Most of us would like to be thought of as "givers", people that go above and beyond for others in our life.
But what about you? Would you say that you take good care of yourself? Or at you at risk of burning out or worse because you don't make enough time for yourself?
Turns out, it's not that uncommon.
Whether it be from our giving nature, over devotion to work/ the job, or just plain lack of knowledge on how to take care of ourselves, people everywhere are struggling to really practice self-care.
It's high time you change that. Why? Because there won't be much of you left for the people important in your life.
In this blog post, we will be discussing some simple ways to drastically improve your self-care, and without having to break the bank in the process.
Taking care of yourself is an incredibly important practice, and for many, meditation offers a way to do just that. Taking even a few moments each day to get in touch with our inner thoughts and feelings through focused breathing and relaxation, it can help to keep us mentally sound.
Meditation has invaluable benefits that span far beyond the mental realm; its positive effects may also be felt in physical health, interpersonal relationships, and organizational skills.
Starting your morning with meditation can help jumpstart a productive day as it allows you to pause, take stock of your physical and mental states, become present in the moment and reset your goals for the day.
In times of mental stress or emotional fatigue, coming back to mindfulness meditation can be excellent self-care: slow deep breaths are some of nature’s most potent stress relievers. Spending time in mindfulness will also boost emotional well-being as meditative practices can be helpful in regulating emotions in multiple ways.
In addition to having clear physical health benefits such as reducing blood pressure or improving sleep quality, regular meditative practice has been linked with lower anxiety levels and improved cognitive functioning. It becomes quite evident that meditation is an incredibly rewarding self-care ritual that brings relaxation, clarity, and better overall understanding into our life.
Taking just a little time each day might be just what we need to survive this hectic life of ours.
Get Enough Sleep
Many people tend to overlook the importance of sleep as a tool for self-care. Many push themselves too hard by sacrificing sleep so they can pull off some extra productive tasks they have set out for themselves, however in the end it will only lead to their demise.
Sleep is essential because it helps the body function properly and to think clearly. Research has proven that when we are not well rested, it puts us at risk of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Moreover, lack of sleep can also put us at risk of having sporadic mood swings or low energy throughout the day. Spending days in a fatigued state can be damaging both physically and mentally; provoking stress-related symptoms such as irritability or problems with focus/concentration.
By getting enough restful sleep each night, our bodies are able to restore depleted energy levels while allowing adequate time for mental rejuvenation.
So instead of trying to squeeze in more hours during your day by dedicating less time to getting your restful 8 hours of sleep at night, you should take the wiser route that allows you to live longer without compromising on quality or performance. Sleep is a great and absolutely necessary form of self-care so make sure that an ample amount of time is granted each night in order to reap all its benefits.
If you're having a hard time getting enough sleep, try Dreamzzz; a non-habit forming sleep aide that can help restore your circadian rhythm.
Optimize Your Diet For Health
Eating a balanced diet, especially one rich in plant-based foods is one of the best and most important steps you can take toward self-care.
Doing so will provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber on a daily basis that will help prevent (or reduce your risk of )numerous illnesses and diseases. Plant-based foods have phytonutrients that are not found anywhere else and which have profound effects on health and well-being.
And yet, while plant-based foods should be the primary emphasis of your diet, that is not to say that you need to exclude animal products.
On the contrary, actually. Meat is the best source of protein we have at our disposal, as well as heme based iron and many minerals that are generally harder to obtain from plant-based sources.
A compromise that includes both worlds is best.
Lastly, never neglect your hydration status. Dehydration contributes to physical and mental inhibition, making you feel less than stellar.
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Exercise is an essential component of self-care, as it helps promote several aspects of optimal health. When we exercise regularly, we help to maintain our physical fitness by strengthening bones and muscles, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of injury or illness, and improving physical endurance.
In addition to the physical health benefits associated with exercise, studies have shown that physical activity can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia. Exercise increases the production of endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) which encourage positive emotions such as happiness and decreased stress levels; therefore directly contributing towards better self-care.
Engaging in regular exercise doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym 5 days a week; even small amounts of daily activity can bring numerous health benefits. It could be something as simple as taking a 10-minute walk at lunchtime to clear your head or going for a bike ride on weekends.
Any type of physical activity that can get your heart rate up is beneficial including swimming, dancing, or other sports. Taking time out each day to engage in some form of exercise can help manage stress while promoting overall well-being.
Exercise is just one element in creating an effective self-care plan but an important one nonetheless, and always keep in mind- the human body was meant to move.
Chances are you don't like cleaning up. While traditionally viewed in a negative light, the feeling of accomplishment after a good cleaning can significantly contribute to your self-care.
Having a clutter-free environment can help reduce stress, increase focus and organizational skills, encourage healthy eating habits, and improve mental well-being.
To get started on your own cleaning-up journey, break it into small tasks so that you don't feel overwhelmed by the thought of completing a huge project. For example, each day set aside 10-15 minutes to tidy up a different part of your house such as the kitchen or living room.
