The majority of us don’t spend enough time working towards our better health. We also ignore looking after ourselves or treating ourselves to some time out and downtime. We confuse self-care with hard work, earning money, fancy clothes and fancy things.

Some of us even put self-care on the back burner. Unfortunately, we confuse it with saving up money and planning a month-long Yoga, meditation retreat. The build-up to these usually create more stress and anxiety than calm and relaxation.

Let’s cut to the chase – here are 5 ways to step up your self-love game.

1. Get Healthy and Happier by Getting Outside

Being outdoors, especially in nature is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It improves your mental health, clarity and has great benefit for your physical well being too.  You can start by doing something small like … looking out the window, notice nature! 

If you like what you see, you could bring indoor plants into your office, home or even bedroom. During work you can take a break and go outside and get some fresh air or hang out by the tree… or with the tree, if you wanna be super meditative. 

Research associates living in an area with more green space (i.e. parks and gardens) with greater life satisfaction and less mental distress. So get active with some gardening. Have a few pot plants that you like in your apartment, and try to get outdoors at the weekend as much as possible.

2. Try An Outdoor Workout

After you’ve done meditating and appreciating nature try working out outdoors as well. Research shows that outdoor workouts make people feel more revitalised and energetic than indoor workouts and less tense, confused, depressed, and angry. 

Working outdoor also boosts self-esteem more than indoor exercise, which is great for people with mental health difficulties. So make doing outdoor activities part of your self-care regime.

3. Pay it forwardit’s Healthy for the Soul

Niceness is a much-desired character, in ourselves and others. Humans are naturally communal beings. We like doing good things for each other because by helping each other we ultimately create a better, safer environment for ourselves. Now it can be part of your self-care plan.

Being a contributive member of society boosts our mental health, makes us feel motivated and excited by life and helps us live longer. It is the best flow-on effect of altruism. 

Volunteering can also positively affect self-confidence, self-esteem, and general wellbeing.

4. Breathe the Right Scents to improve your mental health

People have always been telling us that breathing techniques can help us seriously chill out. 

Equally as important is what we breathe. According to aromatherapy what we breathe is as important as how we breathe. Smell is an important sense that can make us travel to wonderful times in our past or encourage us to be adventurous for something new. 

According to aromatherapy, each smell has a specialised benefit, for example, orange flavoured essential oils can help slash stress and anxiety. Rosemary may boost memory while lavender is often used to help calm down the mind and make people feel relaxed. 

While the final verdict on aromatherapy is still out (according to science) there is no harm in finding your favourite aroma and playing with it. You can create a pleasant and positive environment through candles, infusers, or bottles of essential oils,

5. Stress Lessit’s Bad for Your Health

Stress! It’s one of the biggest killers in the modern world, yet we let it roam free and invite it into our lives. Stress has been scientifically researched and linked to every major health problem in the 21st century – from cardiac diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, overconsumption of food and alcohol, addiction to harmful foods and drinks, mental health issues depression etc etc… you get the picture. 

Many medications have been scripted to help patients feel calm and relaxed and less stressed. but we believe that the first place to start is self-care (unless your doctor has suggested medication then listen to them). There is a range of actions and tools you can employ to feel less stressed and calmer about life. Use these strategies, which range from drinking tea to practising progressive relaxation, to keep the stress at bay.