Self-care. It’s something we probably all need help with. With the day to day chaos and stress of life, it seems as though putting ourselves on the back-burner is a natural response, right?
For some people, the simple thought of adding self-care into a daily regimen can seem inconvenient or intimidating. Thoughts like: “I don’t have time for that,” or “I have too many other things to do” start to infiltrate your mind. Which is ironic really… because in reality, avoiding self-care is going to end costing more in the long run.
In fact, repeatedly putting the needs of others before our own can can lead to stress and resentment and prevent us from being our best selves. So let’s talk about why now is a more important time than ever to prioritize yourself and practice self-care.
I will show you how.
1. Be More Mindful
Focusing on the present — without judging how we feel and what we think or what we have to do — can be both a liberating and healthy practice. This is known as mindfulness, and it has become ever-more-mainstream in recent years, right?
Studies show that getting in tune with ourselves through mindfulness improves well-being and brings down stress. Mindfulness also helps us see ourselves in a truer light.
This practice allows us to reflect and ask:
- What am I doing well?
- Where could I improve?
We call this self-regulation. We can’t know that something is off for us if we don’t know what our normal really is in the first place.
Mindfulness can in turn help you to keep your mind from wandering, stressing, and ultimately negatively impacting your emotional health. So, be gentle with yourself, but remain aware.
Express gratitude when you can – for things beyond you, but most importantly for things within; things you have done and things that you have.
This again will bring back that level of awareness to centre, and allow to worry less about what’s going on out there so you can focus within.
These days, it feels like everyone’s glued to a phone, laptop, or both at the same time.
While social media has its benefits, it can be quite misleading. Most often people only report on their success, and so it can be hard when you’re comparing your entire life to everyone’s highlight reels. Take the time to break away from social media, and allow yourself to focus on the beauty of the moment.
Deliberately taking a break from social media, e-mail, and so on can help us recharge and give our brain the downtime it needs to help us out of the comparison trap.
Perhaps for you this looks like one day a week, or an hour before bed every night – find what works for you.
This could also look like getting outside more. Ditching the comfort of your home is a great way to improve both your mental and physical health. In fact, research shows that simply being outside can improve your overall health.
3. Be Kind to Yourself
The most important part of all this is being kind to yourself. Don’t punish yourself for forgetting to go on a run or being too busy to sit down with a book. Self-care isn’t supposed to feel like a huge chore.
It’s more important that these changes are sustainable and nourishing, rather than a chore. So, if you go for a day of self-indulgence, don’t beat yourself up. Just try and do more to really care for yourself the next day. Progress not perfection.
Remember, by being your best self you’re able to share those beautiful feelings with those around you. Search for the good and watch the positivity grow.
Most importantly, remember that self-care isn’t a one time thing.
It’s the constant repetition of many tiny habits, which together help you to make sure you’re at your optimum—emotionally, physically, and mentally.
The best way to do this is to regularly implement tiny self-care habits every day; showing a little attention for your own body, mind, and soul.