In our busy world, finding time for self care can be a real challenge. We tend to view self care as a treat or a reward, however, it is so important for keeping you healthy and strong, both physically and mentally. Are you uncertain about where to start with self-care, or struggling to fit it into your routine? Read through our guide and uncover a whole new you.
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. Removing yourself from situations where you don't feel loved, appreciated, valued, or respected is also a form of self care, it will look slightly different for everyone. It's best if you can recognize the warning signs when self care is necessary before things go into the red zone.
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 wellbeing, 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 wellbeing 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!
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.
Add small rituals to your daily routine that help you to cultivate self care. These may include:
Pencil it in. Recognize that it's ok to take care of yourself. You need to treat your self care time as a priority. Take the time to physically pencil it into your diary, 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. The most important thing is to find something that works for you.The self care that works when you're feeling overwhelmed may not be the same self care that works when you're depressed.
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. Sleep is essential for our body, so don’t skimp on the z’s.
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.
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.
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.