Learn the Importance of Self-Care and 5 Benefits of Regular Practise
Do you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed? Feel like you have lost yourself? Are you constantly giving your time and energy to work, family, friends, a full calendar of events? Life can speed up the more you add to your to-do list and before you know it, you’ve missed your morning stretches, cancelled the nature walk with your bestie and even skipped some meals. Busyness has been glorified in our society but it comes at a cost – our health and wellbeing.
Self-care is defined by the World Health Organization as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
The concept of self-care is broad with many different contributing factors (environmental, socio-economic, lifestyle, hygiene etc) but ultimately it is an individual’s act (or lack of) preserving and maintaining personal health or responding to symptoms. We believe in the importance of self-love which is why we design all our unique gift hampers around self-care rituals.
Here are 5 benefits of regularly practising self-care:
1) Helps Manage Stress & Anxiety
While we can’t completely eliminate external stresses in life, taking time to slow down and fulfill acts of self-care helps to eliminate the triggers of stress. Instead of looking at self-care as something to do after a stressful day, think of it as more of a preventative measure. When you are rested and relaxed, you are better prepared (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) to handle any stresses that come your way.
2) Improves Health & Wellbeing
Ongoing self-care activities help to maintain health and wellbeing on physical, mental and emotional levels. Taking care of yourself brings awareness to how you feel so you are more likely to notice when something is affecting you. All aspects of your life impact your wellbeing and there are a combination of interrelated factors that contribute to overall good health and wellbeing including adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise, sense of purpose and belonging, human connection and hobbies. Self-care practises help to create balance in these different areas. At Avenue Hampers we love the boost of personal empowerment, autonomy, self-efficacy and good vibes that come with taking an active role in protecting your own health, wellness and happiness.
3) Strengthens Relationship with Self
The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. You are the only person that you will spend every moment of every day with, for life! So nurturing that relationship is important. Neglecting your own needs can result in feeling lost in life; unsure of who you are, what you truly want and what gives your life meaning. Practising self-care regularly boosts feelings of self-worth and self-esteem which can result in increased confidence, personal empowerment, ability to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things.
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, even lighting a candle and taking a couple of minutes to pause and breath can be enough. Our Bubbles and Light hamper includes a beautifully scented candle by Urban Rituelle made from natural soy & coconut wax. The simple ritual of lighting a scented candle to create a fragrant sanctuary can awaken your spirit and ignite your heart and soul.
4) Improves Relationships with Others
Consistently prioritising the needs of others before your own can result in you feeling irritable, angry, resentful and even bitter towards them. Reciprocity is important to maintain healthy relationships; an equal balance of give and take. By channeling your time and energy into regular self- care, it signals to others that your needs matter too and allows you to set strong boundaries if necessary. When you take care of yourself, you will also be in a better place to give to others – you will feel calmer, less reactive and overall more positive.
5) Thrive not just Survive
Life is a precious gift that is to be enjoyed. Instead of wishing time away and rushing to the next event or holiday, start practising being present. Savour the seemingly insignificant moments throughout the day; cuddle your dog and engage in their excitement that you’re awake, mindfully sip that first coffee from your favourite mug, use the “good” body wash and cream on a workday, listen to a “feel good” playlist on the walk to work, take your whole hour lunch break and get outside for a walk. All these little acts of self-care add up.
Self-care doesn’t have to take lots of planning, time or money. Incorporating simple acts of self-care throughout your day can help improve your overall well-being, boost your mood and remind you that you are worthy of your own love, care and attention.
Here are 10 simple self-care practises you can start today:
1) Switch off Technology
We live in a world where we are constantly mentally overstimulated by technology. The ping notification on our phone/ laptop gives us a hit of dopamine (the reward chemical) leaving us craving more. Social media videos are getting shorter, reducing our attention span, ability to focus on tasks and retain information. Just like our bodies need rest when they’ve been physically active for prolonged periods of time – so do our brains. Start having an hour of technology-free time in the morning after you wake up then again before you go to sleep. Notice how it impacts your mood, quality of sleep and general wellbeing. Spend that time reading, journaling or mindfully drinking your morning tea. This smile mug from our Sweet 16 hamper is our favourite!
