When was the last time you really took some time for yourself and indulged in something that helped you to stay on track emotionally?
If you’re anything like most people, a busy life means that self care slips to the bottom of your priority list and you neglect to take care of yourself.
The end result can be emotional burnout, which can sometimes lead to physical problems too as a knock on effect.
Self care needs to be built into your life and practiced on a regular basis to help you to function at your best, both mentally and physically.
When you’re not on top of your game, you’re a lot more likely to be affected by stress and your resilience is more fragile.
So, what is self care? It’s often thought of as pampering but self care is about more than the occasional bubble bath or indulgent glass of wine when you fancy a bit of “me” time.
Here are some self care tips you can add into your life:
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep has lots of benefits for good health and wellbeing so it’s one of the most important things you can do from a self care perspective.
If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, try implementing my tips on how to encourage a natural sleep. If you’re still struggling, you may want to go a step further and try an option such as hypnotherapy to train your brain to sleep better.
We all know about the mood boosting effects of endorphins so it’s probably no great surprise to know that working out regularly is another key element of self care.
Exercise can have a positive effect on how you feel and think, and can even improve your productivity levels. One theory for this is that it increases blood flow to the brain.
A study from the University of Georgia split participants into three groups of low intensity exercise, moderate intensity exercise and no exercise (control group). The trial lasted six weeks and both of the exercise groups reported that they had better energy levels than the control group. The low intensity group actually had less fatigue than the moderate intensity group so you don’t need to do high intensity exercise to get the benefits.
If you want to have more energy and get things done more efficiently, exercise is the way to go!
Good nutrition is vital for keeping your mind and body in check and it can also help you to deal with stress.
In particular, you want to stock up on foods that nourish the body from the inside out - namely fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, for example. These give you a range of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Ease Off on Using Technology
Being glued to your phone, laptop and other bits of technology can create added stress and anxiety, especially if you feel compelled to check notifications a lot.
There’s also the issue of ‘blue light’ that can make it harder to get to sleep if you’re using technology right before bed.
Ditching the technology - especially in the build up to bedtime - can tick a few self care boxes!
Take Some Deep Breaths
When stress takes hold, many of us only take shallow breaths. Taking a few deep breaths every so often can get out of this hyperventilation mode and is an easy way to calm yourself.
How often do you give yourself the opportunity to just be totally still and quiet in the average day? Find somewhere peaceful and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
Bonus points if it’s a relaxing green space, which studies have shown can reduce stress.
A lot of us would like to change some things about our life but if you wait until you feel totally ready, the right moment can prove elusive.
It’s easy to talk yourself out of taking that first step towards change but what if doing so could put you on the path that you want to be on?
Challenging yourself to start moving out of your comfort zone is an underrated self care move.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Do you look at other people and compare yourself unfavourably?
Cutting out this type of behaviour is great from a self care perspective. We all have our own path in life and yours won’t be the same as anyone else’s.
It’s much more productive to look at making positive changes to get to where you should be, rather than focusing on the negatives you want to change.
Keep a Compliments File
It’s easy to forget all your good points but keeping a ‘compliments file’ packed with positive feedback you’ve received from other people can remind you of these and give you a much needed confidence boost.
These tips are just a few of the things you can do to practice self care on a more regular basis. I’d love to know what things you do for self care?