It sounds like the stuff of snake oil, but research has demonstrated self-care approaches reduce stress, improve immunity and increase productivity.
There’s power in reclaiming a few hours of the week for you. While taking time to hit pause from the work grind might sound like a radical idea – especially if you’re a mother, or a workaholic, or both – Arianna Huffington manages to maintain a weekly self-care ritual, and so should you.
The importance of self-care
Need convincing that you should regularly practice self-care? Watch psychologist and author Guy Winch make a case for emotional hygiene by taking care of your mind in the same way as your body.
Abyanga is the daily Ayurveda practice of self-massage. It’s believed to restore the balance of the doshas and enhance well-being and longevity, and is easy to do. But if even if this is too woo woo for you, there’s no denying a good slather of scented moisturising oil feels incredible and lifts your mood.
Walk or bike to work
Your journey to and from the office is an untapped opportunity to up your weekly activity. A comprehensive study published last year, showed commuters who biked or walked to work had a lower risk of heart attack or another heart-related event. While you’re at it, mix up your route for the bonus benefits of active meditation.
Weekly face and hair mask
There’s something gratifying about slipping a sheet mask on your face on a Sunday evening and forcing yourself to sit still. While you’re there, why not multitask with a rich and luxurious hair oil.
Shapes at a pottery wheel
Wabi-sabi pottery has now become a staple in aesthetically-conscious homes. But the benefits of working clay on a wheel suggest it’s something everyone should try at least once. No matter how novice your efforts, there’s something agreeably imperfect about eating your morning cereal out of a handcrafted bowl. Try your hand at pottery with a local course.
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