put your phone down or turn the tv off an hour or so before bed. Consider filling the gap of scrolling with a gua sha facial massage, journaling, light stretching, or as an opportunity to try something new.
Reading - The simple act of reading before bed can ease muscle tension and regulate breathing, which are crucial to helping you sleep. Plus it feels like a quiet experience all to yourself, away from the busy-ness of the day. What better form of escape is there other than a good book?
The above are simply suggestions--take what works for you, and leave the rest behind. We like to approach this like a game, choosing 1-3 of the above in any given day and keeping it playful, never rigid or as something we "should" do. If it feels like a chore, or fosters guilt, it's not selfcare :) Have fun and be well!