What is Self Care?
Self Care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well being and happiness, in particular in times of stress. – Oxford
Why do we need self care?
In short, we need self care so that we can be our best selves for ourself and others. It is very important that we do things to help us live well and take care of our health . This can look like managing stress, enjoying the now, focusing on goals, or just giving yourself more grace. Self Care can help manage stress, lower risks of illness, and increase energy.
The Top Ten Self Care Activities
1. Try a Relaxing Activity/Hobby –
Find something designed to help you slow down. This could be a Hot bath, Yoga, Meditation, Taking a walk, looking at nature, Reading, Listening to chill music and or Journaling. I’ve even heard men tell me that Golf relaxes them.
2. Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep can leave you feeling drained but even more than that it can put you at risk for certain diseases. Sleep Foundation says that sleep deficit is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and even early death.
I recommend setting a bed time routine. (Again, I’m a Virgo. I have routines for everything.) Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. Women needing more than men on average but it does depend on your specific needs. My routine includes making my to-do list for the next day, reading for at least 30 mins and a hot cup of tea.
3. Pay Attention to Nutrition
We all need a balanced and varied diet with Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids and healthy oils like Omegas. At least try to increase your fruits and veggies intake. It’ll help boost your mood. If you want for information on nutrition click here.
4. Exercise your body
Our bodies need and crave movement. Even if it’s just a walk through the neighborhood, do it. When your kids ask you to climb up and slide with them do it. If you don’t use it you lose it.
5. Have a Rest Day
Rest days are different from sleep, they help your body recover, replenish energy and refresh your mind. It’s like recharging your batteries. So take a day and just chill.
6. Self Reflection
It is important to learn and know about yourself. Reflection is an important part of the process when you’re figuring out your patterns and/or triggers. It is very beneficial to help you make future decisions that make you feel happy, calm and fulfilled. Self reflection can also help you pin point which things relax and recharge you so, that you can do more of that in the future.
Journaling can help with reflection. I have a special place in my notes app on my phone where I put random thoughts I have about myself and I review them later and add commentary. Self Reflection can also help you manage your emotions by noticing the pattern, from study, while you are in the situation.
7. Schedule Alone Time
But also schedule time with friends and family. We need alone time but we also need socializing. Make sure to balance out your schedule to help mental health. Go to brunch or dinner or share a hobby once a week minimum. Alone time ideally everyday. I know it is hard with kids, but schedule yourself time to take a shower in peace at bare minimum.
8. Take care of your personal hygiene.
It’s a big deal! Schedule a time to take a shower in peace, and extra points in your relief can watch the kids extra for you to DIY a hair mask or give your self a mani and pedi. At night, make it part of your bedtime routine with a skin care regimen. If you can get out of the house, I recommend getting your hair done, a massage or time at a day spa.
9. Social Media Detox
Spend some time in real life when you remove social media for as little as an hour a day. Throw that in your night routine while your reading or taking care of personal hygiene. Every once and a while I will do 24 hours no social media to feel more engaged with my sons, focus on other things, and give my mind a break. Social media is designed to keep us focused on it as it feeds our ever shortening attention span. Focus on tangible things to give your brain a rest.
10. Set Healthy Goals & Boundaries
Mental Health, in addition to physical health, is important. It is beneficial to our mental health to have a purpose and goals can give one. Make sure to set some small easily reachable goals and celebrate yourself once completed. Boundaries will keep you from getting too over worked or agreeing to do more than you can handle. Please make a hard boundary for your self care. You need time for you and you are your only advocate.
Most of these can overlap with each other. Get creative and find ways for them to combine. I gave a few examples like putting your skin care routine and social media detox at bedtime. Beyond that you could take a friend or your mom with you on a walk. Have a rest day where you add in relaxing activities and personal hygiene. They always say on the airplane to, “put on your mask before helping others” this is so that you can help others without damaging yourself. You will be able to help more people if you are taken care of and healthy. Refill your own cup, before pouring into others.
Leave a Reply