The truth is the best relationship you can have is the one that you have with yourself. Self-care is a critical part of maintaining this all important and nurturing relationship with yourself. The truth is — life gets busy. And sadly, self-care is all too often the first to go. You are not alone if your job, family and household responsibilities take precedence over your own needs. In fact, studies show that 1 in 3 Americans feels bad about taking time for themselves, even though 67 percent desperately want more time for self-care.
We don’t hesitate to call out of work sick when we have a sore throat or cold. It is acceptable and expected. Our mental health is equally as important as our physical health. Yet, our mental health takes a spot on the back burner. The thought of calling out for the day when we need to relax or feel burned out or run down is looked down upon and not common place at all. With the average American working harder than ever and having relatively little vacation time compared to the rest of the world – taking a “mental health” day every now and again makes sense. In fact, taking a day to care for your mental health will leave you healthier, refreshed and more productive at work in both the short and long run.
What is Self-Care, Anyway?
Self-care is doing good for the mind, the body and the soul. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be luxurious. It simply needs to be time spent focusing on restoring health, reducing stress and enhancing energy.
The benefits of self-care are far-reaching. They include:
- Increased productivity
- Lessened anxiety and depression
- Increased production of “feel good” hormones
- Increased happiness and joy
- Positive physical health benefits
Taking care of yourself is easy. Finding the time to prioritize yourself can be difficult. This week set aside some time for just you. If you don’t have a full day, focus on yourself for an hour. Small increments of less time consuming activities that focus on just you can be equally beneficial. We hope you enjoy these ten ways to get started with self-care.
- Don’t set the alarm. Wake up to your body’s own natural sleep and wake rhythm.
- Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and a fresh fruit salad.
- Surround yourself with people who make you smile.
- Write down at least ten things that you love about yourself.
- Take a warm bath with essential oils.
- Give yourself permission to draw boundaries and say no the things that no longer serve you.
- Take a walk outside. Breathe deeply in the fresh air. Enjoy the sunshine!
- Buy yourself some fresh cut flowers or pick your own bouquet.
- Read some feel good poetry or inspirational quotes.
- Ask yourself: What do I need? And make plans to make self-care a priority every day.