Our Summer Wellness Challenge is in full effect at RMADAC! In this challenge, we are asked to participate in various wellness activities that put a focus on mental and physical wellbeing. After a stressful year in quarantine, part of getting back to “normal” and becoming better versions of ourselves starts with a better quality of life and a lot of self-care. Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself and is important to individuals, families, workplaces, and the community. Some of the benefits of self-care may include:
- Increased motivation
- Improved productivity
- Boosts to physical and mental well-being
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Greater self-confidence and sense of fulfillment
- Better work-life balance
I’ll be the very first to admit that even after spending more than a year in quarantine, working from home, and caring for a new baby, there weren’t many opportunities for me to practice self-care. We quickly had to adapt to a new way of life, while at the same time juggling many other responsibilities. Self-care, for me, was put on the back burner.
Because of that, I found myself all too often in a constant state of burn out, fatigue and stress (and maybe you did too). The stress of going out and not getting sick, battling postpartum depression with an invisible disability, taking on the challenges of parenthood, while at the same time working 40+ hours a week began to take a toll on my health, especially my mental wellbeing. I knew that I had to take a step back and start taking care of myself if I wanted to be able to take care of my family.
Participating in this challenge at work has been a great motivator for me to incorporate self-care as often as possible. Here are some new activities you can partake in to increase your physical and mental wellbeing:
(Please note that I am not an expert and while some of these things have worked for me, they may not work for everyone else. I encourage you to take pieces of this article that do work for you, and I challenge you to incorporate them into your daily routine in the hope that they can be helpful.)
Declutter an Area
What does tidying up an area have to do with self-care? A lot, actually! It is especially important to improving self-care if that area is one you spend a lot of time in. I decided to tidy up my home office desk after it became a dumping ground for all sorts of things I collected over the past year. I got rid of a lot of junk, vacuumed, and I even found a missing earring. Organizing and decluttering helped relieve some stress and provided a sense of accomplishment!
Spending Time Outside
There is something about going outside that just makes things better. A break from the routine of work or daily life, taking a breath of fresh air can create a shift and help us with self-care, especially if we are depressed. If you’re into gardening, take a few minutes to water your outdoor plants or just admire them. It can increase your mood and give you some time to reflect.
Watch the Sunrise or Sunset
One of the things that I miss most about living in California are the amazing sunsets by the ocean. The colorful palette that dances on the skyline always brought a smile to my face. Deep purples, pinks, and oranges light up the evening sky with a silhouette of palm trees in the background. Even just writing about it makes me feel so much better. Not to say that Colorado sunsets aren’t up there on the list, admiring the colors of nature helps us appreciate the end of a day, no matter the challenges we faced that day. It gives us hope for a new start the next day.
Making a List of Things You are Grateful For
Some days are hard to come up with things to be grateful for, but I encourage you to take just a few minutes of your day to write down at least one thing you are grateful for daily. It’s so easy to get distracted with all that’s going on but taking the time to write down what you are grateful for helps create a more positive mental wellbeing.
Reaching Out to Someone You Haven’t Talked to in a While
It can feel good to connect with an old friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while! Invite them on a video call and catch them up with what’s been going on in your life. Rekindling old connections can improve your mood and strengthen friendships.
Remember, self-care is an ongoing process and small things we do daily add up and make an impact on our lives. Everyone, regardless of abilities, can truly benefit from some degree of self-care. I encourage you to take some time for yourself today and challenge you to do it as often as possible. You deserve it.