February 7, 2022

5 Ways to build self-care into your hectic daily routine

Ece Erke

1.    Get enough sleep.

Getting plenty of sleep every night is a must if we want to wake up to a productive morning. It’s not always easy to get 8 hours of sleep every single night, but it will have immense benefits on the physical health. Research has shown that sleep helps the immune system restore itself, which can improve our overall wellbeing. These restoration processes are known to happen the most during deep sleep states, which could be interrupted by alarms, making it harder to wake up in the morning. There are sleeping apps that wakes you up at an optimal time, preventing the interruption of the valuable deep sleep states. One example is an app called Sleep Cycle, and it can help you wake up at the time that will feel the best for your body and wake up energized and restored for the day ahead.


2.    Try to squeeze in some exercise.

It may almost seem impossible to get a good exercise done when you have so much on your plate. However, giving yourself even half an hour of physical activity a day can help you feel more motivated. You can start your mornings with a short walk to wake yourself up and feel more energized for the rest of the day. If you don’t have time in the morning, a brief break from work for some yoga or plates can be beneficial in keeping you focused and active. Your workouts don’t have to be hours long or at a gym to put you in a better mood. It is important to pick an exercise that you know you will enjoy and dedicate as much time as you think is going to energize you for the day. Remember, there isn’t a one size fits all exercise!


3.    Don’t forget to take a break.

Breaks can often make one feel guilty and unproductive, but they are essential for mental health. They not only improve concentration, but also prevent mental and physical fatigue. It may seem like a good idea at times, to power through for hours to finish a project, which may result in a reduction in quality of work. We all need a brief mental reset in between work to maximize productivity and be able to produce our best work possible. Without mental fatigue getting in the way, we may even be able to do more work in less time than we would be able to without any breaks.


4.    Call a loved one/make time for family and friends.

In the midst of busy work and trying to make time for self-care it can be easy to forget to make time for the loved ones. However, let’s not forget that social connections, especially those with people we care about are also a form of self-care. Sharing our concerns, talking about our day to people who know and support us can be therapeutic and help you get some of the stress off your chest. Go out to dinner with friends or organize a family game night once a week to unwind after a week of busy work. Being around people you love who support you and make you laugh will boost your mood and energy, preparing you strong for another busy week at work.

5.    Reflect on positive things that happened today.

Reflecting on your achievements of the day, or even simple stuff that made you feel happy during the day can be a great way to end the day on a positive note. You can even get creative with this one, putting it on paper either with words or drawings and express yourself however you feel like. Getting all these feelings out before a good night’s sleep can make you feel light and gratified. This can also be a great time to brainstorm ways to build on the positives that happened today and set goals for the next day.

Ece is a psychology intern at the Thaddeus Resource Center AGAPE House. She studied Psychology and Neuroscience at UCLA and is now applying for graduate programs in Psychology. She aims to study clinical or behavioral neuroscience. In her free time, she likes running and watching shows.