Looking after yourself

If you’re not looking after yourself, things can go sideways pretty fast. We’re not separate from our bodies and need to look after them! Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re looking after some self care basics.

Have you slept?

If not, go have a nap or a proper sleep. We can’t function well without enough sleep. Shifts can mess with your body clock too.

Are you hydrated?

If not, have a glass (or two) of water.

Are you abusing caffeine/sugar?

If you are drinking too much caffeine and/or sugar you might be on a rollercoaster of energy and slumps. Reducing the amount of caffeinated and soft drinks or switching to decaf can help here.

Have you eaten in the past three hours?

If not, get some natural, healthy food. Being ‘Hangry’ doesn’t help anything.

Have you exercised recently?

If not, go for a run/walk/swim to get your blood flowing. If the weather’s crap, try a swift walk around a big shop.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days?

If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Are you clean and dressed?

While it’s tempting to sit around in pajamas, having a hot shower and getting dressed can make a big difference to mood.

Do you feel ineffective?

Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!

Are you being too hard on yourself?

We’re all human and make mistakes. Give yourself a break and if you’re doing the best you can, be kind to yourself. It’s probably going to be OK.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?

Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you over-exerted yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually?

That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some light entertainment.