Self Care 101

With most of us being busy with work and stressed out on most days, the act of self-care is extremely important to include so you don’t feel burnt-out midweek and unable to power through your errands and events and work deadlines.

Quitting your job or taking a week-long vacation whenever you are feeling overwhelmed sound good in theory but are not practical long-term solutions to your stress. That is why it is important to have small habits you can sneak in anytime you need a moment to catch a breath and relax.

Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself and is unique to every person. It is also about knowing when your resources are running low, and when to hit the pause button to replenish them before you become all the way drained and unable to function at a healthy level.

Everyone deals with stress differently, and same goes with your downtime. In order to find what you might need to relax, you’re going to have to check in with yourself to see what you need at that moment or what draws you in. Self-care can be so many different things and will probably change for you throughout different stages your life.

Self Care habits can look like:

  • Calling and catching up with loved one
  • Putting your phone on airplane mode on after work hours
  • Going for that 30 minute walk on the beach before or after work
  • Making yourself a cup of warm tea
  • Reading a book
  • Going for a massage
  • At home hair and face masks
  • Watching something alone
  • Going to the cinema with a friend
  • Cooking a hearty meal at home
  • Playing with animals

Whatever your vice may be, you need to find one, or two or five, that you can fall back on whenever you need to hit the pause button on your life.

Here are 5 ways to exercise self-care and take better care of you

1) Become more in tune with your body

Listen to your body when you feel like you are giving a lot of energy out and need to take a little break. If you are working on an assignment and can’t focus anymore, that should be your queue for stepping into one of your self-care practices.  The first step is recognizing what your body, brain or heart needs to recharge.

It’s experimenting, listening to the body, listening to your own inner wisdom, and checking in with yourself. Ask yourself What do I need? How do I feel? Being mindful and self-aware are important parts of self-care.

2) Have a healthy sleep routine

Sleep is essential to the function of your brain and body. Make sure that you are setting time aside every day for enough sleep. If you are the type the needs a nap right after work before continuing your evening, then make sure to include that and make it routine. Sleep is one of the best medicines for stress and a healthy foundation for a successful and productive life.

3) Eat balanced and healthy meals

Another important aspect of self-care is what you put into your body. Do whatever you need to do to ensure you are getting daily nutrients and vitamins through the food you eat. Going to your doctor to check that all your vitamin levels are normal and that you’re not deficient in anything is crucial for your health.

4) Movement

I can’t stress the importance of moving your body. Even if it is a walk around your office building, or ditching the elevator and taking the stairs, it is key to find little ways to decompress throughout the day so that the stress and tension in your body doesn’t build up.

5) Love

Finally, self-care is about being compassionate and patient and understanding yourself. It is about the way you talk about yourself to yourself. Try and observe the way you talk to yourself, is it negative? Is it mean? Is it always making jokes about yourself? Monitor your thoughts and every time you find yourself being negative to yourself stop that thought and replace it with a positive one. Just how you care for a loved one or a best friend, it is important that you tend to your own needs as well because the way you treat yourself is the way other people will treat you.

Self-care looks different for everyone, and because your needs change as your life changes, the way you practice it will change over time, too. What practices will you start as part of your self-care habits?

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Omaya Michelle

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