Article from guest writer Brad Krause.
Practicing self-care can mean many different things, depending on your lifestyle and where you live. For some, it means getting rid of bad habits or removing toxic energy from their lives. For others, it’s simply a way to take care of physical, emotional, and mental health in the best ways possible, such as engaging in a relaxing pastime or learning a new fitness routine. And still others incorporate all of those things, ensuring that their mind and body are in perfect harmony.
The way you practice self-care is up to you, but it should have positive effects on the way you feel. You might consider learning to say “no” when someone is asking for too much of your time. You may decide that getting more sleep and eating a more balanced diet is the way to go. Evaluate your lifestyle to figure out what changes you can make that will benefit you the most, and go from there.
Here are some tips on getting started and why self-care is so important.
Sometimes seemingly small actions can have big, positive consequences. Getting a couple more hours of sleep per night and introducing more water and veggies into your diet can improve the way you feel and help boost your daily productivity. Make it a point to go to bed a little earlier at night and eat a more balanced diet, and see how much better you feel.
Make home a place of serenity
Making your home a place of serenity and calm is especially important for those with stressful lives. It will help you leave the burdens of your day behind so you can take a deep breath. You can do this by making a pact with yourself about not doing work once you walk through your front door—not even answering emails—and creating a space just for you that allows for your comfort and happiness. Paint the walls a calming blue, light a few candles, take a hot shower, and forget about the stresses of work. Decluttering is also a great way to make your home work for you.
Learn to say “no”
Those of us with stressful jobs or home lives know that being taken advantage of is one of the worst feelings, in part because it just adds to daily stress. It’s important to learn how to say “no” when someone asks for more time than you can give. Taking on too many responsibilities at once can be a huge factor in your stress level. If it’s happening at work, ask a coworker to shoulder the responsibility if possible, or have a talk with your boss about your workload.
Your diet and exercise routine can have a big impact on how you feel both physically and mentally, so it’s important to find a workout you can stick to as well as a diet plan that boosts your energy. Talk to your doctor about the right diet for you, especially if you’ve had health issues in the past, and think about the best ways to keep your workouts fun. This will keep you motivated. Swimming, gardening, and playing your favorite sport are all great examples.
Reducing stress and finding ways to boost your self-confidence are two great examples of practicing self-care; the details are up to you. Tailor your daily goals to meet your specific needs and talk to your friends, family, and doctor about how they can help.
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.