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Have you noticed the hashtags we include in our social media posts? At Achieve Oxfordshire we like to promote our three 'golden rules': Eat Well, Move More and Be Kind to Ourselves. We believe that these are three aspects of our lives that when embraced, can help us to feel happier and healthier.
Written by: Mary WilsonWhilst eat well and move more are two principles that most of us are familiar with, the third principle of being kind to ourselves is something that people might be a little less familiar with.Eating a healthy balanced diet and doing regular physical activity are key components in the journey to achieving healthy weight loss. However, it is important that we take time to recognise that how we feel in ourselves and our emotional wellbeing is just as important.Being kind to ourselves or practicing acts of self-care isn't all about having a bubble bath or putting on a pair of fluffy slippers. It can often be about making small decisions that help us to take care of ourselves and help us to feel the best we possibly can be. Here are five ways to be kind to ourselves:
Make time for sleep
Sleep can often be one of the first things we sacrifice when we feel our lives are getting busier and busier. Not only does sleep help our bodies to rest and repair overnight, it can also affect our mental wellbeing. Some ways to help improve our sleep might include:
Having some tech free time before bed to help us unwind.
Trying to avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugary foods before bed which may disturb our sleep.
Creating a sleep friendly environment: often a dark, quiet and cool room can help improve our sleep quality.
Writing a to-do list for the next day can help to stop our minds racing and reduce stress before bed.
Stuck inside at work all day? One small act of self-care might be taking 5 or 10 minutes out of our lunch breaks or at the end of the day to take some time outside. Not only is it a good way to increase our physical activity, it's great for the soul! Being outside in nature has been shown to help us feel relaxed, reduce feelings of stress and improve confidence and self-esteem.
Don't be so hard on yourself
Often we can be our own harshest critics. When making changes to live a healthier lifestyle, not all of these changes can be made overnight. Recognising that making changes can take time and that there might be times where we go off track is all part of the process. Instead of focusing on an overall goal, it's important to acknowledge and celebrate the small positive decisions we make that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Have a mind set check in
When people are thinking about losing weight, they often think about all of the foods they think they CAN'T eat or all of the exercise they feel they HAVE to do. What if we were to think about these changes a little differently? We could start thinking about how including more fruit and veg in our diets might make us feel more nourished and energised. Or we could start thinking about how we're going to make time to look after ourselves by moving our bodies more and finding movement we enjoy. Switching our mindset to see things in a more positive light can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves.
Do something you enjoy!
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes feel like a big responsibility. If that's the case, make sure to make time for some 'me time' and do something you enjoy. Whether it's something like music, crafting or simply reading, be sure to schedule in some down time for yourself.
As we've discovered, being kind to ourselves is so much more than the odd pampering session. It's often about the small ways in which we care for ourselves on a daily basis. This might also include completing some of the more 'mundane' tasks including:
Making time to do a weekly shop to get organised for the week.
Taking time on a Sunday to cook a few meals for the week so we know. that we have something nourishing to feed ourselves when the week gets busy
Keeping on top of laundry! It's one less thing to worry about in the week.
Keeping on top of life admin so it doesn't pile up and become a source of stress
Spending 5 minutes to call that friend or family member that brings you joy when you speak to them!
Looking for more support?You can start your own journey today. It takes less than two minutes to apply for one of our free weight loss programmes. Visit ourGet Started page to find out more.