Take Care of Your Mind and Body with Self-care
It’s unfortunate that the word “self-care” sounds so much like selfishness since the intent is exactly the opposite. Self-care is a chance to spend some time focusing on your own needs so that you can then be recharged and reinvigorated physically and mentally to help others both at home and at work. Here are a few tips on how to help that happen.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is probably the biggest area where you can take better care of yourself. Many adults are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night because there’s just too much to do and if we don’t do it all, who will? The problem is that your life will begin to fall apart if you are not getting the sleep you need. You will face a laundry list of physical issues (risk of diabetes, weight gain, compromised immune system and more) along with mental problems as well, including an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Rarely does a problem have such a simple solution: Get more sleep! You will have to create a good schedule for this to work, and then you’ll have to stick to it consistently to build the habit. It will definitely be worth the work when you awake refreshed and ready to take on the world each day.
Take Time to Relax
While it may be hard to relax, it’s just as vital as sleep for your overall well-being. When you’re relaxing, your body is healing itself in much the same way that it does while you’re asleep. When you relax, your focus will be better, your energy will increase, you’ll be more motivated, you’ll recover more quickly from workouts and your body will be better prepared to fight off infection. So take time for that nap, read that book, go on a walk or watch a movie. The world won’t stop spinning, and you might just do yourself some good while you take a few minutes away on your own.
Self-care is often necessary when you are facing an abundance of stress in your life. You want to find ways to reduce tension wherever you can. Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation and intentional breathing. These practices will calm and center you when you start to feel the stress rising. As you reduce the amount of stress in your life, you should start to feel things slide back into alignment.
If you don’t find a way to reduce your stress, it can cause additional problems. Chronic stress at work, for example, can cause employees to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol. If you are constantly feeling stressed out because of work, you must find some healthy self-care practices to help you cope. These can include eating healthily, finding a group of peers for support and even taking a break when you’re overwhelmed.
Just Say No
One final tip for how to practice self-care: Just say no. Learn to answer all the demands on your time according to your priorities. When you are asked to do something, run it through the grid of what’s important to you. If it doesn’t fit, don’t feel bad about saying no to the request. If you spread yourself too thin, there won’t be anything left for what’s most important to you.
While practicing self-care may seem a bit self-centered at first, you should realize that it’s actually meant for the good of others. When you are happy and relaxed, you’ll be in a good mental place and better able to meet the needs of those around you. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and live within them. Your family and team will thank you.
Do you take enough time to practice self-care or do you have a tip you think might help others? Let us know in the comments.
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