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While most of us take care of our basic needs such as eating, sleeping and keeping clean, we brush aside equally important practices such as exercise and meditation to make time for work, family or friends. But that needs to stop - because as writer Audre Lorde once said, "Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-respect." Below are 6 things you should be doing for yourself on a regular basis:
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Start a physical hobby you enjoy and make sure you do it alone:
\nWe all know that lack of movement can cause depression, disease and low self-esteem. Yet most of us dodge physical activity because we see it as a chore. It doesn’t have to be that way if you choose an activity you enjoy doing. Having a physical hobby can also enrich your personality. For example, yoga can make you calmer and boxing can make you more confident. Moreover, practicing a hobby on your own - sans gym buddy – allows you to focus on you only, whereas a friend could act as a distraction.
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Get a dose of nature:
\nBeing in touch with nature is important because it boosts physical and mental health. For example, most UAE residents are vitamin-D deficient because they spend most of their time indoors, despite the UAE being one of the sunniest places on earth. Now that the weather is getting less hot, go for a walk in the park and get some sun. Or better yet, go to the beach and have a swim as well. Connecting with the elements is also scientifically proven to relieve stress and release ‘happy’ endorphin hormones.
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Schedule at least an hour a day to literally ‘take care’ of your body:
\nDo something to feel or look better. This can be as simple as taking a bath, getting a massage, buying yourself something nice or just napping (hello, beauty sleep). You should also do things that your body actually needs. For example, if your hair’s been dry lately, go for a hair treatment or prepare an at-home, all-natural hair mask. Make sure you schedule time for yourself on a regular basis and do not let anything interfere with it. Remember, you can’t serve from an empty vessel, so do take care of yourself.
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Reinvent the spaces you live and work in:
\nWe’re not just talking about reorganising your desk or moving the bed to a different corner of the room. We’re talking about redecorating and recreating your spaces to give yourself a new start – especially if you’ve been living and working in the same place for a long time. You might be surprised how much a change in scenery can do for the mind and soul. This doesn’t have to be expensive either. Opt for a new office chair, affordable furniture or just a new paint hue.
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Do something that contributes to your mental growth:
\nWith technology becoming so advanced and common, a lot of us are losing basic cognitive functions such as memory. Developing yourself mentally can be as simple as playing brain games, watching a documentary or reading an insightful book. But if you want to go a step further, challenges yourself by going the extra mile and learning a new language or theme course.
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Unplug from technology:
\nHow many times have you heard people say they just want to watch television and “numb their brain”? As much as technology helps connect us, it can also make us feel disconnected and lazy AKA hours wasted liking other people’s pictures on Facebook. Unplug from technology and do something for yourself instead. You have five options to choose from in this list alone.