Some days it can feel like we’re all awash in a veritable tsunami of ways to achieve and maintain our wellbeing. From 30-step skincare routines to that pile of ‘decluttering’ books cluttering up your bookshelf – are wellness trends adding to your to-do list, instead of making you feel better? Put down that electromagnetic facial-massage wand and take a deep breath. We’ve got you. And we think it’s high time to streamline those routines, and give yourself a break. So we’re offering up some simple suggestions to help you get back to basics, choose your own priorities, and form habits that really will help you feel well.
A Head of the Game – mental-wellness is wealth
In the quest for a healthy body, longevity, or even just keeping up with family life, the mind can sometimes get short-changed. But mental well-being is a cornerstone of wellness, and the brain needs some love and care too. This could be as simple as separating work and home life, and choosing a time to switch off at the end of the day. But if keeping up with unrealistic standards in any area of your life is getting to you, it may be time to make a few adjustments. Maybe instead of starting a new diet, the most helpful action would be to plan a regular meet-up with friends for coffee and conversation (or chai and chat). Relationships help keep us grounded and supported, and a good laugh can be more beneficial than any gluten-free cookie! Friendship can be a great foundation to support us – as better parents, partners or even entrepreneurs! If you’re more of a private person, daily journaling or a session with a counsellor can be invaluable tools to help find emotional balance and sort out personal priorities.
Choose One Thing – no one has three hours to spare in the morning.
Many beauty blogs and wellness warriors would have us believe that a 12-step skincare routine, running a half marathon, meditating, writing a short novel and whipping up an exotic smoothie bowl with home-grown cacao beans before 8 am is par for the course. Ok, maybe if it’s your job and you wake up at 3am. But how many busy women today have time for toast, let alone toner, before it’s time to launch out the door, onto trains, into cars and down to work? Even if your morning routine is currently limited to making sure there’s no toothpaste left outside your mouth before you leave the house – this tip is for you.
Choose one thing to add to your morning routine, just for you. Is it applying a decent sunblock under your makeup? Making time for a full 30 minutes in the shower? A quick walk in the fresh air with your favourite podcast, or even eating breakfast – anything that signifies self-care most powerfully to you. Keep to this one habit, every day, for two weeks. Then, you can decide whether it’s become easy enough that you feel ready to add one additional habit, OR rotate it out and try another.
Still daunted by those first steps? Try ‘Microdosing’ your wellness. Whatever routine or habit you’d like to add – start small. Heading for healthy eating? Add a balanced, protein-rich breakfast just one day a week. Looking for sounder sleep? Swap one coffee or tea, preferably the last, for decaf. Skeptical about mindfulness or meditation? Try sitting quietly with eyes closed, for just one minute. Sometimes the biggest obstacle we face is beginning. But even sixty seconds can get the ball rolling and create a sense of achievement. Before you know it, you’re on your way!
Plan Ahead – do the tough stuff the night before
We know, we know, it seems impossible. Our plans change so rapidly these days, and even if we wanted to, the lure of streaming platforms can dampen even the best intentions when the sun goes down. But the power of a plan is undeniable. Not only can it help us sleep more soundly*, it can help us to achieve more in a calmer way the following day.* Try keeping a notebook and pen by the bed, so you can jot down any tasks, goals, or projects for the next day.
Once you’ve got your to-do’s down, draw two circles next to each one. In the first circle, write the task’s priority from 1-3. Make sure these are your priorities, not anyone else’s. In the next circle, write the approximate amount of time you think it will take to complete. This can help to give you an idea of whether your plan is achievable in the amount of time you have. If there’s too much to do, move a third-tier task to the next day (and be sure to cross off each one with a flourish as you complete it). At the bottom of the page, promise yourself a reward: a babysitter (and a night out)? A film you’ve been dying to watch? A delicious meal? You decide!
Whatever Wellness routine you choose to follow, the one thing it should always do is make you feel Well. So take your pick, personalise your plan, and praise yourself for everything you achieve – you deserve it!