When you’re busy and stressed, it can be hard to keep up with taking time for yourself.
At the end of a long, hard day, it can be tempting—like, really tempting—to order some Seamless, open a bottle of wine, and park it in front of the TV until you conk out. “After the day I just had, I deserve it.”
An endless stream of takeout, weeknight drinks and Netflix takes its toll. We may think that these things act as band-aids and provide stress relief, but in the end, unhealthy habits can actually worsen feelings of stress, and affect everything from your mood to your libido.
We end up hurting ourselves in the long run by doing things that (we think) are easy, fast or fun. But who says that self-care can’t be all those things? When we learn to see personal reward as something more than instant gratification, we’re caring for ourselves more fully.
Here are a few tried-and-tested—by us!—ways to replace bad habits with good ones, to relieve stress and create a sense of wellness.
1.) Get enough sleep
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but between late nights and coffee-fueled mornings, it can be hard to get the sleep you actually need. Make your room into a phone-free zone, turn the lights down low, and drink a cup of chamomile tea.
2.) Take breaks
Say it with us—setting boundaries is healthy! Practice saying ‘no’, and make time for yourself throughout the day to rest and recharge. A walk on your lunch break with some soothing tunes can do wonders.
3.) Plan ahead
Unhealthy habits aren’t always intentional, but they can result from a lack of planning. If you have a busy work week, go grocery shopping on the weekend and make sure the fridge is stocked with some easy, healthy options.
4.) Indulge—within reason
A glass of wine can definitely help you unwind, but you want to set healthy limits. It’s better to have one glass than three! Think of your well-being like a bank account—if you spend too much today, you’ll have less to work with tomorrow.
5.) Start winding down early
Digital screens are overstimulating, and can keep you awake longer than you should be. Instead of scrolling through Instagram for an hour before bed, take a hot bath with some bath oils and candles—practically guaranteed to help you relax.
6.) Get off!
Self-love is one of the best ways to de-stress. Orgasms release oxytocin and endorphins, which can counteract stress hormones and increase feelings of happiness, comfort, safety and sleepiness.
It’s not a one size fits all approach. It all depends on your routine, and on your personal preferences. We’d love to hear your tips and tricks—let us know how you like to slow down and take care of yourself!