As the stresses and strains of modern life take their toll, we can all be slightly guilty of not taking enough care of number one. This is especially true at this time of year with the temperature plummeting and the run-up to Christmas in full swing. Many of us find ourselves burning the candle at both ends putting additional stress on the body and the mind.
This is where ‘self-care’ comes into play. A term commonly used by health gurus and life coaches alike, self-care is essentially the practice of taking some time out for yourself. As a society, personal well-being is becoming increasingly important to us with things like healthy eating and exercise playing a much larger role in our lives than ever before.
At LeSalon, we believe that (in order to stay sane) it’s vital to enjoy a bit of YOU time as regularly as possible. What’s more, practising a bit of daily self-care can have some serious benefits like helping to relieve stress, boosting creativity and even preventing illness!
Here are 6 easy ways to practise self-care…
When it comes to mindfulness, technology is leading the way right now. The app on everybody’s lips is called Headspace; even Emma Watson’s a fan! Headspace teaches the user how to meditate, which is said to be particularly helpful for those with anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. Despite this, anybody can benefit from the effects of meditation and this unique form of cognitive therapy only takes a few minutes out of your day, so what are you waiting for?
Spend time in nature
Feeling a bit frazzled? One instant thing you can do to ease your mind is immerse yourself in nature. Be it a walk in the woods, a hike up a mountain or a cycle around your local park, spending some time outside can do you the world of good. If you’re a London city dweller, do not fear, there are 5000 acres of quality green spaces across eight London parks.
However, if the great outdoors really isn’t your thing you could always approach nature indoors by petting an animal. According to studies, spending time with a furry friend can increase oxytocin levels which helps reduce stress and even lower blood pressure- as if you needed an excuse!
Read before bed
We all know that looking at a screen right before bed is bad news for your brain, so why not revert to the old-fashioned alternative? Turn off the telly, switch off the phone and read a good book before bed instead. It boasts a whole host of health benefits including increased cognitive function, better sleep and even a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Aside from this, it can expand your general knowledge and vocabulary which can’t be a bad thing.
Knowing how to eat well can get confusing in a world full of everything-free fad diets, but it’s actually not that difficult – we promise. The main thing to remember is that a balanced diet is key, so make sure you’re getting your 5-a-day alongside lots of protein, enough vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling tip top. Combine these basic steps with drinking lots of water and ditching the sugary snacks to really reap the rewards.
As much as we may try, we can’t escape it, exercise is important. Aside from the million health benefits, keeping fit can also give you more body confidence which is always a bonus. Experts say the minimum recommended amount is 150 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walking, swimming, mowing the lawn) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (running, aerobic dancing).
But don’t panic if you’re not quite there yet. Start off with something simple like jogging around the block a few times a week and gradually increase this as your fitness level improves. If you’re already a gym bunny, try booking on to a few different classes to switch things up a bit and continue pushing your limits! Check out our guide to some of London’s funkiest new exercise classes here.
Weekly pampering sessions
One positive long-term change you can make is to incorporate a weekly pampering treatment into your routine. Choose a day where you can take a bit of time out, a Sunday perhaps, and do something indulgent. It could be as simple as putting on a face mask or running yourself a bath with candles and some music. You could even book yourself a relaxing treatment with one of our lovely professionals. The hands and feet are often the areas we neglect most during busy times so a nice mani or pedi can be a real treat.
We hope you’ve been inspired to take more care! For more health insights take a look at our blog.