Staying healthy and paying attention to the self shouldn’t just be as a reaction to illness or negative situations. It should be a constant priority, with self care not only seen as an enjoyable way to live, but also as a preventative measure for worsening health, whether that’s the mind, body or soul.
If you feel as though your self care could do with a significant boost, try the following steps to help you get a better handle on it.
Make Self Care an Official Schedule
You’re not required to explain your self care needs to anyone. However, you may find it a lot easier to relax and keep up with your self care routine if you are open and honest about it. If you have friends who regularly like to socialize, be sure to let them know when you are in need of some time spent alone, or if there is an official day of the week you would like to avoid social plans in order to concentrate on yourself. If you are honest, they will understand. This is better than saying yes to all social and personal life responsibilities, and then becoming frustrated trying to fit self care time around all that.
If you live with others, whether roommates, a partner or a family, be sure to speak about when you need time alone, or which rooms are off limits when you need privacy.
If others know and understand, they can work with you to achieve your self care goals.
Set Up a Home Retreat
For those moments when you need relaxation time spent in a quiet environment away from the pressures of life and from others, you’ll require a room or space within your home where you can comfortably retreat to. You’re more likely to be able to relax and concentrate on yourself when you find a spot which isn’t usually spent working or as part of your living area. It’s much better for your self care retreat to only ever be used for self care, so that your mind can focus while you are there.
Consider how you would best optimize the space for your own comfort needs, and which surroundings and furnishings will best help to relax you.
Decide what function you want the space to serve – will it be a comfortable place to meditate? A place to sit and write in your journal? Perhaps just a cozy spot to curl up with a book?
Once you know how you best intend to use the space, fill it with things you love. Consider relaxed seating like that from Comfy Sack, fill with soft furnishings and relaxing colors, and add finishing touches like scented candles or incense. Anything that helps you to relax.
Pay Attention to Your Health
During a busy and demanding lifestyle, it’s easy to either ignore symptoms of declining health or fail to notice at all. These could be subtle symptoms, such as constantly feeling exhausted, feeling less positive about things or maybe just feeling run down. These are clear indicators that more focus is needed on your self care and personal routine.
If you are feeling run down, try the following methods to take better care of yourself:
- Always try to get enough sleep. If you feel exhausted, this could be a sign that you’re not getting enough – even if you always thought that you were. Try going to bed earlier and taking measures to eliminate distractions, and set your bedroom up to be a relaxing haven. A lack of sleep can also contribute to a less effective immune system and lower cognitive function, so it’s important to hit the hay in the best way.
- Consider whether you are working too hard. When was the last time you had a proper day off, or a full vacation? Being overworked can lead to strains on your body and your mind, so think about your work schedule carefully and take time off regularly.
- Ensure that you are getting plenty of exercise. A healthy fitness routine will not only keep your body in shape and working as it should, but can also help to make you feel more motivated. Find an exercise you enjoy and couple it with relaxation exercises and stretches, like yoga, as these can really help the mind, too.
- Make sure that you are consuming a healthy diet. Good food will make you feel better, it’s as simple as that. Having a healthy and varied diet will keep you energized, feeling your best and keep your body in the best shape. This includes drinking enough water, as dehydration and lack of water consumption can lead to feeling sluggish and contribute to headaches.
Care Less About What Others Think
This can often be difficult to accomplish. It’s a natural desire to not want to upset others and to spend time helping those around you, especially family and friends. However, in order to truly fulfil your own needs, you need to learn when to say no – without feeling guilty. Trying to please everyone, at all times, is impossible, and it’s only you who will end up suffering due to the effort you’re going to.
Say ‘yes’ to plans and people when you want to, and when it’s right – and always be sure to say ‘no’ if you don’t want to do something, or if you know that you need some time spent alone for a change. The people that matter will always understand, and the people who make you feel guilty for it perhaps shouldn’t be part of your plans anyway.
Self care shouldn’t be considered a luxury or an afterthought. Self care is fundamental to your own wellbeing, health and happiness – and not only that, but it’s your base right. Be honest with yourself in regards to what would make you happy and help you to relax when it comes to self care, and make sure you never feel guilty about taking the time to put these plans into action.