Be Kind

Many of us could benefit from being a little kinder to ourselves. We are living through unprecedented times causing much uncertainty and stress, it’s really important to take time out regularly to take a breath, calm our racing mind and focus on finding some inner joy. We can all dedicate a little time to some self-care activities and practice being a little kinder to ourselves. Two of our experts, Ashley and Carmen, share their top tips for self-care.


Create a physical space that nurtures your wellbeing

Sometimes self-care can mean tidying up. Clutter and mess can be super distracting and can make us feel mentally cluttered too. The space you work in has a huge impact on the work you do! Not only can it affect the quality of your work but also stunt your creativity, concentration and therefore the amount of time it takes you to complete a task. Make sure you’re workspace reflects your vision and is supportive of the work that you’re doing.


Work near natural daylight and plants

Most of us are hunched over our laptops all day, small changes can make a big difference to our environment. If you are still working from home try to make your workspace feel a little less claustrophobic why not try pulling your desk closer to a natural light source. Additionally including a few plants in and around your workspace has been scientifically proven to boost cognition and reduce infirmity. 


Take a break from social media

Although social media is providing a lifeline to keep us all connected under the current climate it still remains a source of negativity, comparison, egotism and drama. Ditch the distraction for a few days and you might be surprised how your attention, mood and productivity shifts. When the time comes to return to social media you might also find unfollowing accounts that no longer serve you a purpose beneficial too. Try to follow accounts that add value to you, those that make you smile, those that make you feel empowered and those that inspire you.


Cosy sofa session

Carve out some time to have a cozy sofa TV session by yourself with one of your favorite films or box set. The weekend might be the best time to do this. If you need to negotiate a time where the house will be empty, schedule this in and then gather a favorite drink, a snack and snuggle under a blanket to enjoy your choice viewing alone without any interruptions!


Dress up

According to a study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science people who dressed up a little felt significantly more powerful and in control compared to their under dressed peers. In addition to this, the study found that the clothes we wear also affect our mood. When we wear a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it. So ditch those lazy PJs and wear your favorite sweater with a smile!


Time in the tub

Have a hot, soothing bath with candles and music. This might sound like an obvious one but how often do we actually get round to doing it? It can be wonderfully restorative to immerse yourself in a hot bath with soft lighting, relaxing bath salts and listen to some of your favorite music. Lean back and soak, allowing your racing mind to focus on those good ear worms.


Exercise your mind

This tip focuses on the beginning of a life-long self-care action. Learning something new, be it crafting or a musical instrument, has been a big hit during the past year and is a great time filler, especially during the hibernation months. Maybe you used to enjoy painting or star-gazing? It’s all about gaining that sense of achievement, choose something that speaks to you. If you need some inspiration check out futurelearn.com, which provide hundreds of free courses that you can take at your own pace, or visit YouTube, host to millions of free video lessons for crafting and a myriad of other practical skills.


Reach out

Connecting with people is a perfect way to come out of your inner thoughts and press the reset button. With a lot of enforced alone time currently in place, we can become too self-focused, so an outside influence can be a great thing. Arrange a time when you can have a good hour to catch up with friends or family, choose someone who makes you feel good and spreads positive vibes! Doesn’t matter whether it’s the traditional telephone or a video call but finding out about someone else can really put things in perspective and can reenergise you. You could even show them your new crafting or musical hobby!


Give yourself a little grace

'New year, new me' finds us diving into extreme health regimes that are often difficult to maintain. Life can be hard enough so we need to be realistic about the changes we make in order to remain accountable. Brainstorm a list of nourishing alternatives to things like a chocolate milkshake, sweet treats and screen time. Instead of banning the things we usually find comfort in, changes may be more manageable if we gradually focus on more wholesome alternatives to the things we love.