I know, I talk about self-care a lot lately. Partly because I don’t do it enough and I figure if I need a reminder, somebody else probably does too. We all know that we should make more effort to prioritize our own health, both physical and mental, but it can be a challenge at times figuring out where to start with this, especially if you have let things slip. *Guilty* I’ve always got a to-do list that I feel like is always a day late and a dollar short. The good news is that there are plenty of things that we can all do to turn things around. Here are 9 ways to look after yourself. Just take your pick and start with one of these this week.
You know your body better than anyone else and you will probably know when it is not running at its best. Any of these ideas should help you to feel brighter, but there is never a one size fits all answer. Just go with the ones that you know you can stick to or the ones that seem to target the area that you are currently most dissatisfied with and start there. The point is to relieve stress, not add more.
Get more sleep
So many of us survive on very little sleep these days. And that is all that we are doing, surviving. We are not likely to be feeling our best selves if we are struggling on each day, running on a few hours of broken sleep. Aim to go to bed a little earlier for a few nights and follow tips to get a better night’s sleep. Always make sleep a priority as there are only so many days and weeks that you can keep going and give your best self if you are tired. Sounds nice doesn’t it? I’m going to try implementing this one immediately…like right this minute!
Arrange to have some company
Socialize…with adults. Agree to a night out with friends, arrange to meet your sister in a coffee shop, plan a family meal or join a new club or class. Spending time in enjoyable company will give your mood an instant lift, it’s like getting a warm hug without having to channel Olaf. Do whatever makes you smile and laugh. You know those people that make you feel good, the ones in whose company you can completely relax and enjoy yourself. Make time to get together with them soon, just grab your phone and send off a few messages now so that you have those meet ups to look forward to. I’m getting exited about it already.
Drink plenty of water
Keeping our bodies properly hydrated is one of the easiest things that we can do and it will have a significant impact on your health. Trust me…I’m horrible at this apparently…don’t be me. Water keeps your skin supple, your muscles working effectively and it also relieves the pressure on your heart as a dehydrated body makes your heart work harder to pump your blood. You should also find that any headaches reduce and you feel brighter and sharper. Of all of the items on this list, this is probably the simplest one to take on board now, this very moment. Fill up your glass and just keep on refilling it all day.
How often do you ensure that you get your five a day? You need to try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and then think about balancing the rest of your diet. Foods like oily fish a couple of times a week, protein and healthy carbs will all serve to ensure that you are feeling in good shape. This is one of my current initiatives as well. Of course I’d like to drop a few pounds, mostly I just want more energy and to feel better overall. Whilst we all like to indulge from time to time in foods that we know are not good for us, everything in moderation is the key here. So if you know that your diet is currently focused on ready meals, takeaways and sugars, start making a few changes to redress the balance.
Take time out
Please someone send me to my room for the afternoon and take away all the devices. You feel me? When was the last time that you took some time out to do something for yourself, just for yourself? In today’s busy schedules this can seem to be an impossible task, yet it is so important for you to do it.
If there never seems to be any free time, then you really need to make some. Book it into your diary if you need to. It might be a full day, or perhaps just a half an hour here and there to take a step back and refresh yourself. Thirty minutes of nothing can make a big difference.
Give your body an extra boost
Your body may well benefit from additional vitamins and supplements, so carry out a little research to see what could work for you. It might be that you choose to opt for alternative treatments, such as CBD Oil, reflexology or reiki, just speak to your health professionals first and follow their guidance.
Settle down with a book
Did you know that after just six minutes of reading you will have a reduced heart rate and eased muscle tension? Reading can improve your memory function and alleviate stress and anxiety. It is also a pleasure to sit down with a book and get lost in its pages. I just saw a new one from my fave author, V.C. Andrews just came out so I’m pretty stoked to set some time aside for that! The other benefit here is that often you are reading rather than other, less beneficial pursuits. For example, you might be reading rather than looking at a screen or getting frustrated sitting on a long, delayed commute.
If you enjoy sports, take a look around in your area and see what is available. There might be local clubs you can join or perhaps there are lessons for you to take. Don’t rule out activities like this just because you have not tried them before if you haven’t been into sports before, the right one might be just around the corner. Getting active needn’t be all about sport and high energy activities, though. You might just enjoy some walks through the local woods, taking your dog out for a stroll more often or walking instead of driving from time to time. The fresh air, sunshine and movement will all be great for your body and mind.
Have a break from screens
When you reduce your screen time, you will find that you need to fill it with something else. Which is where the biggest win comes here, as you might then be connecting more with the people around you, getting more done around the home, reading and relaxing, getting out into the fresh air, gardening, journaling, there really are endless pursuits that can be undertaken instead, it could even just be getting an extra hour’s sleep.
All of these will bring more benefits than being on social media or playing video games, so commit to reducing your screen time for the next week and take note of how it makes you feel.
What do you do to take care of yourself? To re-charge and get the tension out? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!