(• Reading Time: 3 minutes •)
“Self-care is never a selfish act. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” - Parker Palmer
Here are simple ways to start caring more for yourself.
Have a different spot for work and relaxation
I stopped working on my bed.
And quit relaxing on my 'work couch'.
I've found that relaxing in the same spot and later trying to work doesn't cut it.
Same applies when flipped around: working in the same spot and later trying to switch to relaxation mode is hard. You don't need separate rooms for this.
You only need to intentionally create a physical difference so you can switch out from one to the other. Not doing this kept me spinning in cycles for several weeks.
Shower every day
It's simple. Early showers are better but if you can't do that have one at night before the day runs out. You'll feel like you've accomplished something already.
Cooking as therapy
I am not a big fan of cooking . But following instructions on a recipe and coming up with something new feels magical. Pick any meal -- whether it comes out good or not doesn't matter. It's the process that counts. I'm still not into cooking but it's now an avenue to unplug from the current state of the world especially when I pair it with nice jazz music.
Get that sunshine
5 mins of sunshine is mystical! In the last two months I've realized that my cabin fever completely disappeared after I began opening up windows early in the day. I've never believed that the weather has an impact on one's mood but it does. You don't need huge windows. Just something that gives you a little bit of sunshine outside.
Start a streak
I started a streak for reading. Nothing elaborate. Just 5 minutes of reading daily.
First got to 35 days and accidentally broke it off on a weekend. Restarted another and I'm now on day 22.
Books tend to have high and low moments so I never read only one specific book at a time. Also I'm not in a rush to finish 100 books like many productivity blogs and their uncles advocate.
I don't believe in quantity.
The most impactful books took me at least a month to read and that was because I intentionally paused to try some lessons in the book before coming back to it.
Having a streak feels like I'm making progress in some area of my life no matter how crazy the world is out there.
And occasionally I get inspired. Inspiration is good. The warm fuzziness wears off eventually but I tend to ride on the high of books for some days.
The little things
These little activities don't come close to the hype that people expect when they hear 'productivity' but sometimes you don't need faster, better. You only need to maintain your current state.
Thanks for reading
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Heads Up - I love research so I tend to back my advice and approach with concepts from Behavioral Psychology and Neuroscience.