Taking care of your wellbeing.
I’m sure you have heard the word Self-Care thrown around so many times, but what exactly is Self-Care. It is setting aside the time to take care of your own wellbeing whether it be physically or mentally and taking steps to ensure your happiness and reduce stress levels.
This year I embarked on a self-care journey where I actively invested time and energy into my self-care routines every week. Saying that self-care changed my life may sound like an exaggeration but it is not. Investing in my self-care made me a more content, healthier and less anxious person and I’m so glad that I did.
Here are a few self-care tips for those wanting to make a positive change.
1) Schedule some ‘ME’ time
The number one tip is obviously to make time for yourself and time to practice self-care. Just saying that you will do your self-care routine when you get the time is not enough. You need to set aside a few hours a week where you and only you are the priority, even if it means writing it into your calendar or phone as a reminder.
Set aside some alone time to drink a cup of tea on the balcony while watching the sunset, or take an evening stroll through the neighborhood while listening to your playlist, or lie on the couch and watch a feel-good movie. Do whatever makes you happy.
This past year I chose one day per week and dedicated 2-3 hours to just my self-care routine. This would usually be during my son’s naptime or after his bedtime on my day off from work. I made it a habit to squeeze in the time no matter what and reminded myself that it was a necessity.
2) Get the sleep you need
With so many things to do in a day and so little hours, sleep is often neglected. Sleep is a vital activity to maintaining your physical health. Your body needs that 8 hour reset in order to keep functioning at its best and keep going the next day. Give your body the 8 hours of rest it needs and it will thank you later.
To maximize on sleep, optimize your room and your body for sleep. Reduce your caffeine intake later in the day and make sure your room is a comfy and distraction-free environment. Set a bedtime and stick to it. An hour to your bedtime, you should start your wind-down process. You can dim the lights, take off the TV, take a bath, drink some chamomile tea and do a quiet activity till it is time for bed.
3) Get moving
Exercise is important for not only our physical health but also our mental health. It boosts our mood and reduces our stress levels. It also raises those feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
Being active gets the blood pumping, keeps us fit and can even help lose some excess weight. Exercise doesn’t only mean cardio, taking a walk, weight training and sports, it can be yoga as well which has the added benefits of deep breathing and calming exercises.
This past year I became serious with my exercising and would squeeze in 3 workouts per week. Of course losing 28 lbs this year was an extreme plus for me, but I absolutely loved how exercising made me feel about myself and my body.
4) Pamper yourself
Take the time to run through your full skincare and haircare routines, get your nails done, take a long warm bath/shower and get a massage. You have only one body, take care of it and show it the love it deserves. Do this and trust me you will thank me later. Not only will you look good but you feel great too.
My weekly self-care routine religiously included a full skincare routine as part of my pampering session. Not only did my skin improve and look better, but I felt better about myself as well.
5) Plan creative activities/hobbies
Look for a creative and relaxing activity to do in your scheduled quiet time. Whether it be reading a book, drawing/painting pictures or writing in a journal. Find an activity that you love doing that brings you peace and joy, and do that activity in the scheduled ‘ME’ time that you should have had from the first tip in this blog post.
This year I reintroduced myself to painting and coloring in my spare time which is quite fun and calming. I’ve also taken up reading books once again and I can’t believe I ever stopped doing it to begin with. I absolutely loved reading books as a child and completely forgot about my love for reading when life became too hectic.
An important side note is that I actually started this whole blog page as part of my self-care. It started off as writing in a journal and soon became a whole blog website just for the fun of it.
6) Learn to say “no”
One of the things that can easily lead to stress is not knowing that it is okay to say no. You don’t have to stretch yourself thin and do things that are too much of a hassle or do too many things in a short space of time.
Learn your limit and try not to cross it. Prioritize your list of stuff to be done and remember to put your own wellbeing first and foremost. You should never feel guilty about prioritizing your self-care.
7) Don’t neglect your mental health
Forget the stigma that the world has of mental health. Your mental health is important and the necessary steps should be taken to take care of it. Too many people suffer in silence with their depression and anxiety. Seek out a counselor or psychologist or someone you can talk to about it. You have no idea how much talking about your fears and stressors can be of help. Bottling it all inside is a no-no and is a recipe for disaster later on.
I hope these 7 tips were helpful to you in some way and I hope one of your new years resolutions will be to take your self-care seriously. You won’t regret it.