Self-care is so important and it isn’t as simple as just putting your own needs first. It means actively making choices to take care of yourself in order to be better equipped to handle the stresses of everyday life. Self-care isn’t just a nice-to-have, but an essential part of living a happy and healthy life. The more you practice self-care, the stronger and happier you’ll become. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but the benefits are massive. Self-care isn’t always easy and that’s precisely why it can be so incredibly challenging. It is something that many of us struggle with on a daily basis. But once we understand how beneficial it is for our own personal happiness, things get a lot easier from there.
Know your limits and build self-care habits
Self-care should never be used as an excuse to be lazy and to put yourself before everyone else. This is often the misconception that many people have. Instead, it’s about learning how to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping other people do the same. This means knowing how to set boundaries and when to say no. It means recognising your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as your limits. Knowing your limits means knowing when you need a little more help, a little more rest, or a little more space. It means knowing when you’re overextending yourself and putting too much on your plate. It also means knowing what your limits are when it comes to your time and energy. We can only do so much at a time, and it’s important to know what those limits are.
Lay down the groundwork
Start by taking inventory of your life. What are your daily routines like? What are your habits? What are your relationships like? Are they healthy and positive or do they require some work? What are your priorities at this point in your life? What are your goals, both long-term and short-term? Where could you improve? Once you know where you could use a little more support, you can begin to add self-care into your regular routine. Maybe your daily habits could use a little more positivity, or your relationships could use a little more work. Making positive changes to your lifestyle can help lay the groundwork for building a stronger foundation for self-care. These are things that you can’t just turn off and on. They need to be an active part of your lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to let other people help you. This isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Asking for help can be scary at first, but it can also be incredibly empowering. It means that you recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and that you’re letting other people help you with the things that you can’t do on your own. This can mean asking a friend or family member to watch the kids while you take a break or go to a yoga class. It can mean going to therapy and connecting with a mental health professional to help you unpack some of the things that are weighing you down. It can mean connecting with a doctor to get the medical care that you may need. While these aren’t things that you can turn off and on, they are incredibly important for taking better care of yourself.
Remember that you are more than just a caretaker
Many people who actively practice self-care are caretakers. They are people who feel responsible for taking care of others and putting their own needs last. While this isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes it can go too far. It’s important to remember that you are more than just a caretaker. You have a life, dreams, and goals of your own that deserve your time and energy. You deserve to live a happy and healthy life, just like everyone else. You deserve to put your oxygen mask on before helping others do the same. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the daily stresses of life and forget to take care of yourself. If you’re constantly putting others first, you’ll never have time to take care of yourself. Taking time out of your day to actively practice self-care can help you stay on track and remember that you’re not just a caretaker.
Take time for yourself every day
This can vary depending on your lifestyle and what you consider self-care. Some people like to go to the gym every day, while others prefer to meditate. Some people enjoy going for a walk, while others like to sit in silence. Whatever form of self-care works for you, it’s important to take time for it every day. This can be challenging with busy lifestyles and lots of responsibilities, but it’s essential to take the time that you need. It’s also important to remember that while some forms of self-care are one-and-done, others are continuous. For example, going to the gym might be something that you do every day while going to the spa might be something that you save for once or twice a month. Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to how and when self-care should be implemented, it is essential that you take the time for it.
Make your bed an easy, self-care win
This may seem silly, but making your bed can be incredibly impactful for your mental health. Studies have shown that the simple act of making your bed every day can improve your mental health, satisfaction, and happiness. It may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s an easy way to practice self-care. It only takes a few minutes and can make you feel a lot better when you wake up in the morning. You can even make it a part of your morning routine and do it before you go to sleep. There are other ways to make your bed a part of your self-care routine as well. You can add scents to your bedroom, such as essential oils, to calm your mind and body. You can add decorative pillows, blankets, or sheets to your bed to make it feel more like a sanctuary. You can add soothing sounds to your bed, such as nature sounds or meditative music. You can also write down three things that you’re grateful for each day and keep them in bed.
Commit to exercising regularly
Exercising is one of the most effective things that you can do for your mental health. It releases endorphins, improves your sleep, and boosts your mood. It’s an easy way to take better care of yourself. You don’t have to go to the gym or run a marathon to get the benefits of exercising. Even just taking a 20-minute walk outside a few times a week can make a world of difference. You can also make your workout more effective by committing to it a few times a week. It’s important to not overdo it and injure yourself, but when you commit to a regular routine, you make it easier to keep up on a daily basis. It can also help you mentally prepare for the rest of your day because you get your energy out and have time to relax and recover afterwards.
Treat yourself with massages and spa treatments
Spending a few dollars on getting a massage or going to a spa day once in a while can be an easy way to practice self-care. This can be incredibly helpful for your mental health and reduce your stress and anxiety levels. You can also create your own spa day at home by turning on a few soothing ambience items, like scented candles or calming sound machines. You can also use self-massage techniques, like with a tennis ball, to help relieve muscle tension in your body. Another way to treat yourself is to go shopping for new clothes or accessories. Buy something for yourself that you’ve been wanting to get for a while. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so, but it can be a great boost to your self-esteem and self-confidence when you know you’re treating yourself.
Remember that you deserve self-care as much as anyone else.