It's the weekend! Finally! In our busy world, finding time for self-care can be a real challenge. However, it's an important component for keeping you healthy and strong, both physically and mentally. "Self-care" seems to be a buzzword these days. Are you uncertain about where to start with self-care, or struggling to fit it into your routine? Here's how to get started! But first, let's start with the basics!
What is Self Care?
As the name suggests, “self-care” is the practice of taking time to look after your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. It will look slightly different for everyone. I repeat (for the folks in the back) it WILL look slightly different for everyone.
The good news is that incorporating self-care into your life does not have to be difficult.
What are the Benefits of Self Care?
We live in a world where employees are expected to work long hours, give up their free time, and dedicate themselves to work. This can come with negative repercussions, including the risk of burnout.
Burnout can result in you feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed, and has been proven to have a detrimental impact on your physical health. Self-care, therefore, is important in preventing yourself from getting to this stage. It offers a number of benefits:
- Reduced stress and anxiety. Taking time for regular self-care has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and this has a positive impact on your well-being, not to mention your productivity.
- Improved physical health. As well as offering mental benefits, self-care also reduces your risk of suffering from strokes, cancer, and heart attacks.
- Improved concentration. Neglecting your own well-being and happiness can reduce productivity. When you implement a regular self-care routine, you will find that your ability to focus is increased, offering benefits for you and your employer!
NOW...Let's get to the good stuff!
Six Steps To Self Care
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of self-care, you may be wondering how to incorporate it into your life.
Start by adding small rituals to your daily routine that help you to cultivate self-care. These may include:
- Pencil it in. You need to treat your self-care time as a priority. Take the time to physically pencil it into your diary, organizer, or planner (wherever you pencil in everything else), and don’t let yourself skip it.
- Find what you like. Self-care doesn’t have to be bubble baths and candles if that’s not your thing. That could be anything from sitting on your back patio with a glass of wine while listening to music to going hiking. The most important thing is to find something that works for you.
- Get comfortable with “no”. It can be easy to say “yes” to everything, either out of obligation or good old-fashioned FOMO (fear of missing out). This leads to us being overwhelmed and exhausted. Get comfortable with saying “no” if something doesn’t work for you.
- Get enough sleep. I'm preaching to the choir with this one, BUT sleep is essential for our body, so don’t skimp on the z’s. No scrolling social media late at night when you're supposed to be sleeping!
- Move your body. Even if you don’t feel like it, schedule time into your week to exercise. The endorphins will help your body look and feel its best. It doesn't always have to be time at the gym. It can be walking around the parking lot of your work complex, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking in place while on a business call. Guess what? It can even be throwing your own dance party and dancing yourself silly!
- Eat properly. It sounds obvious, but you need to fuel your body with goodness. Meal plan, prep in advance, and pack in those fruits and veggies. Your body will love you for it. We all know, when we fail to plan...we end up at McDonald's (or the equivalent)!
Creating a self-care routine shouldn’t be an obstacle - it needs to be your priority. Remember, you can only be your best self to others when you have taken care of your own needs first. You can never pour from an empty cup.
Take Good Care!