Let’s face it, life is hectic, busy and even confusing most of the time. We are all human, and we are all dealing with something, or many things at a time. Between work, family, friends and other activities you may engage in, your schedule is likely filled up much of the time. With so much going on around us, it is often easy to forget or simply neglect time for self care within our lives. The concept of self care is not about selfishly taking time away from your tasks and important things, but rather it’s about preparing yourself to do all of the things you need to in a much better and more efficient way. Yet, so many of us tend to put self care aside because we feel other things are more important and need to be done.
In order for us to actually lead our happiest and most productive lives, we actually have to make time and an effort to engage in self care on a regular basis. Self care does not have to mean expensive trips or hours on end of focusing on the self, but rather it can be small things you do in increments throughout your day or week that add up to big results for your overall state of mind and well-being. If you’re like many of us and are left confused by the concept or how to begin focusing on self care, there is a list of simple things you can do that will do your body and mind wonders and also allow you to live your best life.
If you want to know how you can maximize your productivity and happiness, then here are just a few self care tips that will be your saving grace in the long run. Your mind, body and soul will thank you!
The first step to self care is in learning to recognize and acknowledge your own energy. Your body will tell you what it needs and what it is feeling, and it is up to you to decide to not push yourself beyond your limit. If you feel anxious, tired or overwhelmed, you ought to consciously make the decision to adapt your schedule or workload to give your body a needed rest. Yes, things do have to get done, but pushing yourself is not going to be good for anyone, and in the long run will set you back more than the extra hour or two you may need to take to rest.
An essential part of self care is alone time. Sure, some may be social butterflies and thrive in a social setting, but we all need a moment of silence in order to check in with ourselves and hear what our body and mind needs. Silence is a great place to reflect as well as relax. Meditation can be a fantastic way to calm the mind and check in with your intuition and your feelings, allowing you to ready yourself for the daily grind while keeping yourself firmly centered. Meditation helps relax and clear the mind, allowing you to be more productive and sharp throughout the rest of your day.
Eating clean and making sure your body is healthy is a key to self care, yes, but there is also the other side to self care as well. Allowing yourself to have some of the comfort food you crave can be beneficial in making you feel cared for and happy. Sure, every day is probably not an ideal, but once in a while you do need to give in to your cravings and treat your body to what you want. Depriving yourself of treats is a strict way of keeping your body healthy, and with time it can really wear down on your psyche or mood. Once in a while, particularly if you’ve had a rough day, allow yourself a little treat or meal you want. When you nurture the inner emotional and mental part of yourself, such as your desires and feelings, you do tend to feel better overall, and some days we all need a little cheat meal.
Listen To Your Intutition
A key part to self care is listening to yourself. Do not force yourself to do things you do not want to do. Sure, we may have to do our job and some boring activities occasionally, but never feel obliged to attend a social gathering or keep up with a certain trend or sacrifice your time for someone else. Your intuition is key in guiding you to do the things that fulfill you and better you, and if it doesn’t feel right, do not do it. If you need help, ask for it, trust that you won’t be judged for asking for help, ever, just do it.
Scientifically, music has a tremendous impact on your mood and feelings. Listening to songs that help relax you or comfort you in some way is essential in the self care process. Whether you are cleaning or getting ready in the morning, blast some feel good tunes and let the good times roll.
You already know that sleep is essential to your health and brain function, but it is also integral in your feelings and overall happiness. Make sure you take the time out to get enough sleep, or take a nap now and then to recharge. A lot of your issues or things you’re stuck on can be resolved a lot more easily if you just take a break and rest your mind from it for a while, and sleep is the perfect way to hit pause and recharge and refresh.
Turn Your Phone Off
Getting off social media or taking a break from taking calls is an integral part of self care. Social media itself, though it connects us, can also have a negative effect on our self esteem and mood from time to time. Instead of getting caught up with what others are doing, take a break for a day and just do you. The world will still continue and you probably won’t miss much. The inner peace and light feeling you will getting from unplugging for a day, well, it’s priceless.
Watch Something Fun
A light comedy or romance film is a great way to unwind and distract yourself, allowing you to reduce stress and also comfort yourself. Put on your softest PJs and take a night in to watch something you enjoy. Allow yourself that time to focus on making yourself feel good.
Working out may require energy and effort from you, but the benefit is that it instantly boosts your mood and overall feelings. Your body is getting healthier as you work out, but so does your mind. Take an hour or 30 minutes out of your day and do some form of exercise. It will allow you to turn the world off and focus only on yourself and what you’re doing in that present moment.
And lastly, but most importantly, remember that self care is not an option or a choice, it is essential to your overall well-being and happiness. Every step in your life is one you have to take yourself, so you have to be the best friend to yourself and ensure that you are treating yourself gently and generously.