Would you let your cellphone battery die? What about letting your vehicle run out of gas? Why is it that we usually care for our valuables more than we do ourselves?
When life gets busy, it may be hard to fit everything into your day, especially self-care. Trying to excel in your career, maintain a social life, eat nutritious meals, drink enough water, sleep, exercise, and care for your family. The list could go on and on. But how can you find that balance in your life by making time for yourself?
Self-care is just that. It is deliberately taking time for yourself, knowing when to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others, and protecting your wellbeing and happiness during periods of stress. Self-care may seem selfish, but it is not! It is crucial for your overall wellbeing. This is not something you should force yourself to do either or something you do not enjoy doing.
Why is it beneficial to engage in self-care?
- Improve your quality of life
- Prevent burnout and stress
- Better productivity
- Better physical health
- Better mental health
- Gives you alone time
- Improved self-esteem
- Increased self-knowledge
- More to give to others
Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach because each person has their own favorite activities. Here are a variety of self-care practices that may help you get an idea of what will work best for you:
- Make time for yourself
- Carve out 5 minutes a day to sit
- Spend time with friends and family
- Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in awhile
- Eat well balanced nutritious meals
- Get enough sleep and nap when needed
- Move your body – workout, join a group fitness class, go for a walk, dance to your favorite song, play with your children/grandchildren, etc.
- Take care of your medical needs – see a physician, dentist, eye doctor, therapist, etc.
- Laughing at old memories or funny videos
- Holding a pet in your arms
- Make a gratitude list
- Spa-like activities
- Saying “no”
- Learning how to decompress after a day’s work
- Digital detox or limit your time on devices
- Declutter an area in your house or at your desk
How do you come up with your self-care practice? Find what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing, what you can fit into your day, and figure out how much time you have. Self-care practices can vary from person to person based on how busy their life is and their likes and dislikes. You should have enough options that vary in time because some days you may have more time than others.
Where do you start?
- Decide on a self-care practice.
- Keep it simple to begin with.
- Schedule time for your self-care and be consistent. It may be beneficial to keep a record of your self-care routine to keep you accountable.
- Try your new schedule for 10 weeks. Self-care will start to get easier as time goes on, just as any new habit will.
- Allow yourself to play around with how you implement your new routine. Some days it will be easier to practice self-care whereas it may be impossible other days. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that every day is a fresh start to get back into the routine.
To begin this new decade, start doing something just for you to improve your overall wellbeing and quality of life!