Are You Taking Good Care of Yourself?
As autumn settles in, days are getting shorter, schedules are getting busier, and the gloomy Belgian weather returns (although it really hasn’t left us that much, this summer).
It is always that time of the year, when we feel the most motivated, we have huge aspirations and we set out goals and develop new routines. We tend to jump from one errand to the other, cram our days with items from our endless to-do lists and we’d rather keep up with work before keeping up with ourselves.
Before we know it, it’s already Christmas season, which let’s be honest, hardly is a break from the rush.
This time of the year, it is more important than ever to consciously remind ourselves to take better care of ourselves, to be present and to allow ourselves to slow down and recharge.
Self-care can be anything you do or consciously choose not to do in order to take care of your personal health. For some people, it looks like green smoothies and yoga, for others splurging and bubble baths, but truthfully, self-care looks different for everyone.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
#1 Taking care of your body, your mind, and your environment
The body is your engine, the mind is the conductor, which like anything else need careful nurturing. Properly fuel and rest both, with well-balanced meals, high-quality sleep, daily movement, doing the things you enjoy, rediscovering your old hobby, spending time with those you love. Create an exclusive “Me Time” routine just for yourself, however short or long, each day.
Furthermore, our environment has a huge impact on our mood as well. Take some time to declutter your space, re-arrange your home, light up some candles and transform your living space into one you feel comfortable spending time in.
#2 Make time – Form habits
According to research, one of the most significant barriers to incorporating exercise (and frankly any new changes) into our lifestyle is time and anxiety. People feel overwhelmed thinking about adding additional movement into their daily routines, which would inevitably come with additional time and energy.
However, even small amounts of exercise can have significant benefits for our physical and mental health! Did you know that just a few minutes can boost your focus for up to 2 hours?
Habit formation is proven to be a great behaviour change strategy! Incorporating small, doable habits, with consistent reminders and small rewards, into your routine, won’t even feel like you have to force anything, once automated. In fact, it might even make you feel strange if you skipped doing them!
#3 Apps don’t work for everyone - You don’t have to be perfect
With the increase of digital applications aiding habit formation, through reminders, goal setting, limiting time frames and digital rewards, it is tempting to reach for our phone every time we want to change something in our lives. Be it a running app, hydration app or calorie counter, habit formation is highly personal.
Apps and other technologies can work for some, and not for others. Their usage may lead to emotional distress, guilt, and pressure. If this is the case, it is important to take a step back and reflect: is this form of self-care really genuinely about our well-being or about crossing off another target on our mood board.
As self-care is becoming an industry worth billions, with new products poured out on the shelves each day, it is becoming increasingly challenging to decide what to choose, what is essential and how to keep self-care as sustainable as possible. Every purchasing decision and product has an impact on the planet. Thankfully, as sustainability is accelerating in the self-care industry, going more eco-friendly is at least becoming an option for some of us.
When possible, let’s try to invest in zero-waste alternatives for our everyday products, support sustainable businesses (☺) or try DIY projects, realizing that many of the things we already own can be used in a number of ways, outside of its intended use and be re-purposed for self-care as well. Simplicity in our routines and satisfaction in using the things in our homes is step 1 to becoming more sustainable.
We spend our entire childhood learning how to take care of ourselves, just for us to grow up and having to learn it all over again. So here’s a reminder for all of us; self-care does not have to be time-consuming, expensive, or lavish. It does not have to take one common form and can of course change over time. It ultimately just means listening to and meeting your needs and wishes in the present.
At MIKLØ, this fall, we draw joy from personally handcrafting and continuously developing our body-care products. We are also preparing a surprise project very soon, so if you don’t want to miss out on it, stay tuned!
 Duus, R., & Cooray, M. (2015). Can wearable fitness trackers take control of your life? The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/technology/can-wearable-fitness-trackers-take-control-of-your-life-20150622-ghumle.html.
 Gardner, B., Lally, P., & Wardle, J. (2012). Making health habitual: The psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 62(605), 664–666. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp12x659466
 Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H., Potts, H. W., & Wardle, J. (2009). How are habits formed: Modelling Habit Formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998–1009. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.674
 Lieberman, C. (2018). How self-care became so much work. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/08/how-self-care-became-so-much-work.
 Los Angeles Times. (2019, May 10). The $10-billion business of self-care. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-business-of-self-care-20190508-story.html.
 Millard, E. (2021). Why you still need to exercise even if you move a lot at work. Verywell Fit. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit.com/why-you-still-need-exercise-even-if-you-move-at-work-5184168.