Do you practice daily selfcare? I know what you might be thinking. You can’t afford some relaxing vacation to a hot spring. You don’t even have time to take a bubble bath at home. Thankfully, that is not what self-care is all about. It does not have to be elaborate, timeconsuming or expensive. Self-care is anything that is for you, by you. It is about stress management, keeping your physical health in check, knowing your self-worth and balancing your work and life. In other words, it is not about self-indulgence, but about daily maintenance so we can be our healthiest selves.
It is ok to treat yourself. Here are some easy ways to get into a self-care routine:
Deep breathing or mindful walking are great options, and, there are many free meditation apps you can download. You can meditate for three minutes, five minutes or it can be up to two hours. For many, I’d recommend taking about 20 minutes per day.
Find something or someone who makes you laugh and bust a gut. It really helps, and studies have shown that if you smile, even if you are not feeling it, you train your brain to be happier. Your brain registers the change in the muscles in your face and it relays back a feeling of happiness.
A plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and other lean proteins, as well as healthy fat sources is the ideal diet. And aside from helping you feel your best, it helps decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
4. Sleep eight hours every day.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your memory, your problem-solving skills, your creativity and make you irritable and unable to concentrate. A lack of sleep also can negatively affect your blood sugar levels and raise your blood pressure.
Self Care: By Jeremy A. Llavore, M.D. Family Medicine, Carilion Clinic
This is certainly a tough one for many of us, but it is vital to have good boundaries, know what you are capable of and understand where your strengths lie. Instead of saying yes to everything, focus on saying yes to the things you are confident about and make you feel good. Don’t say yes just because you are uncomfortable saying no.
The only mistake you can make when it comes to self-care is ignoring it.
Taking care of everyone else and not yourself is not self-care, and it is not going to hurt anyone else in the long run except yourself. It can feel uncomfortable and maybe even a little self-indulgent at first, but making these little decisions daily add up to a healthier life in the end.