We’re beginning to navigate the world of post-pandemic trauma. People are going back to work and we’re noticing another wave of anxiety and stress as some head back into the office and deal with the long commutes, in-person meetings, and that noisy coworker who just can’t seem to keep it down.
While some employees may welcome the return to on-site work, one-third of respondents in a new McKinsey survey said their return to work has had a negative impact on their mental health. Almost half of those who have not yet returned anticipate negative mental health impacts.
Now more than ever we need to change the narrative around the $9.9 Billion self-care industry from “buzzword” to essential mental health requirement.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
To the Journal of Counseling Psychology, self-care has been defined as "a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.” Don’t worry, we know that’s a mouthful, so in other words, self-care is intentionally taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health. It’s important to remember that self-care does not mean the same thing for everyone and even your own definition will change over time.
WHY IS SELF-CARE SO IMPORTANT FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
Now that we understand what self-care is, why should we even bother implementing a self-care routine into our lives? Here are some of the incredible benefits of self-care:
Reduces Anxiety: Learning to clear your mind through meditation and movement can be a great tool to alleviate anxiety and stay present.
- Combats Loneliness: Although this may sound counter intuitive, self-care can truly combat the feeling of loneliness.. Focusing on yourself, even if it’s just for a designated amount of time every single day, will help you feel more fulfilled, even if you are “alone”. The point here is to create a relationship with yourself, get to know you on a deeper level, and in turn feel less lonely.
- Improves Productivity: Self-care is correlated with high-quality sleep and spending less time on our phones. After getting distracted from a notification it takes up to 23 minutes to get back in the zone! Therefore, those who spend less time distracting themselves with the endless scroll make more of an effort to finish their to-do list.
- Higher Self-Esteem: When we actively avoid things that make us mentally and physically well, our self-worth goes down the drain. When we nourish our bodies with healthy foods and exercise, we produce more serotonin activity which is related to feelings of confidence, which in turn gives you the drive to do the things that build self-esteem.
- Improved Immune System: Engaging in a hobby reduces stress and activates genes that increase immunity and decrease inflammation. Having something to look forward to outside of work is so important for your mental health! Ahem, baking cupcakes is absolutely a form of self-care!
HERE ARE 5 WAYS YOU CAN PRACTICE SELF CARE TODAY:
- Quality Sleep: For all my night owls, you may want to rethink your sleep habits. Sleep and productivity go hand in hand, when we’re rested, we feel energized and ready to take on whatever life throws at us. When we’re not rested…well, it’s a different story. They’ve correlated lack of sleep with excessive alcohol drinking which in turn means if you’re used to getting the poor quality sleep you act almost as if you’re drunk! Not the vibe our future self is going for.
- Start a Morning Routine: The definition of a morning routine is: “A set of actions you do before your actual day begins.” It’s simply starting your day without rushing. So many of us roll over, smash our alarm off, sleepwalk to the shower, get ready for work, and rush out of the house. This hardly leaves anytime to actually be. When you begin your day in a rushed/stressed state, that energy will follow you throughout the day, and vice versa when you begin your day with mindfulness, peace will follow you throughout your day.
- Try This: Wake up 15 minutes earlier and try not to reach for your phone for at least 30 minutes! I have personally done this for the last two years and it is a major game changer.
- Read a Book: TBT to when we had to read every day in 5th grade for 20 minutes – there’s a reason we all had to go through that. It improves your focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills (not bad, huh?) It also allows you to learn new things and improve yourself and your relationships! It’s a win, win, win. We just have to create the time and space for it.
- Try This: A book about entrepreneurship and how to have the grit to keep going: How to build a Goddamn Empire By Ali Kriegs
- Find Movement You Like: What’s the point in working out every single day if you’re not enjoying it? Believe it or not, there’s going to be some type of movement out there that you get excited about. I know it may sound crazy right now but it’s 2022, we’ve developed way past Zumba. There’s yoga, pilates, barre, or even just long walks on the beach with a good podcast.
- Journal: If you’re stuck on where to start but know that you want to implement journaling into your self-care routine we highly recommend starting with The M.A.G.I.C.Method it truly is the journal for people who don’t want to journal. It consists of 5 steps:
Remember, what works for others may not work for you and vice versa. Self-care is all about trial and error and figuring out what works best with your schedule. The goal is to focus on making progress, not perfection!
We want to keep up with your progress. Stay connected by following the Magic Mornings Team on Instagram at @mymagicmornings and tagging us in your posts.
We’re rooting for you!
The Magic Team