It’s so easy to get caught up in all the ways that you need to improve yourself and be more productive, and see taking time out for yourself as indulgent or being lazy. This is not helped by the work environments that many of us are in, where work intensity and job insecurity seem to be ever increasing.
But it isn’t just big bosses working people this hard. Freelancers and the self-employed can be equally bad (or worse!) at creating unhealthy working conditions for themselves.
Overworking is a terrible idea for two reasons. From a completely practical point of view, if you keep burning the candle at both ends you’re going to burn out. How many times have you worked crazy hours around the clock, only to crash afterwards and be useless for several days? Is that really a sustainable way to work? If you slow down and look after yourself, you’ll end up more productive in the long run.
You don’t have to take the practical argument, though. You can make the choice to live a better life now for the simple reason that it’s better for you, and you’re worth looking after. 💗
Here are some ideas for courses that help you focus on looking after yourself.
This course by a doctor and psychologist teaches mindfulness as a means of dealing with stress, but also considers its benefits for enhancing your performance in learning and at work. They also consider its benefits for emotional regulation, healthy eating and creativity.
Another mindfulness course, this one is clinically proven (and approved by the UK’s National Health Service!). They help you track your progress with self-assessment tools, and offer a refund guarantee on the modest fee.
One activity that’s really taken off in recent years is journalling, and many love it as a tool for self care. This course believes that creativity is nourishing, and uses writing in a journal as a means to practice it. It’s a self-led course, but included in the cost is a session with teacher Nicolle Nattrass.
Okay, so I’ve sold you the idea that self-care is necessary because work is awful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Work can be important, empowering and energising and this course from Jocelyn K. Glei (host of the Hurry Slowly podcast) course helps you to reset the way you work so it stops being toxic and you start to see its more positive aspects.
Jennifer Louden believes that we’re all creative people, even those of us who aren’t working in a traditionally creative field like painting or writing. So many of us have creative projects we’ve put on the shelf and left to collect dust. She helps you to establish your own creative practice, and then gives you the resources to maintain and nurture it. This course also gives access to a private community.
Part of self care is looking after your body. It can be very easy to let exercise be the thing that always falls by the wayside when other things take priority. ClassPass have provided a suite of free home workout videos, from cardio workouts, to home barre, to yoga.
Speaking of yoga, many people have turned to doing exercise online in front of their smart TV or laptop. The Yoga Collective offer a range of online instruction, including free classes and videos. If you find you love it, they offer live streaming classes for a reasonable subscription.
Alo Moves are another subscription-based online fitness studio who offer yoga, pilates, meditation and even more specialised skills like handstands or doing the splits. Like all good gyms, you can try it out for free before signing up.
A HUGE part of self care is what we put in our body so cooking is essential, but it can also be a really pleasurable, meditative experience that many people find relaxing. This series of 20 blog posts by Emma Christensen has been cleverly designed to teach you 20 basic lessons for cooking. She even gives you a blank certificate to print out for yourself!
Okay, so you’ve learnt how to get a recipe to sort of work, but that’s just it – it’s work. If you’ve ever watched TV chefs make up dishes effortlessly and thought ‘why not me?’ Darya Rose’s course on how to cook nutritionally without recipes is for you. She gives you the tools to be able to face the kitchen every evening and even teaches you how to use all the stuff you’ve got in your fridge and pantry without letting it go to waste.