The holidays have been merry, the company has been delightful. But there is a niggling feeling in the back of your mind that just won’t go away.
The Art of Self-Care
…Your dreaded and looming return to work…
Respite and restoration are crucial at this time of year, and many have been lapping up the sun while the memory of a frantic 2019 melts away. So, you might ask, how can we approach 2020 so that our old habits of overcommitting, pulling long hours and getting caught up in the rat race doesn’t see us collapse in a frenzied, exhausted heap next Summer?
Let’s take time this January to create new habits around self-care.
Step away From Your Tech
As someone who is often found phone-in-hand, I’m not going to lecture you from a tablet-shaped soapbox. What I can recommend though, are a few small changes to your day that will open up 10 minutes of tech-free time, no matter how busy you get.
- Firstly, stop opening your inbox as soon as you open your eyes. BGR reports that 61% of people check their phones either before they get out of bed or within five minutes of waking up, which can reportedly kickstart your brain into alertness via blue light transmission and a mental inventory of what tasks result. Stretch, give your brain a breather and wait at least until you’ve fired up the coffee machine.
- The same rule can be applied to bed time – pick up a book or a journal instead of your device – it’ll give your eyes and brain a chance to relax and will retrain your focus from what’s left to be done from your day to what needs to be done right now … rest.
- Keep a hard-copy diary in your purse or desk and leave the phone at home occasionally. You won’t fall apart. Promise.
- Try hard-copy crosswords and sudoku puzzles instead on online games and social media to pass free time – not only will you be giving your mind a little mental workout, you’ll also we clocking precious tech-free minutes.
Get up and walk around the office, walk to the coffee shop on the other side of the park on your lunch break, or opt in to the weekly Pilates class you’ve had on your ‘must-get-to-that’ list for longer than you’d care to admit. Regardless of how far you want to take your new found activity, movement will get your blood pumping, your lungs working and your brain hitting the reset button.
Mark Your Calendar
Block out ‘admin’ time in your diary for nothing in particular. This may sound counter-productive but we’ve all lost countless hours answering emails, chasing invoices or signing papers we hadn’t anticipated – these admin tasks are a part of our weekly routine that we very rarely allow time for, increasing the likelihood we’ll feel stressed, over-stretched and worse, possibly forget. Schedule your busy work periods around your most productive time of day; if you’re on fire first thing in the morning, restructure your work day so that you can start earlier (and finish earlier too!). If you’re a night owl and love the serenity and solitude of a quiet office, bank the tasks you know will eat into your work day and tackle them when everyone else has gone to bed. Capitailising on your most productive periods of the day means you’ll do a better job, and you’ll feel better about having to do it.
Ensure One Treat ‘To-Do’ Every Day
I’m sure your ‘to-do’ list looks a lot like mine; as long as your arm and constantly evolving. It can be exhausting and overwhelming to never actually get to the bottom of your ‘must do’ inventory, in fact, many people feel worn down by the time holidays roll around because there is just so much left to do. Try to accommodate one quick, achievable treat ‘to-do’ in to your daily schedule – a long shower, a nighttime moisturising ritual, a walk with the dog – whatever it takes for you to reset your mindset and feel like you’ve achieved something just for you each and every day. This task should be treated like a non-negotiable.
Sleep Like the Dead
Get good sleep. I can’t stress this enough! With overwhelm and over-commitment comes stress, and with stress comes a higher likelihood that you aren’t sleeping as much or as soundly as you should. The time may have come to ditch the afternoon coffee pick-me-up, the dinner-time Shiraz or the Netflix-binge right before bed – these things will all contribute to a rubbish night in the sack no matter how much it might pain you to hear it. Try sipping on an herbal tea and reading that dusty best-seller on the nightstand – it’ll help your body and mind to wind down to ensure you get a solid 7-9 hours every single night.
2020 is going to be a great year, and a few mindful changes to your daily schedule can ensure that you come through it all the better for it. Take time to care for yourself, so that you in turn can give everything you’ve got to your career, your family and your friends.
In the meantime, book in your 5-star luxury experiences in one of our private properties for a weekend getaway in 2020 (you know, to reward yourself for all that hard work!).