Are you celebrating Valentine’s day by showing yourself some love this year, too? It’s been roughly six weeks since 2020 rolled in, and many of us rolled out of bed the next day determined in some way or another to treat ourselves and our loved-ones better. While the world gets all cutesy and couples-centric this weekend, why don’t you take a little time to show yourself some love this February?

Sit down somewhere quiet and take stock of how YOU are doing… How are you doing physically and mentally? How are you performing at work? What’s your sensory and/or self-awareness like these days? Are you taking time out for exercise and hobbies?

Whatever your 2020 goals and dreams for your career, health or life in general are, research shows that breaking bigger goals down into smaller, regular and achievable milestones increase a person’s likelihood to act on their intentions by 2-3 times. Self-care should be a part of your lifestyle, and although change is sometimes hard we know you’re up to the challenge because you’re worth it!

It is said that it takes 25 days to form a habit, but when life gets crazy 25 days can feel like a lifetime. To help you build your personal wellness foundation Carin Hunter, a Physiotherapist at HG Physio in Hillcrest, Durban has broken down the five aspects of self-care for you below. Take care to follow this guide, and learn how to easily and on-goingly improve your well-being in all spheres of life.

Challenge yourself to make a habit out of self-care by taking the time each day to focus on one of the following aspects of self-care.

Physical Self-Care

No, this is not watching Netflix, eating a slab of chocolate or a day at a Spa. Physical self-care is all about looking after your body. Start off by booking that appointment that you have been putting off. Phone the dentist, optometrist or physiotherapist today and get the treatment you deserve. Once you have treated your injury or properly assessed your fitness when starting a new exercise program, you can then progress onto habit forming behaviours like getting regular exercise, eating healthily or taking half an hour out of your day for some fresh air. A regular sleep routine is also vital to your physical wellbeing.

Physiotherapy in particular has many aspects that can assist you with treatment, whether for Sports injuries, orthopaedics, Women’s health, paediatrics, Neurological conditions, chronic conditions, chest conditions or stress release.

Sensory Self-Care

We have all heard about our 5 senses, but did you know that indulging these 5 senses helps to lower our stress levels. Our senses have pathways straight to our brains and partaking in activities that include touch, taste, small, hearing and sight have a direct impact on our mental state. Some activities could include cooking a fragrant meal eaten with your hands or taking a barefoot walk on rough beach sand.

Professional Self-Care

We spend approximately 1/3 of our lives at work. This means that professional self-care is vitally important to our wellbeing. To start, make sure your work set up is optimal. Check your computer screen height and direction, your chair height and comfortability and your shoulder and elbow height.
Make sure you have a quiet and reserved place to work to minimalize distractions and turn your cell phone onto silent, face down. With optimising your active work periods, it is advisable to take “pause breaks”. Every 45 minutes to an hour, stand up, stretch your body, walk around and get some fresh air. Lastly, pay attention to your posture at work. Posture plays a large roll in neck and shoulder tension and headaches.

Mental Self-Care

Our brains need as much exercise as our bodies to. For our personal well-being, we need to focus on our mental state as well. Your mental health is directly related to the amount of physical pain you experience and how you interpret certain situations. Practice nurturing your spirit. Anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of understanding or connection with your universe. This differs from person to person but the bottom line is that looking after your mental well-being will go a long way to helping with your life satisfaction and outlook.

Adventurous Self-Care

This aspect of self care can open your mind and excite your soul. Create a list of things to do that you have always dreamed of and commit to atleast one. Also draw up a list of free things to do in your area and try a different activity each month. This puts you outside your comfort zone, creates conversation topics and shows you the beauty of your envorinment.