How often have you been told you need to prioritise wellness in your life?
Chances are, it’s a lot. Our personal well-being is finally a priority, but for those of us with non-stop lives, it can be difficult to fit in time to look after ourselves. We may look upon our favourite influencers’ hour-long morning routines enviously and think we’ll never have that much time to dedicate to ourselves.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t build wellness into your everyday routines. Busy parents, ambitious professionals, students (and any combination of the three) rejoice – we have tips on embedding well-being into your day-to-day habits.
Massage in the shower
Showering is a small respite in a hectic day for many of us. For some, it’s the only opportunity to spend five to ten minutes alone and recalibrate. And there are ways you can hack your shower routine to add in some extra self-care.
We hold tension in our bodies, and the cascade of warm water can soothe aching muscles. If you still have knots and pains after your shower, try working in some gentle massages as you wash. Kneading your shoulders and neck as you cleanse can help to work out any lingering tension.
If you clench your jaw a lot, take the time to work your facial cleanser in with medium-pressure massaging to ease those tight muscles. Want to hack your shower even further? Use scent. Lavender is a proven stress-buster, but any smell that you find soothing will work – add some drops to a cotton ball and pop it on the floor of your shower for a DIY oil steam. The heat and vapour of the shower will intensify the fragrance.
Mindfulness when applying skincare
Having a skincare routine in the first place is a way many of us show ourselves some self-love. The act of looking after our skin and feeding it nourishing ingredients subtly signals to ourselves that we’re worth the time and effort. Combine it with a soothing hot drink in one of your favourite floral mugs, and you’re onto a winner.
Rhythmically applying and working in our serums, moisturisers, and toners is soothing in itself. For an extra boost, why not build some mindfulness into your routine? As you apply your products, let your mind relax and let thoughts drift through your head without judgement. Being present in the moment – so noticing how your skincare smells and feels and how soothing your application is – allows you to be mindful.
To improve your confidence, you can even recite affirmations as you hydrate and moisturise your skin. Whether you want to improve your body confidence or be more assertive in your professional life, there’s an affirmation for that.
Listen to something relaxing on the way to work
If you work full-time on site or you have hybrid working, you’ll know that commuting can still be stressful. It also takes up time in our day that could be spent elsewhere. But if you’re bound by your commute, you can use it to destress and practise wellness.
Listening to our favourite upbeat music on the way to and from work is usually a sure-fire way to boost our mood, but sometimes fast-paced tunes can increase feelings of stress if we get stuck in traffic or come across an unexpected closure. Research has shown that classical, reggae, and smooth jazz can encourage feelings of relaxation, so give one of these genres a go if your favourite bops just aren’t cutting it anymore.
You don’t have to stick to music either – if you drive, listen to your favourite podcast as you journey to and from your workplace. For people who use public transport, you have a little more freedom because you don’t have to focus on the road at all times. Why not listen to a guided meditation for some or all of your journey?
Walking on your lunch break
Sometimes, even a lunch break can feel like a luxury. Perhaps the news that skipping lunch can put you in a bad (or even worse) mood might encourage you to take some time away from your desk. Shockingly, fewer than a third of us take our full lunch breaks each day – and over half feel that their workplace culture contributes to this.
It’s all too easy to justify having lunch at your desk if you have a high workload, but foregoing a break can negatively impact your productivity as well as your mental well-being. Instead, make sure you take time away from your desk for a breather.
If you’re time-poor outside of work too, taking a walk on your lunch break offers many benefits. As well as boosting our work performance, it can improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and improve our mood. There’s a reason it’s called the great outdoors.
Not everyone has hours of free time a day to dedicate to personal wellness. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice it altogether. There are little pockets of time in our existing daily routines that we can fit in practices that improve our physical and mental health. It’s all about getting the most out of everything we do – but also taking small moments of rest and reflection.