Ever felt that handling the obstacles that come your way can seem just a little bit too much, especially when you’re feeling physically or emotionally depleted? Unsurprisingly, the latest research shows that it’s easier to handle stress when you’re at your holistic best. In fact, based upon the evidence even policy makers are now looking to self-care practises as one of the most effective means of empowering their citizens to live longer and healthier lives.
At OSU we also value practicing self-care, and recognise the combination of a strong mind and body can have numerous positive effects that trickle into your everyday life, such as increased productivity and increased creativity.
However it is important to understand that self-care is not a ‘one-size fits all’. Everybody is different and unique, which is why we encourage you to read this article with an open mind. Be aware of your own body and mental needs, and feel free to adapt the most relevant self-care tips to best suit you.
The Benefits of Practicing Self Care
Studies have shown that when individuals focus on practising the self-care techniques of their choosing, their levels of perceived stress diminish. To put it another way, as individuals increase their engagement in self-care activities, perceived stress decreases and the physical and psychological quality of life increases. It is also argued that a lack of self-care initiatives in your life can undoubtedly lead to chronic stress, depression and burnout. With that being said, here are the 5 self-care tips we recommend that you try:
The Power of Saying ‘No’
Self-care involves setting boundaries. In order to take the best care of others and yourself, fundamentally you need to devote attention to maintaining your own wellbeing. How can you achieve this? By setting clear, impenetrable boundaries. Saying “No” to situations or circumstances (within reason) you do not have to time or energy to commit to can positively impact your life.
If you’re constantly saying “Yes” to things you don’t have capacity for, exhaustion and burnout quickly follows. While flexing the power of saying “No” can inspire feelings of selfishness, it is important to remember that you are not compromising your energy or physical and mental capabilities. Start by believing in the right you have to say no. Practice saying “No” in a confident and clear manner in the mirror. Saying “No” and setting those boundaries will soon come in a more natural, second nature way.
Switch Off Your Phone
Given the growing link between modern phone consumption habits and strained mental health, finding ways to distance yourself from your phone is becoming evermore vital. A study conducted by Deloitte UK highlighted 3 important things: 79% of adults check their phone apps in the hour before bed, 55% check their phone apps within 15 minutes of waking up and 38% believe they’re using their phone too much. Psychologists, suspect a connection between anxiety, insomnia and relationship issues with high rates of smartphone usage. Switching off your phone an hour before bed or whenever suits you in order to cut down the time spent on it is said to improve mental health over time. With big companies like Facebook and Apple encouraging the restriction of phone time through various screen time management apps, means that this is a self-care tactic not to ignore.
Practice Home Cooking
Cooking for yourself and others when you can has shown that people tend to consume healthier ingredients. A study showed that 62.3g more of fruit and 97.8g more of vegetables where consumed daily when eating home cooked meals more than 5 times a week. The increase in vegetables and fruit is due to the fact that when you cook for yourself or others, you naturally are more conscious of the ingredients you’re using and opt for healthier ingredients .
Also, a more frequent consumption of home cooked food was linked to a higher chance of having a ‘normal’ range BMI and ‘normal’ body fat percentage. To help your home cooking efforts, OSU has a range of simple breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes for you to try here . Get your own bottle of OSU Apple Cider Vinegar and start making meals today.  Take it a step further and proceed to share what you have made at home with friends and family on social media. This can help to create a virtual community around you and the people you hold closest.
Declutter Your Life
Spend some time daily to declutter your surroundings. A study done by UCLA found that clutter has a deep effect on our mood and self-esteem. Another study conducted by Princeton University highlighted the link between clutter in your physical space and your ability to focus. The clutter limits your brain's capability to process information, makes you distracted and unable to process the information you receive.
The KonMari method is a Japanese system of simplifying your physical surroundings created by Marie Kondo. It revolves around decluttering items that don’t bring joy into your life. KonMari encourages you to ask yourself one question for each item in your physical space “Does this item spark joy?” if not, consider removing it. Set a timer or 5-10 minutes a few days a week and start decluttering, as studies show, it is bound to have a positive effect on your wellbeing.
Take a break
Take a break. Whether it be a 10-minute coffee break during the day or a 2 week long holiday, making time for your self is crucial. While this may sound obvious, people often find it hard to take breaks. 54% of Americans didn’t take their vacation days (up from 42% 3 years prior). Taking breaks has been reported to increase productivity, reduce anxiety, prevent burnout and improve creativity. Again, there isn’t a one size fits all approach, make the breaks you take uniquely suited for your needs. If you’re unsure where to start, helpful apps like Nike Training Club (if you prefer fitness oriented breaks) or Headspace (if you prefer relaxation breaks) provide a simple helping hand.
Start Your Self Care Journey
As mentioned before, self-care is not a one size fits all, there many ways and interpretations of self-care that will work for you. From taking a break or integrating home cooking into your life to decluttering your surroundings or saying “No” a little more often. These habits all have one goal: Making yourself a priority. If you’re interested in a different approach to self-care - take a part in the OSU 30 Day Challenge, get your own bottle of delicious apple cider vinegar and start integrating our self-care tips day by day into your life.
We use 200 years of Japanese craft to blend 100% natural apple juice with apple cider vinegar for a smoother taste. Our apple cider vinegar is always raw, unpasteurised and with the Mother.
Concentrated Apple Juice (56%), Apple Cider Vinegar (44%), All Natural!
Typical Values per 100g- Energy: 774 kJ/182 kcals, Fat: <0.5g, of which Saturates: 0.1g, Carbohydrates: 39.9g, of which Sugars: 36.4g, Fibre: 0.6, Protein: <0.5g, Salt: <0.01g
Make like the Japanese and drink in the traditional fashion through diluting 1 part (20ml) OSU with 9 parts of still, sparkling or hot water. New to drinking apple cider vinegar? Why not try one of our fruity drinks recipes to acclimatise you to the taste?
We believe OSU should be every foodie's kitchen staple! Need inspiration for how to add plant based flavour to your salad dressings, marinades and dips? Experiment with our quick and easy recipes for mid week meals.
Want more advice on the best times and methods to consume apple cider vinegar? We've assembled best practice in a series of articles and have answered your questions in our FAQs.
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