A holistic self-care routine benefits your overall physical and mental health whereas a lack thereof can have adverse effects on your well-being in the long run. Working women tend to get so caught up in trying to prove themselves and living up to the unrealistic standards that society has set for them, that they forget to take care of themselves. It is important to take a break from your daily duties lest you should suffer a burn out. Taking adequate steps to formulate healthy physical and mental practices can go a long way in helping you lead a happy and healthy life.
Although a physical self-care routine is similar to a mental one, there are different ways to cultivate both. Selfcare may seem like another added task in your list especially if you are a working woman or mother. We hear you! And that is why we have listed these cheeky little hacks to get you through your work days feeling like a rock star both in the mind and body!
First, let’s walk you through some good mental practices.
Learn to Say ‘No’
As women, we are conditioned to ‘obey’ and say ‘yes’ to everything. This conditioning creeps into adulthood, leaving us with low self-esteem making us prone to other serious issues like anxiety and depression. Learn to say ‘No’ to a task someone at home asks you to do. At the end of your day, take time off to rest and unwind. Read a book or do something you like.
You need to accept and understand that it is not selfish to say ‘no’. If it’s hard for you to say it blatantly, try an indirect way. For example, you could say, ‘I can’t give the required time to so and so task’.
Catch those winks!
A survey that was conducted by Ariel India and Toluna indicated that a shocking 71 per cent of Indian women don’t get enough sleep! The detergent manufacturing giant surrounded a whole campaign around this to throw light on the unfair amount of work women in India have been subjected to, since time immemorial. The most common mistake women in the workforce make is neglecting their sleep cycle. Not only does lack of sleep cause the inability to focus and think constructively, it affects your immunity causing long-term health issues.
Organisation is your best friend. Plan and prep whatever you can over the weekends so you can cruise through your week without having to give up on your sleep. Draw a thick, visible line between work time and rest time. You need at least seven to eight hours of undisturbed sleep to keep your mind and body healthy.
Express gratitude from time to time
As cliché as it sounds, this actually works in reducing your worries. Actress-turned-fitness icon, Mandira Bedi, has written an entire book on finding happiness in every little thing in life and ‘going with the flow’. In an interview while talking about her book, she says, ‘I have lived life, going with the flow and that has brought me to the only goal I ever hoped to get to - being happy from within.’
Journaling regularly is a great exercise. Note the positives that you’ve experienced through your day be it a little bird you noticed building its nest on a tree or just the fact that you’re alive and breathing. This habit helps eliminate negative feelings and thoughts.
Keep up with your beauty routine
Don’t dismiss your mother when she tells you to go for that massage or that face clean-up. But if you don’t want to spend money, simple routines at home can also do the trick. Make best friends with aroma oils and exfoliating body scrubs. Alternatively, incentivize your weekly targets with a massage or that weekend escapade you’ve been contemplating.
No matter how tired you are at the end of a work day, spare a few minutes to cleanse your face and neck. It will calm your senses, refresh you and is also a way to sleep better.
Eat on time
A shockingly large number of working women skip breakfast regularly. Skipping a meal, especially breakfast, is the worst thing to do to your body and mind. If you don’t eat on time or eat a healthy meal, you’re inviting ailments like acidity, deficiencies, headaches and much more. Renowned celebrity nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar has repeatedly emphasized the importance of a balanced diet especially in the life of working women. We learnt it back in school, for crying out loud!
Set reminders for all the meals you should have through the day. Every time these reminders go off, stop everything you’re doing and feed yourself! Also, it is OK to have something ‘sinful’ once in a while. Desserts, especially chocolate, are known to uplift your mood.
Exercise and Meditate
Whether you prefer practicing Yoga or are a gym junkie, get moving. Include a workout session in your daily schedule. It’s a known fact that physical exercise benefits both your body and mind. Research indicates that exercise protects you from mental ailments like anxiety and depression. It also helps your body produce endorphins which are responsible for positive feelings and thoughts.
Celebrities the world over inspire their fans and audiences to follow a workout routine. Pick your favourite and follow her. Actress Shilpa Shetty has released a number of yoga routines and videos on her YouTube channel. You should check these out. You could also join a dance class. There are a number of virtual Zumba and Bollywood dance classes online for you to choose from.
While a growing number of women enter the realm of high-stress jobs, the amount of women in the workforce who actually pay attention to themselves is, sadly, plummeting. These simple hacks can easily become a part of your day-to-day life.
(Edited by Neha Baid)