Satisfaction, sunshine, and soft-lighting: A self-compassionate guide to your eating, exercise, and sleep routine.

self-compassionate guide
Satisfaction, sunshine, and soft-lighting: A self-compassionate guide to your eating, exercise, and sleep routine.
Why taking care of your health doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach

It’s no great revelation that taking care of your eating, exercise and sleep behaviours is going to be better for your health. But sometimes this can feel like an all-or-nothing approach. Feeling like you should have a perfect diet, or reach a certain number of steps, or get your 7.5 – 9 hours sleep every night, can feel overwhelming and unattainable.

If we, as a nation, have learned anything over the last 18 months, it’s how to build resilience. However, the latest wellbeing research shows that building this resilience has left us feeling exhausted, with lower levels of physical health, and struggling with motivation to care for our wellbeing. *

But it’s not all bad news – and we’re here to remind you – you’re doing great! So, while many of us are waiting for our fave gyms to re-open, why not take care of your physical and emotional health with some of these simple, self-compassionate approaches to your eating, exercise and sleep habits.

1. Eat with purpose and pleasure 

If you’re working from home, especially, it can seem as though the coffee breaks, meme-sharing, and water-cooler moments that used to occur in the office have been replaced with deepening relationships with your fridge and pantry – let’s face it, sometimes we just need a little break! So let’s start our time-outs with asking ourselves “What am I really feeling? And what can I do to meet this need?”

  • Are you bored? Try picking up the phone and connecting with a colleague
  • Stressed? Stand outside in the sunshine for 10 mins
  • Tired? Take a quick walk around the block to get the blood pumping.

And, if the answer to how your feeling is “hungry” – then honour it! Take some time out, free from distractions, and mindfully eat something you enjoy, feel satisfied by, and that makes your body feel good. Savour the moment and enjoy nourishing your needs.

2. Move your body – and have some fun while you’re at it!

Our bodies love regular movement. It boosts our energy, helps keep our bones and joints healthy, and contributes to better sleep, posture, flexibility and improved moods. But being active doesn’t need to be exhausting. The trick is to find something that you enjoy – that feels good for you.

  • Walk a new path with the kids or dog – what streets have you not been down before? What hidden parks and adventures are waiting?
  • Get out in the garden – it’s not just the heavy lifting and squats that you’ll benefit from! Getting your hands in the dirt and being in sunshine and nature has shown to offer relief from negative feelings.
  • Housework? No worries! Pop in your earphones and lose yourself in your fave podcast.
  • Turn up the music, turn off the lights and dance like nobody is watching.
  • Stretch your body – it doesn’t have to be on a yoga mat, even at your desk or on the floor on front of the TV is as good a place as any.
3. Create a dreamy sleep routine

If you’re anything like me, being curled up in your doona is one of your happy places, so why can it seem like the hardest thing at the end of the day is to drag yourself to bed??

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you might be feeling irritable, moody, drowzy, and hungry. You’re probably less productive and making poor decisions too.

Luckily, there are some really simple things you can do to improve your sleep – and it starts with …Turning. Off. The. TV. I know, it’s so tempting to watch ‘just one more episode’, why not save it for the weekend? And engage in some mindful, self-nourishing activities, that help your mind and body wind-down from the chaos of the day, like:

  • Taking time and pleasure in washing your face, putting on your moisturiser, cleaning your teeth.
  • Lighting a candle and listening to a guided meditation
  • Brewing yourself a delicious cup of tea
  • Turning on some soft lighting and music
  • Reading a book or listening to an audiobook.

So, as many of us continue to face ongoing (and new!) challenges this year, we invite you to experiment with practising some self-compassion and some mindful activities that are going to help you slow down, soothe the exhaustion, and have beneficial impacts to your overall health and wellbeing. What other practices can we add to our list? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Awareness Co. is a Wollongong based HR consultancy, providing HR solutions that go beyond just work performance, and focus on developing individuals and teams to thrive in work and in life. Awareness Co. use the latest evidence-based tools to improve wellbeing, resilience and performance transforming the way you think, feel and behave at work. To learn more about our wellbeing services, and to download your free copy of The Wellbeing Lab 2021 Workplace Report, visit

* The Wellbeing Lab 2019-2021 Wellbeing Report

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