Self-care is something that has been floating around recently and has derived from the recent focus on mental health that a lot of our society is now more concerned about. The stigma surrounding mental health is still very much apparent, but there’s now more encouragement to speak out when you’re not feeling yourself. Being able to look after and care for yourself is very important not only for you but for those around you. You can only be your best self if you put yourself first. So here’s why self-care is important and how to get it into your life right now.
What Self-Care Does
Self-care is something where we treat ourselves, whether that’s something material or doing whatever it is that we are passionate or happy about. It’s that little thing that brings joy and happiness to your life. And that’s so important when you’re feeling low and need a pick me up. We’ve always done this for ourselves through years gone by, but it’s not something we do as regularly as we should. Instead, we spend more time on making sure others are ok and putting things like work and our social calendars ahead of it. That means there’s no time for you to spend on just you. Over time, we let ourselves burn into the ground, and then that’s where it impacts both our physical and mental health.
There are many ways that we can give ourselves a bit of self-care, and everyone is different, so don’t feel like you need to stick with any of these suggestions. It’s completely up to you when it comes to doing things that you enjoy and bring that much-needed positivity to your life. So here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Go For A Walk
Exercise is one of those things that most people hate to do, but as soon as you get yourself into a routine and more importantly, find something you like doing, then you’ll love it. Exercise releases endorphins into your body, which makes you feel happier. This is certainly appreciated for those who do it and make it part of their weekly schedule. Going for a walk is just a simple way of incorporating a bit of light exercise. It doesn’t require much effort, and it’s something you can build on as you start doing it more often. There’s also a chance to see and explore the area around you, and it’s something to do with friends or family members. You don’t need to go out for dinner or to a bar, just to catch up. Make exercise part of your social occasions and embrace that fresh air into your lungs. Concentrate on your breathing when you’re walking too.
Practice A Regular Sleep Routine
Sleep is important to help keep our bodies feeling happy and healthy. If you allow your body to push its limits beyond what it’s capable of doing, it’s going to break down. We all have our breaking point, and if you continue to work late or do too much, something has to give. Sleep isn’t something you want to start sacrificing, and although sometimes in life, that will happen, it doesn’t mean that it always has to be that way. Look at your sleeping pattern now, and if you can, try to track how much sleep you get per night. Note in down in a sleep diary and consider what happened those evenings for you to reduce the amount of sleep you had. It’s then time to create a sleep plan where you’ll aim to go to bed at the same time each night. And where possible, take away any electronics or avoid looking at them about an hour before going bed. The blue light can cause your body to feel more awake and alert, which is not what you want when you’re trying to get to sleep.
Try and force yourself to get around eight to nine hours of sleep per night. That’s enough to help your body to rest and recover. Give yourself the best opportunity to get a good night’s sleep by blocking out any late with blinds or an eye mask. Use earplugs if you have a snoring partner or play different music to see if that helps. CBD oil is another alternative that you might want to try out.
Take A Sick Day When Needed
A lot of us will feel guilty for taking a sick day, and that can only affect our mental wellbeing further. Fortunately, there are more workplaces that are becoming more understanding with mental health and working out ways of allowing employees to have a mental health day off when they really need it. Sick days are just the same though and if you don’t feel 100% yourself, to the point you are run down, stay off work. Take advantage of those sick days when you need it because you are no help to yourself or to anyone at work if you can’t perform to the best of your abilities. If you continue to push, you won’t get anything from it. So when your body calls for a day off, be sure to give it one. And again, don’t feel pressure or guilt for having to take leave for being ill. It happens, and we’re only human after all.
Cut Out The Stress
No one can live a stress-free life because, at some point in our lives, something happens that plays on this emotion. It could be anything from a problem at work, a friendship, or a relationship that’s broken down or a traumatic experience like death. We’ll all experience these varying degrees of stress, and it’s important that we do what we can to prevent it where possible. Sure, sometimes it’s inevitable, but certain work and life issues can be handled to reduce stress. A lot of stress is generated in the workplace, whether that’s dealing with another colleague or a demanding workload or high-pressured atmosphere. If you feel like it’s a lot, then speak up. No one is going to do anything for you if you don’t express your feelings. If they don’t do anything once you’ve spoken to your manager, then this is where you should consider looking elsewhere or taking a step back for a while. Hopefully, though, the management you have will appreciate you telling them, and they can help with delegating the work elsewhere.
Stress can also happen in certain life situations, and it’s good to recognize where it’s coming from and just doing your best to cut it out.
Treating yourself is probably the best way of giving yourself self-care. A lot of this can be materialistic, like buying yourself a new outfit, but it can also be treating yourself to a massage or having your nails done. Did you know that dressing for you can be one way to give yourself some self-care? When was the last time you went shopping for clothes? If you’re someone who doesn’t shop much, then now is your time to treat yourself. Even if it’s one pair of shoes or a new dress. Good grooming and dressing habits can make you feel a lot better because when you look in the mirror, it sparks that confidence and recognition of having cared for yourself. It really is something that we don’t do enough for ourselves.
Self-care may seem indulgent or selfish, but it’s one thing to give to yourself that will make you a better person. It makes you a better person to yourself and all those around you.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.