What is Self Care?
Self Care is the act of taking steps to care for your own mental, physical and emotional needs. Self Care should not be compared to or considered a selfish act as it allows one to ultimately better take care of those around them. Self Care should be an act the refuels and reinvigorates us. Some would consider Self Care a discipline because often people struggle in our busy world to find time for themselves which is why it is even more essential in our world today for people to make time for it.
Acts of Self Care
Sleep is often the most overlooked aspect of health in our society today. We are often busy from sunset to sunrise and sleep is often sacrificed so that we can fit a bit more into our busy lives. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night is essential though to our overall health. Being well-rested helps everything from feeling more energized for the day to helping you with your moods and emotions. People who feel well-rested report feeling less anxious and depressed for the day. In addition, sleep helps with people being able to focus throughout the day.
Steps that can help you with sleep is to avoid caffeine and sugar at night time before you sleep. Avoiding television, smartphone use or other distracting light causing sources can help as well. Though sometimes listening to a youtube video or podcast can help one with a lot on their mind fall asleep easier.
Ensuring that our bodies get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients is critical for our well being as well. There are many studies that show getting the right and proper food in us benefits our mental and emotional states as well as our physical. Eating foods that are rich in omega 3’s and 6’s are beneficial to brain health. Foods such as salmon, chia seeds, and flax seeds help with both physical and mental health. Eating your fruits and vegetables is great for both mental and physical health and can help you maintain a healthy weight for yourself. Nuts are a great snack food that provides many benefits as well.
Getting exercise is a great way to relieve stress, boost energy and maintain health. Exercises such as running, swimming, yoga, riding a bike or lifting weights are great ways of relieving stress at the end of the day, maintain weight and promote health. If you enjoy other workouts that get you out, then you can do those as well. Exercise has been shown to be a great way to boost mood due to the release of dopamine that gets released through physical activity.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Spending time with people you love is essential. We are social creatures and need time to be with those who uplift us. Whether that is with family, friends or our significant other, we need that companionship in our lives.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Life throws enough things at us that take up our time. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that you don’t want to do or involve people that you don’t want to be around. You have enough going on and don’t need to laden yourself with more things that you do not want to do. Know your boundaries and when to say no.
While all the above is good for overall health, it is most important to do things that YOU enjoy. Whether that is hanging out with friends, spending time alone with a book or TV show that you like, or going outside to be in nature you should do those things that help you relax, even something as simple as taking a 15-minute nap.
Be Sure to Schedule Self Care Time for Yourself
Having time for yourself to go out with friends, enjoy a relaxing movie, or simply unwinding is a necessity for every person. We are not robots who can keep going and going without rest and it is good for us, even if it is just an hour a day, to have time for ourselves to relax and do things we enjoy. Be sure to schedule yourself daily and weekly time that you can spend doing the things you love.