2020 has been a roller coaster of a year for everyone, with so many ups and down leaving lots of people with a feeling of uncertainty. Taking time for yourself as we get to the end of the year and starting 2021 off feeling refreshed is vital.
Practising self care is something that can take work but is well worth it in the long run. Having a healthy work-life balance can help you to stay sharp, motivated and healthy. Over working is not something that should be promoted as a virtue. Setting professional boundaries and making sure you take time away from your screen is far more important.
Taking care of your physical health can, in turn help you to take care of your mental health. Physical activity can help you to “get out of your own head”, get some fresh air and release some endorphins. If you’ve been inside for the past year then it can be easy to let your health slip, it suddenly doesn’t feel like the most important thing. This is when it actually becomes the most important thing to look after.
There are lots of free ways to exercise and put yourself first, even if this is just going for a walk around a local park, making sure to get your steps in can help you to reach your fitness goal, if you have one. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of walking a day can cut stroke risk by a minimum of 20%, the added benefit is helping you to burn some calories and maintain your weight.
Setting yourself a goal can also help you to take time out of your normal routine, whether it be a fitness-related goal, say to walk 10,000 steps a day or to complete the couch to 5K app. It could also be something more unusual, for example, to complete a jigsaw puzzle in a week, to read 4 books a month or to learn how to juggle. Giving yourself the distraction to concentrate on something other than being inside the house and missing your friends.
Learning new things with your friends also means you’ll stay more connected, rather than letting the weeks slip by when you realise you haven’t spoken for a while, setting up a virtual book club to discuss what you’ve read combines both learning something new and staying in touch.
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