Taking care of yourself doesn't have to require a 12-step beauty routine, restricting diets or other time-consuming and tedious efforts. We are all about finding the small yet powerful health hacks that don't disrupt your day-to-day life - but may boost your health and mood. Let's begin the hack(athon)!
1. Catch your ZZZ’sSorry for making a snooze fest, but are you really getting your 7-8 hours of sleep a night? Don’t worry, failure to prioritize sleep happens to the best of us. However, try not to make it a habit. Sleep is the number one hack to setting yourself up for success in all the other areas of self-care. Maybe you say you’re one of those people who doesn’t need much sleep? That’s called the sleep deprivation bias. The body is amazing and adaptable, and learn how to get along even when deprived. But what you don’t notice is that you’re functioning far below your potential.
Hack: Try to unwind at night by turning your phone into flight mode. Find a calming bedtime routine that works for you. At MANTLE, we like to turn on our aroma diffusers with lavender oil and take a few drops of CBD.
2. Morning hydration - it's a thing
This one is a surprisingly powerful hack. Drinking water when you first wake up can flush out any harsh toxins in your body, fire up your metabolism, and most of all, hydrate you so you don’t feel sluggish. We love superfoods, but the cheapest and easiest health hacks are sometimes the simplest.
Hack: When you get out of bed in the morning: drink one (or two) large glasses of water the first thing you do to replenish your body which has just gone 8 hours or so hours without hydration.
3. Get your OM onWe love meditation! Taking a few minutes of calm breathing per day can help reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety and depression, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It’s also a great way to deconnect with stress and pressure and reconnect with yourself. Who knew that sitting down on your ass and doing nothing could be so effective? Where do we sign up?
Hack: Start meditating 5 min each day. This can be first thing in the morning (after that glass of water), on your commute to work or even on your lunch break - it’s all about these little moments that are important. Research has found that 5 min each day gives a much larger effect than one full hour one a week.
4. CBD self-care
When the abbreviation CBD doesn’t stand for our favorite extract cannabidiol, people usually talk about a city’s Central Business District. We think a funny (whilst also useful) way to think about this is that you are the Central Business District of your own life. You are the hotpot in the center of the table. You are the sun in your own solar system. Yeah, you get the point. What we mean is that taking care of yourself is key for all other areas of your life. You cannot give from an empty bowl.
Hack: If you’re new to CBD, start with 1-2 drops under your tongue daily. Try it out and find your favorite dosage, time of day and way to take CBD. Everybody is different.
5. Have a mini dance party
You don’t need to be a pro - break out some moves and let loose. We often think of dance as looking good or being athletic. However, it’s something that mankind has been doing for thousands of years! This is super easy to do, all you need are some good tunes and a room. Beyond just getting some physical movement, dancing helps to decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem, and improve our psychological well-being.
Hack: Blast some music and dance out your day in the middle of your bedroom or living room. Focus on what feels good, as opposed to what looks good. Psst: we like to dance to our worst (or best?) guilty pleasure tunes, don’t tell anyone.
6. Appreciate your NOW
Are you always planning and thinking about what is next? You are not alone. Just breathe a moment. Be present. Make a list of what you are grateful for in your life RIGHT NOW. Your over-active mind needs extra care - it will thank you one day!
Hack: Try to find a few moments a day where you simply sit or stand and just connect with your senses in the present moment. Pay attention to what you hear, feel, see, etc. This is a quick way to bring a little mindfulness into your day.
7. Unplug - limit your screen time
You may be tired of hearing how you should get off your phone or laptop. We are addicted to the screen pill as well. There is nothing wrong with scrolling through social media or news and learning everything about the world, but when you are glued to your devices you end up getting nothing done and wasting time that could be spent on self-care or relationships. Plus, it’s an enemy to hack number one: sleep.
Hack: Take planned breaks from social media and tech every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, do something else that makes you feel happy and good - like read a book, pet an animal, cook or take a yoga class. It will all still be there when you get back, we promise.
8. Healthier and happier, one step at a time
Working out is a form of self-care, but sometimes going to the gym may not be an enjoyable or stress free activity. Especially when it means stressing out to make it to a class. Walking on the other hand, can calm the brain without taxing the body and is easy to fit in no matter how busy you are. Plus, it’s free! It’s also known to boost your mood, both in the moment and long-term. Yes please!
Hack: Take 15 min off your lunch break and take a stroll. Maybe that means buying your food at the restaurant a little further away from your office. Also consider getting on or jumping off the public transport one station later/earlier.
Hello, Marie Kondo is calling! If the constant stream of things to pick up around your home or office leaves you feeling anxious, you're not alone. Stuff has the power to do just that. We all know that this is not everyone’s favorite task, but we also know how satisfying it is when your space is clean and tidy. It's usually followed by serenity and a feeling of relief. Decluttering clears our head and boosts creativity.
Hack: Set aside 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each day to put stray items away - make it a routine. See how it makes you feel. For us, the zen kicks in within minutes.
10. Treat the skin you're in
Our obsession with face masks has gotten a little out of hand lately in the MANTLE team. But our skin is loving the extra TLC and there’s nothing better than slathering on a face mask to work out our skin issues while we relax with a good book or tv series. Multitasking at its best!
Hack: If you can’t find the time for masking, or just forget, we vouch for the night mask. Spread a generous layer over face and neck before bed, and wake up hydrated and glowy!
Let us know if you try any of the hacks, or if you have anything to add to the list! Connect at Instagram @hellomantle or email firstname.lastname@example.org.