There's just something extremely cathartic about living in a clean and clutter-free environment that you were able to create.
Take your time getting there, one brick at a time.
Take Breaks When You Need To
Taking regular breaks throughout the day is an important part of self-care, and more than that, it can help to enhance productivity and relieve stress.
When you offer yourself intentional and consistent breaks throughout the day, you give your mind and body permission to relax. Whether it's a five-minute guided meditation or lying down on your bed for 15-30 minutes after lunch, providing yourself with regular opportunities to regulate your emotions and physically rest can do wonders for both your mental health and pacing yourself between tasks.
Even something as simple as brewing a cup of tea or going out for a quick walk can serve as mindful moments of respite within a busy workday. Not only that, but allowing yourself enough time to reset during the day before returning to work gives you recharged energy to approach tasks with renewed focus, enthusiasm, and clarity.
Regularly planned breaks also provide an opportunity for creative problem-solving rather than relying solely on tired problem-solving methods from prior working sessions—which often leads down rabbit holes of frustration and unproductive progress.
There are even a few countries testing the 4-day workweek, and so far, the results have shown increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
Taking breaks from working may seem like an indulgence when deadlines are looming; however, those short reprieves have a tremendous benefit in the long run—and best of all these moments spent contributing to our own self-care don't have to be excessively lengthy or expensive.
So it turns out that working less can actually equate to getting more work done; a win-win for everyone involved.
Connect With People
The world can be a lonely place. Humans only evolved and thrived because of strong social ties. That's why connecting with people is an essential part of self-care.
Whether it’s with family or friends, having those meaningful conversations and interactions helps to restore mental health, reduce stress and prevent loneliness.
Not only are the relationships and conversations beneficial for your own well-being, but they can also create a sense of belonging which can ultimately lead to increased happiness. During difficult times, discussing our struggles and challenges with those close to us can help immensely in understanding our feelings and finding the best solutions available.
Connecting with people can be especially important when we feel overwhelmed or hopeless, as it helps to validate our emotions and provide direction for future action. Furthermore, facilitating conversation between family members has been shown to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety among individuals, specifically as it relates to social media use.
Although physical contact might not always be possible, there are still options available such as digital communication and video calls that can connect us just as well. No matter the method of communication you choose though, connecting with friends and family provides the necessary platform for asking questions, idea sharing, problem-solving, emotional expression and laughter - all valuable components of self-care that make us feel supported during trying times.
Always remember- no man is an island.
Do Something You Enjoy
Few people realize the amazing impact that engaging in a hobby or pastime can have on their overall well-being. Taking time to do something for yourself can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and bring joy into your life. Whether it’s painting, baking, gardening, meditating, writing, or playing an instrument, having something outside of work or other responsibilities that you enjoy is an incredibly valuable tool for self-care.
Partaking in a hobby helps take your mind off of stressors, encourages creativity and growth, gives purpose when feeling bored or lost, and allows you to fully express yourself.
Research has even shown that having hobbies like these can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression while increasing endorphins meant to elevate your overall mood. Most importantly though, partaking in a hobby that you find enjoyable will give you something especially meaningful to look forward to each day; no matter how complex or simple the activity may be.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from daily obligations; in fact it can strengthen the relationships we have with ourselves and others around us! Having access to such an effective form of self care shouldn’t be undervalued - so why not get started today?
Always remember- you weren't born to just "exist", getting by in the daily grind, but rather, to actually experience life, and be happy doing so.
Listen To Music
Chances are you've never considered music a therapeutic aid in your daily life. Truth be told, music is very much an important element of our overall well-being and self-care routine. Listening to music is a simple and enjoyable way to reduce stress, anxiety, and depressed states. Music can provide soothing comfort that helps us navigate challenging emotions. It can no doubt be calming, and distracting from our negative thoughts or worries while promoting positive emotions.
Music has the power to evoke a unique emotional response within each of us, making it an invaluable source of motivation during difficult times. Whether it's soothing calm melodies or upbeat tracks with empowering lyrics; different kinds of music can be used as effective tools to help us get into better emotional states.
Choosing music that resonates with us on a deeper emotional level is therapeutic in itself: whether it brings about feelings of nostalgia or serves as a confessional soundtrack for our personal story.
Connecting with the tunes we enjoy listening to on an emotional level adds yet another layer of healing to the restorative self-care process.
Furthermore, listening to music can provide us with powerful reflections about ourselves that help foster personal growth and development which enhances our well-being in the long run.
Can you do without music? Maybe. But do you want to imagine a world devoid of music? Sounds like a pretty sad, depressing place to me.
Taking care of yourself shouldn't be hard work, nor should it be expensive to do. The tips we highlighted above are just that- easy to do and will help you live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
And believe us when we say, self-care is totally worth it.
Despite how long or tough life can get, always remember that you are deserving of the best of everything it has to offer, so don't sell yourself short.