With the very blurry line between work-from-home and relax-at-home, it's becoming increasingly difficult to implement habits that allow you to increase your rest time, but also increase your productivity.
Here are 4 self-care habits for your daily routine that will help you to relax, replenish your energy and actually improve your work productivity.
1. Go outside in the morning
Feeling the sunshine and breathing in fresh air can help your internal body clock to actually make you feel energised. This also helps you sleep at night (according to sleepfoundation.org). Getting outside in the morning may mean you take a walk, sit on your balcony or porch, or even have your first meeting outside.
Personally, I have created a habit out of walking to get a coffee as soon as the kids are dropped to school. This has helped me to feel focused and happy when I sit back down at my desk.
2. Use eye masks during breaks
One of the most powerful things I have introduced into my routine is the use of a self warming eye mask when I take my scheduled 20 minute breaks during the day. Self warming? Yes - these eye masks start heating up the moment you take them out of the packet.
The warmth on the eyes and the blocking of light is a game changer. My 20-minute breaks have evolved from scrolling mindlessly on social media to lying back, covering myself in a blanket and warming my eyes with the masks.
The masks can completely shift your mindset and can actually make the rest of your day more productive, by providing a forced rest for your eyes and mind.
These are my favourites.
3. Create a ritual to signify the start and end of your work day
People who go into an office for work already have a ritual to close off the day - they close their laptop, pack their bags and catch a train home.
However, if you work from home or run your own business, you will know that switching off is near impossible. So, the concept of setting a routine for the start and end of the day is extremely valuable as it allows your mind to understand when it's work time and when it's personal time.
Be intentional with how you want to start and end your day. Think of the time before and after work like your wind-up and wind-down time. This could be a few very simple steps. At the start of the day, open your blinds, make a cup of coffee, open your laptop and listen to a particular song. At the end of the day, turn off your computer screen, close your home office blinds, and move away from your desk. You may even want to take a quick walk to decompress.
4. Make it a habit to laugh
This may sound strange, but it has been proven that laughter (even when you force it) can relax your mind.
There are even laugh clubs all over the world that make you chant "ha ha ha ha" and "hee hee hee hee" continuously until you can't control your laughter.
Think about things that truly make you laugh. It could be a TV show, a video clip or a funny friend. Make it a point to watch or listen to this at least twice a day.
Personally, I start the day by tickling my baby and laughing with her. At the end of the day, I always watch a 90s sitcom to destress and have a giggle.
So, remember that self-care does not always mean getting massages and eating at nice restaurants. Self-care is about looking after your mind and body so you can truly give yourself a chance to rest.