The third part of this series on my 5 point plan is thinking about stress and self care. It is impossible to avoid stress completely but we can try to mitigate its effects on our health by practicing both self-care and self-compassion.
Taking time out every day to do something just for you is really important. And I know it's not always easy to fit in but even 10 minutes a day can make a difference, whether that’s a dance around the kitchen to your favourite music, a moment of meditation or reading a chapter of a book. If you have a bit more time a walk or other movement can be great or maybe have a chat with a good friend.
I’d also like you to think about the sorts of things you might say to that friend and compare it to how you talk to yourself. Often we talk to ourselves in a much harsher way than we would talk to other people. We tell ourselves that we should do better, or that we are useless but this is very stressful and will activate our stress response. Stress is closely linked to the sleep disturbances we looked at last time so being kinder to ourselves we can improve our health in many ways including improving sleep. Stress also helps to pile on the pounds around your middle, so by trying to manage stress there might be additional benefits in shifting any extra padding that might have crept on!