2) Say No
No is a complete sentence. Your time and energy are precious, be mindful of who and what you give them to.
Our internal dialogue has a powerful impact on the relationship we have with ourselves. Notice the way you think and speak about yourself. How many times a day do you judge or criticise yourself? How would your perception of yourself change if you started talking to yourself like you would talk to your best friend? Affirmations are a tool to train your mind to think more positively and kindly about yourself. Saying them to yourself as you look at yourself in the mirror makes this practice even more powerful. Did you know that Avenue Hampers has a sister company called Little Shop of Happiness? This company focuses on making people feel good through positive gifting, using affirmations, bright colours and handpicked products to inspire happiness and wellbeing.
4) Personal Hygiene
Everyday self-care can be overlooked during times of prolonged stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Carving out some time for a bubble bath, to wash and change your bedding or do a full skin-care routine in the evening can make a huge difference to how you feel. Start small and notice how these little acts make you feel. Or if you’d like to indulge in an at-home spa day, treat yourself to our beautiful “Restore Me” luxury gift hamper. It’s full of Australia made products including our favourite Salt & Body Scrub & Soak from Butt Naked.
5) Balanced Nutrition
Pick up some of your favourite fresh, colourful fruit and veggies (think taste the rainbow). Try a new healthy, balanced recipe, carve some time out to create a meal plan for the week ahead or even batch cook to make sure you’re having nutritious meals on those busy days. Just like a car, your body is a machine that needs the right fuel.
6) Say No
Regular exercise has been proven to have many benefits such as reducing stress, boosting mood, improving sleep, strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure and reducing effects of anxiety and depression. Exercise releases a chemical in the body called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body and also reduce the perception of pain. Shifting your perspective of exercise to something that you “get” to do that is fun and helps you feel good, instead of something you “need” to do will make moving your body much more enjoyable. Create a playlist of those high-vibe tunes that make you dance like no-one’s watching, follow a yoga class on YouTube, take the plunge with a cold water swim, do some gardening, join a running or boxing club.
7) Get out in Nature
Life moves fast, it can be easy to miss the beauty of nature; a flock of birds moving across a blue sky in perfect synchronicity, sunlight glistening on the sandy beach shore or the way the colours of the sky change at sunset. Take some time to get outside and connect with nature whether that’s a 10 minute walk in a park on your lunch break or pack a picnic for a local road trip. We’ve got you covered with same day delivery hampers (Perth) full of luxury picnic treats – check them out here.
Benefits of meditation include enhancing self-awareness, improving health and wellbeing, increasing patience and tolerance, reducing stress and anxiety. If meditation is new to you, guided meditations are a great place to start and are available for free on various apps. Starting with even 10 minutes of meditation upon waking in a dedicated space that feels calm and comfortable can have a positive impact on the way you feel.
Breathwork is scientifically proven to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) as well as slow the heart rate, enhance relaxation and improve attention span among other benefits. There are many different techniques to try, one of them being alternate breathing; close your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath and breathe in through your nose, into your belly for a count of 4 then out through your mouth for a count of 4. Repeat for 2 minutes to begin with and build up from there.
10) Get Creative
There’s a lot of pressure in our society to be productive, our success often measured by our results; our grades, salary, followers on social media etc. Life gets serious when we chase results. So do something just for the fun of it – a new hobby or even one of your old favourites. Draw, make up dance routines, create a recipe with your favourite ingredients, pick up the guitar that’s been gathering dust in the corner, sign up to a pottery class. Go have fun!
When it comes to self-care, one size doesn’t fit all; what works for others may not necessarily work for you. Your needs will change day to day and over time. Get into the habit of regularly checking-in with yourself and asking how you are. Ask yourself what your body, mind, soul need at this moment. Experiment with different acts of self-care and what feels good.
Most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself.
We’d love to hear your favourite self-care practises – share them with us on Instagram or contact us