For many, the new year symbolises a fresh opportunity to set and chase professional and life goals. However, while this is great for self-development, it can sometimes mean that you forget to prioritise self-care while chasing those goals.
Self-care comes in so many different forms. For some, it might mean taking a day off work to spend time daydreaming or ticking niggling admin off your to-do list. For others tending to oneself might include renewed financial planning or positive affirmations that boost confidence and self-love. Wherever you are on your journey make sure to include self-care somewhere along the way.
At-home spa and massage
An at-home spa treatment is a simple yet effective way to give back to yourself. And contrary to popular belief, it is surprisingly simple to create a spa-like atmosphere at home. Simply find a designated area in your home that you would like to use as a relaxation space. Bathrooms are popular, but you can also transform the corner of a bedroom or living room with a few simple additions. Prepare the space by making use of calming scents, sounds, sights and delights. Herbal teas and fruit-infused water are calming and refreshing. For a quick treatment, Lerato Tlhame, Spa Manager at Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo suggests wetting two hand towels, infusing them with a few drops of essential oils, and warming them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Placing one on your neck and one over your eyes will provide instant relaxation.
“If you have more time, try a warm bath with a few drops of essential oils, Epsom salts and a cup of coconut milk to nourish and rehydrate the skin, ” she adds.
Starting a savings journey
In a cash-strapped year, where consumers are experiencing rising costs of food, goods and services, it’s important to try to save and incorporate financial self-care into your monthly spending. A new financial self-care trend for the year ahead is micro-saving and investing. Where the cash-strapped consumer has the option of saving small amounts such as five rands, at a time. While most might feel as if little amounts of saving don’t make a difference they really do add up and help contribute to things like emergency funds or future contributions to fixed or other savings tools.
“Automating saving is hardly a new idea. Most South Africans with a bank account have the option of a savings pocket (which allows them to round up their day-to-day spending), after all. But the problem with those kinds of savings products is that the money isn’t really put to work unless the account owner ensures it is.” says Justin Asher, Head of Marketing and Strategy
Automated savings mean that one can save without even thinking and with money you would have otherwise, likely spent anywhere.
Getting back to nature
Time in nature has been proven to be good for your mental and physical well-being. Research shows that just 20 minutes in nature can significantly reduce cortisol levels – the stress hormone. Reduced cortisol levels, in turn, have a positive effect on your overall well-being. This is especially important for those living in busy metropolitans, such as Johannesburg. Just a 4-5 hour drive away, the Kruger National Park, offers Joburgers a quick escape filled with an abundance of nature, wildlife and the bush.
“If you are looking for an extended holiday that will provide you and your family with a great escape from the pressures of everyday life, areas such as the Kruger National Park are certainly something to consider,” notes Anton Gillis, CEO of Kruger Gate Hotel. “Here, not only do families receive prolonged exposure to stress-reducing natural environments, but it can be a learning experience for the children too as they get to engage with the wildlife of the Kruger National Park.”
Sticking to a budget
Outings with friends and family increase during the warmer seasons and with these so do our expenses. Consider putting a weekly budget in place over the holiday season to keep overspending at bay. Look out for free activities in your city. For example, South Africa is home to a range of National Parks and conservation areas fitted with braai facilities and picnic areas. Have friends and family each bring a dish to enjoy potluck style so expenses are shared among the group.
While it’s common to arrive at restaurants extremely hungry, a great trick to avoid overspending is to have a small meal at home before going out to eat. This way you are less likely to want to order everything on the menu, and stick to a budget.
Another suggestion is to look for an event that suits your budget. For example, set menu deals, buffets and brunches. Breaker’s Brunch at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront for example, includes both drinks, savoury meals and desserts, this way you know that food, an abundance of drinks and entertainment is all at one set price and there’s little risk of overspending if you have allocated this cost ahead of time.
Travel for the mind, body and soul
Wellness tourism or holistic travel is growing in popularity among travellers due to its therapeutic qualities, says Head of Marketing and Communications at online booking platform Jurni, Tshepo Matlou.
“One of the best ways to treat yourself is to go for a tranquil break where you can soak in the beauty of the South African scenic landscape. With wellness tourism fast rising in popularity fifty percent of travellers now travel for this specific purpose, with sub-trends within the wellness travel sector including couples’ intimacy, personal development, silence/solitude, and fitness,” he says.
“Another trend is that accommodation providers are encouraging guests to unplug devices and detach from tech, and spend time relaxing on hammocks playing natural music instruments like drums and other percussion instruments, for a more holistic vibe,” he adds.
There is also growth in hiking in mountains, and walks in gardens and parks which is also part of wellness; there is a new trend of people who are booking guided walks and hikes.
Giving back to boost a sense of community within
Studies show that giving back to a cause or others can be good for your health and well-being. In addition to this, it always feels good when you adorn yourself with fashionable clothing or accessories. What if you could merge the two? What if you could spoil yourself or a loved one with a fashionable accessory while also contributing greatly to a cause or organisation in need? Thanks to Relate Bracelets, you can do just that.
Dalit Shekel, the Brand Consultant at Relate Bracelets, shares, “Not only do you get to flaunt a fashionable accessory, but with every purchase of our beaded bracelets, you play a part in bettering someone’s life and are supporting charitable causes”.
Relate raises funds for various charitable initiatives, including access to clean water, healthcare for malaria and other diseases, improved education, and wildlife conservation. These socially conscious bracelets can be found at retailers like Poetry and Woolworths nationwide. Treat yourself while making a positive impact on others by choosing this innovative way to give back.
With these tools in mind, consider setting aside a few minutes each day to do something that goes towards your self-care. Self-care can be a healthy tool for you to enhance your well-being and gain personal piece of mind.