It can be so easy to neglect yourself… and let’s face it, self-care isn’t easy! You might be busy taking care of kids, focusing on advancing at work, keeping up with housework, loving on your pets, making it to this month’s charity event, or pretty much anything that can you away from being able to focus on your own well-being.
Taking even a little bit of time for yourself is crucial. Let’s say that again, so it sticks… Taking time for yourself is CRUCIAL. Go have lunch with some friends (or by yourself). Treat yourself to a workout, an at-home spa night, or an hour of reading a book you’ve been wanting to start. If you’re not sold on why self-care is important, here are some ways the practice can actually make you better!
Don’t overextend yourself. You’ll push yourself to a breaking point if you don’t know when to say no. Make some time for the times that make and slow down a bit. Your goals will come into focus and you can really concentrate on what you’re doing, without the risk of getting burnt out.
Practicing self-care makes you really dive into exploring what brings you joy and finding your true passions in life. Figuring out what you’re passionate about or inspired by can help you understand yourself. It might even spark a career change or a new hobby!
When you take the time to take care of your body, you can actually improve your mind and body, which boosts your immune system. Giving your body time to rest and rejuvenate helps fortify your immunity so you don’t sick as often. You’ll see fewer colds, maybe avoid the dreaded yearly flu epidemic, and even frustrating occurrences like headaches, a sore throat, or an upset stomach.
Carving out time for yourself and meeting your own needs sends a positive message to your subconscious. Treat yourself like you matter too. Your kids are important, your husband is important, your coworkers are important. Yet, by putting yourself first, you give yourself the confidence to make important decisions and to treat yourself and others with more respect.
Believe it or not, you are not being selfish when you’re practicing self-care. When you’re good to yourself, you then have the resources to be better to others. Meaning, you have the energy, strength, mindfulness, and desire to help everyone else around you. When you show yourself self-love, you unconsciously allow yourself the ability to provide the love and compassion others are looking for.
Ready to start your own self-care routine?
Here are a few things that are easy to implement…
- Take care of your body. Eating well and exercising are big pieces of the puzzle. It’s difficult when your schedule is full to make time for cooking and heading to the gym but do it anyway. Even if you’re really struggling, get up and go. Start small if you have to. Eat less sugar or fewer carbs. When you’re treating your body well, you address the physical part of self-care.
- Work through your emotions. Dealing with stress, anxiety, sadness or depression is hard. Period. We tend to ignore our emotions, especially during busy times. Give yourself permission to acknowledge the way you’re feeling. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment and pinpoint the feeling. Stepping back and thinking through your emotions can help you think rationally. Just take a quick break. Remember to be kind to yourself.
- Protect your schedule. It is okay to say no. When you’re overworked, you’re stressed, irritable, and completely unfocused. Learn to say no to things. It can be difficult, but be honest with people about your capacity. If you’re overloaded at work, schedule a time to have an honest discussion with your boss. Make sure you’re leaving sometime in the day for you. Take your full lunch break and step away from your desk for a while. Schedule a time to go out with friends. Write it down in your calendar and defend that time.
Your opinion matters.
Your emotions matter.
Be kind to yourself and make sure you’re treating yourself with the respect you deserve. Start practicing self-care, whatever that looks like for you.