…IDEAL for a more peaceful approach to life.

There’s no denying it; modern life and looking after number one seems to have run away from us. It’s increasingly defined by stress, by rushing from one task to the next, day in and day out, and not taking enough time to look inwards and stand a little while within it.

But prioritising self-care is an essential part of leading a more joyful life, helping to restore an inner calm and develop a more positive outlook; something we all need, right With that in mind, here are 10 self care steps to take daily, IDEAL for a more peaceful approach to life.

STOP OVERCOMMITTING

Many of us stretch ourselves too thin, accepting every offer and commitment that comes our way. But doesn’t it feel great – liberating, even – to not have anything on the horizon? Yeah, that’s music to our ears. Instead of filling up your calendar with dates you don’t need, make a point of finding ways to simplify your schedule and learn to say no. Make more time for you.

TAKE A NEW APPROACH TO EXERCISE

We all know that exercise is vital for both our physical and mental health, and doing without it entirely can be greatly damaging. But let’s be honest here for a second; the gym isn’t always the most thrilling place to spend time. That shouldn’t stop you from keeping fit; if you truly hate going to the gym, stop doing it!

Instead, find an activity that gets you moving but also brings you joy. Maybe you love to dance, swim, walk in nature, or do yoga. Whatever it is, you’re much more likely to stay active if you truly enjoy it.

LOOK AT HEALTHY EATING FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE

Many of us approach healthy eating with an all or nothing attitude and set ourselves up for failure in the process. Instead of trying to change everything at once, make one small, healthy change to your eating habits each week. Whether you add an extra serving of veggies to your meals or make a point of drinking eight glasses of water each day, those small changes can have a hugely positive, accumulative impact on how you feel over time.

TRY ACUPUNCTURE & MASSAGE

Self pampering doesn’t need to take the form of a shopping spree or dinner at a fancy restaurant (though that certainly can’t hurt!). Instead, think outside the box a little, and try some acupuncture or have a massage.

The wellness experts at the Yinova Center acupuncture clinic in Brooklyn Heights, NY recommend acupuncture and massage as excellent ways to relax and restore your mood at the end of a hectic, stressful week, harnessing the power of traditional Chinese medicine to provide ‘an energetic prompt to the body’s intelligence that restores balance’. And we could all do with a bit of that in our lives, right?

WRITE A GRATITUDE DIARY

Though it sounds a little woolly around the edges, time and time again it’s been shown that practicing gratitude is a key contributor to happiness. Indeed, by keeping a daily log of appreciation, the brain becomes rewired to look for reasons to be grateful. In the process, you may well find yourself more grounded, humble, thankful and kind towards the world around you. 

It’s wise to approach this act with empathy, rather than simply going through the motions; if you’ve had a non eventful day, don’t feel compelled to complete your journal. Instead, focus on depth, not breadth, and on people you appreciate, rather than things. In doing so, you’ll notice a gradual, growing warmth towards the world and its often lovely inhabitants.

GET RID OF “STUFF” THAT DOESN’T BRING YOU JOY

Our lives tend to be full of unnecessary ‘stuff’ that doesn’t bring us joy; cables, clutter, old bills, kitchen appliances we’ve never used…the list goes on and only gets more stressful. Give your house – your life – an inventory and declutter the junk that’s holding you back. There really is no feeling more liberating. 

DO A GOOD DEED

Bringing joy to someone else’s life can be so rewarding, though perhaps not so altruistic as it seems. Yep, doing good deeds has been shown to improve our own life satisfaction, too. It doesn’t even need to be a grand gesture. Simply holding the door open for a stranger, buying a hot drink for the next person in line, helping your neighbour carry their groceries or giving generously to the homeless can bring you contentment. Everyone’s a winner, hey?

TRY SOME PET THERAPY

Hey, the good news just keeps rolling in; it’s also scientifically suggested that petting an animal is an excellent stress reliever, so be sure to love on your pet every day. Or use it as an excuse to get one! If you don’t have a dog or cat of your own, borrow one from the neighbour, but be sure to ask them first.

UNPLUG

We’re all guilty of spending too much time looking at a screen – hey, you’re looking at one right now and we appreciate the delicious irony we’re sharing in this moment together – but unplugging can restore a little tranquillity to your ‘always on’ lifestyle. Though the term ‘digital detox’ has earned a slightly suspect reputation, beloved of influencers who like to live, love and laugh, the benefits can actually be huge. Don’t let your scepticism get in the way of putting down your phone and actually looking up to appreciate the world. 

MEDITATE

Meditation and mindfulness have been attributed with providing a whole host of amazing benefits to those devoted to the discipline. These include improved concentration, reduced stress levels, help with addiction and many, many more things besides. And a period of calm, where you can listen to your own thoughts and needs attentively and without distraction? 

Well, doesn’t that sound pretty ideal during a period of near non-stop stimulation? It only takes ten or so minutes a day of stillness and calm, and there are plenty of apps out there to assist you in getting going if this is your first time, but the effect on your overall well being can be huge. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to take back control of your contentment.