It is no foreign concept that you should spend some time deliberately taking care of yourself. Yet, for many people, it is difficult. Either because you feel that you do not have the time or you don’t know what to do for your self-care. Self-care will not only enhance the quality of your life but also the quality of the lives of people around you.
Mental health benefits of self-care
Stress reliever. Self-care practices such as exercising and resting activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to relieve stress.
- Promotes a positive outlook on life. You become appreciative of the things, circumstances and people in your life. A positive perspective of life is crucial in preventing mental illnesses such as depression, which may result from feeling hopeless.
- Improves focus and productivity. Self-care teaches you to say “no” and to prioritize activities in your life. Consequently, you free up time and energy to focus that matter to you.
- Promotes your sense of self-worth and boosts self-esteem. Self-care practices deepen your self-knowledge and self-compassion, which ultimately promote your self-confidence.
- Replenishes your energy. In this fast-paced life, chances of becoming exhausted are high. Tight deadlines, barely getting enough rest and not eating well can leave you feeling drained. Self-care incorporates getting enough rest and taking time to unwind, which gives your body and mind time to refill its energy stores.
Self-care practices you can incorporate into your life
Journal. You could keep a gratitude journal where you record things you are grateful for everyday. Use your journal as a planner to detail your short-term and long-term goals or simply make a record of your everyday life.
Rest. Get at least eight hours of sleep. Establish a regular sleep routine whereby you disconnect from TV and other electronics 15 minutes before bedtime. Dim the lights, settle into your bed and allow yourself to drift into sleep.
Eat well. How you eat plays a major role in how you feel, but not everyone has time to plan and prep healthy meals. If grocery shopping isn’t your thing, consider a meal delivery service. There are healthy menu options for every taste and lifestyle, and you can’t beat the convenience.
Enjoy the free good things in life. Take time to smell the roses or your coffee as it brews, walk barefoot on the grass, watch the sunrise or set, observe yourself breathe, or walk in nature.
Tend to your body. Exercise, get a deep massage, nourish your skin by getting facials and using nice smelling creams that moisturize it, take refreshing baths and care for your feet and nails.
Spend some time alone. Spend time in meditation and reflection. Both practices help to bring your awareness to your present life and to review your life from a calm and grounded place.
Engage in a hobby. As work routines and other responsibilities take up your life, you may have put your hobbies on the back burner. Engaging in your hobbies nurtures your creativity, it is also a good way to take time off without feeling that you are idle.
Socialize mindfully. Be deliberate about spending quality time with your family and friends. Reach out to someone whom you have not seen in a while. Get engaged in group activities that interest you. Avoid spending time with people who disempower you.
Be kind to yourself. Some days will be easier than others. On tougher days, do the best you can and allow yourself not to be perfect. The best thing you can do to yourself is to be patient with yourself.
Taking time to take care of yourself doesn’t mean you are selfish. It means you are worthy and deserving of feeling good and enjoying life.
Learn more about Brad Krause and his work at SelfCaring.info
Photo Credit: Unsplash
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