There’s been a lot of talk about self-care lately, but what is it and why is it important?
At its simplest level, self-care is about treating yourself with kindness. It’s about recognizing what you need in order to feel happy and well – whether that be meditation, exercise, or simply meeting a good friend for coffee. It’s a vital component of a healthy lifestyle.
Without enough self-care, we can neglect our bodies’ basic needs – eating on the run, reaching for junk food, or skipping meals entirely. Exercise falls by the wayside and we might get by on less sleep than we need.
Signs you need more self-care
Wondering if you’re giving your body enough self-care? Here are a few signs your body might be craving a little more love.
- You feel insecure –You put pressure on yourself to do more, be more and have more instead of celebrating what you've done.
- You often feel stressed or overwhelmed – You take on too much, feel anxious or feel like you never have any down time.
- You are paying less attention to your body’s needs – you don’t get enough sleep, you skip meals and have no time to exercise.
- You seek comfort from food– when you are stressed or unhappy, you often reach for comfort foods to feel better.
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Practice self-care in three simple ways
If you recognize yourself in the list above, it might be time to incorporate a little self-care into your life. Showing yourself a little extra care might even help you get healthier.
- Celebrate little wins, small things matter.
Small achievements in life can bring you joy and confidence, don’t ignore them because they are small, instead, celebrate each one of them as they will encourage you to keep going in achieving bigger dreams. Say ‘well done’ to yourself, share the joy with family and friends, or award yourself for something special, maybe a movie or a massage.
- Learn to say “no” to others sometimes and say yes to yourself.
Refusing others can be hard, but if you are already overworked or under pressure, you should learn to politely say no to avoid over-extending yourself. It may take a little practice; always remember the burnout, anxiety, and irritability of forcing yourself to do more is not good for your relationship with others, and it is not healthy for your mental and physical health. Instead, listen to your body’s signals, say yes when it tells you to rest, de-stress or eat well, and always leave some down time for yourself.
- Schedule your self-care time, slowly it will become a habit.
Pay attention to your needs by making a self-care schedule. Start with a nightly routine like setting up a cut-off time for eating and drinking, especially for caffeine and sugar, to avoid certain foods keeping you awake. Try to do something relaxing, and make sure your bedroom is the best suitable place to sleep. You can also set an alarm to remind yourself about bed time, so your body can have a full 8-hour rest.
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy, but it is never too late to start. Incorporate small self-care tasks into your daily routine; soon they will turn into good habits- boosting your well-being not only today, but forever.