Self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It keeps your body, mind, and spirit healthy so that you can be at your best and live your best life possible. The trick is figuring out how to practice self-care in today’s world with so many distractions, temptations, and obligations constantly vying for your attention. Here are seven ways to practice self-care that you can adopt in your daily life today!
Self-care is not selfish. It is selfless. We cannot pour from an empty cup.Kim McMillan
1) Take Time For Yourself
If you want to live a healthy life and be at your best, it’s vital that you take time for yourself. You deserve it! Take some time for physical activity, eat well, get enough sleep and don’t forget about taking care of your mental and emotional needs either. Finally, don’t forget about your spiritual self—our bodies are only one part of who we are!
2) Eat Well
Nourishing your body with healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, is essential for physical health. When you’re eating well, your body can work more efficiently; whether you’re pumping iron or sitting at a desk all day, you have more energy. Mental health can also be impacted by what we eat; eating junk food can make us feel tired and lethargic. Being mindful of what we eat helps keep our bodies nourished and our minds focused.
3) Sleep Well
Getting enough sleep not only improves your quality of life but also enhances your physical, mental, and emotional health. Your body needs time each night to repair cells, rest your brain and restore muscle tone. Avoiding sleep problems by getting between seven and nine hours of shut-eye every night is a great way to practice self-care. Focus on becoming more of a morning person if you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up often during one part of the night.
Make a commitment to write in your journal every day. Writing down your thoughts and feelings will give you an outlet for all those pent-up emotions, and it’ll keep you mindful of what’s important in your life.
5) Practice Gratitude
Believe it or not, one of your best self-care practices comes before you even step out of bed in the morning. Studies show that setting aside time for gratitude is linked with increased happiness and decreased stress levels. Practice gratitude by listing five things you’re grateful for each night before bed, or by keeping a journal and writing down three things you’re grateful for at least once a week. You might be surprised how much more positive your outlook becomes when you focus on what makes life worth living!
6) Spend Time with People You Love
Humans are social creatures. We need other people to thrive. When you spend time with friends and family, you’re giving yourself a chance to reconnect and decompress from whatever stresses your life may bring. Find ways to connect with loved ones without overdoing it—and don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you haven’t done enough self-care.
A recent study found that people who exercised regularly reported fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue than those who didn’t. If you exercise daily or almost daily, you’re also less likely to turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. Keep up with your running/yoga/swimming, and also consider meditation, journal (keeping a written record of your thoughts and feelings), eating well (including breakfast!), and getting enough sleep.
There’s no one path toward good self-care. You have your own, unique practices that make you feel nurtured and centered. That said, here are a few things that many of us tend to overlook: physical exercise, eating well, paying attention to our spiritual side and getting enough sleep. These all go a long way toward ensuring we’re at our best. So choose just one of these today—and make it a habit!