Self care is not selfish, You cannot serve from an empty vessel
Why Self-Care Matters?
It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick.
Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can keep you healthy, fit, and resilient.
Why Do We Often Fail at Self-Care?
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy. Most of us are crazy busy, have stressful jobs, or are too consumed with technology to make time for ourselves.
Me-time is usually last on the agenda. Worse, we can sometimes feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves.
So getting started with self-care can be challenging. In my new book, Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection IRL, I teach folks how find time and make space for self-care.
But here are some additional tips that you won’t find in the book to get you started with your self-care.
How Do You Engage in Self-Care?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to engage in self-care. To start, take this well-being quiz to learn which self-care strategies may be especially helpful for you.
You can also read about self-care strategies, join self-care programs, or work with a coach or therapist who can help support your progress.
No matter which approach you choose, the goal is to figure out which self-care strategies work best for you, learn how to use these strategies, and implement them in your regular routine so you can boost your well-being not only today, but forever.
Here are 12 ways to get started with your self-care.
1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine.
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues.
But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep.
What do you do to make sleep part of a self-care routine?
Start by thinking about your nightly routine.
Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed?
If so, it’s especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake.
Reducing stress is also key. If you have work-related stress, think about the best ways to calm yourself after a hard day or relax more while on the job.
You might talk to your employer about lessening your workload, or settle a disagreement with a coworker.
Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cellphone, etc.).
And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.
2. Take care of yourself by taking care of your gut.
Your gut health can have a significant impact on your health, well-being, and feelings of vitality.
The types of foods you eat crucially impact the bacteria that lives in your stomach, resulting in a cascade of either positive or negative outcomes.
An unhappy gut can lead to an unhappy person, and vice-versa.
3. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine.
We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is?
Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight.
Of course, it might be hard to go to the gym every day, so try to incorporate other exercises, such as walking, tennis, or yoga, which may be able to fit into your schedule more easily.
The most important thing is to create a routine that works for you.
4. Eat right for self-care.
The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert.
Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body.
Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.
5. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care.
Learning to say no is really hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy.
However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability.
It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more empowered, and you’ll have more time for your self-care.
6. Take a self-care trip.
Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life.
Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed, getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax, and be rejuvenated.
These self-care trips don’t have to be costly; simply drive to the next town over and see the sights, or go camping nearby. The goal is to veer away from your normal schedule and take the time to do something just for yourself.