Self-care is something we should all make time for, and while it’s a current buzz phrase, the concept is anything but new. People have been practicing self-care for centuries – that is, taking time to maintain and enhance their emotional and physical wellbeing. Cultures around the world have put their own unique stamp on the practice of self-care. Here, we’ve picked five of our favorite practices that can be easily incorporated into your busy life:
Coffee. Not to be confused with a speedy Starbucks takeout, the Swedish tradition of fika is a bit more sacred. Occurring midmorning and/or midafternoon, fika involves leaving your officewith a friend for a brief but focused session of coffee sipping, pastry nibbling, and chat. Research shows that this sort of break actually increases productivity, so invite a coworker for fika without guilt!
Napping. The Spanish have elevated the siesta to art form, and while modern life has taken its toll on the tradition, it’s still a habit that’s alive and well in this European country. Taking time in the afternoon for a brief but restorative nap may be just the thing to get you through the day. No bed required – your car or office chair will do nicely!
Going Shoeless. Yes, you read that right: In Japan, many office workers trade street shoes at the door for comfy slippers. This simple act adds an element of relaxation to being on the job. For women in particular, the practice can also alleviate some of the health concerns that come with wearing high heels day in and out, and can go a long way in preventing long-term foot and leg problems.
Coziness. Countless books have been penned in recent memory regarding the Danish idea of hygge, and with good reason. This way of life involves creating a sense of coziness in everything you do. A classic hygge idea to borrow: Make dinner or time with friends more intimate and relaxing by lighting candles for warm ambience.
Disconnecting. Recent French legislation dictates that employees are not permitted to send or read work-related emails outside business hours. While this may not be law in your neck of the woods, it’s a practice you could adopt as a personal doctrine, and one that’s shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
Consider taking some of these ideas to heart, and see how a bit of self-care can improve your wellbeing!
Resources:global, Self care, world lessons