Self Care Is Cool
We know you’ve seen them, we all have; the countless bloggers and influencers hashtagging SELFCARE under every single post they make. The concept of self-care has become a buzzword, but it’s far more than that. Self-care is an essential part of making it through our lives, feeling mentally and physically well. A lot is going on around us all the time; Russia invading Ukraine, the five-day 8-5 workweek, crime rates soaring, inflation rates soaring…the world can be harsh and at times unforgiving.
Taking proper care of ourselves both mentally and physically allows us to handle the bad times without caving under pressure. It will enable us to be present in the good times and celebrate them when they come. Self-care is many different things to different people in different circumstances. While a lot of what we’re sold as self-care these days is just visiting a luxurious spa (don’t get us wrong, we love a spa visit, and it definitely CAN be a form of self-care), there’s more to it than bubble baths and eating ice cream. Self-care is a complex and layered idea, so we’ve broken it down into a few simple tips that will help you care for your mental and physical self in better ways.
1. Set Boundaries
Too often, we are overwhelmed by demands on our time and effort. Setting up healthy boundaries and learning when to say no or enough is a great way to minimize stress and anxiety in your life. You don’t owe anyone an explanation if your answer to an invitation or when asked for a favor is no. That said, we should always consider the person on the other end of the equation and think about how we would like to be treated if the situation were reversed. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, there’s no way you’ll have enough energy left to pour into yourself and the things that make you feel grounded and happy. Instead of worrying about FOMO or being perceived in a bad way, worry about yourself and what your body and mind need.
2. Move Your Body
Exercise helps keep both our minds and bodies healthy. Exercise is not only a way to stay fit and keep your body functioning well but also a way for you to blow off steam or zone out for a while as you listen to a podcast on the treadmill. Exercise releases dopamine, the body’s happy hormone. Dopamine makes us feel GREAT, and who doesn’t love that?
3. Get Enough Sleep
This might seem obvious, but so many people don’t get enough sleep on a nightly basis that we thought we should point it out. When we sleep, our mind has a chance to shut down and regenerate a bit. That “clean slate” feeling we get in the mornings won’t be there if we’ve gone to bed at three and gotten up at eight for work or slept poorly the whole night. Getting a sleep routine in place can help if you stay up too late or sleep poorly. Get into bed at the same time every night and switch off all electronics for at least an hour before going to sleep.
4. Get Organized
Organization in your personal life and at work can help take a lot of stress and anxiety out of your days. Keep a daily planner by your desk; every day when you sit down to work, make a list of the day’s tasks and cross them off as you finish them. Not only does this ensure that nothing gets forgotten, but it feels great when your “to-do list” is all done! Put all of your social commitments into a calendar as soon as you make them. If you need to think about a commitment before making it, say that to the person extending the invitation. I’m sure they would prefer you think it over now than flake on the day because you overcommitted!
5. Get Outside
Spend time in nature; this can correlate with your exercise, or it can be just for fun. Either way, time in nature tends to hit the reset button for most people and is a massive de-stressor. Figure out of you like the beach or the woods and spend time there whenever you can.
6. Treat Yourself!
This is where that luxurious spa trip comes in handy. Or a kid-free day at the movies. Or weekend away by yourself. Or motorbike ride down the coast. Figure out what you like to do by yourself, for yourself, and work it into your schedule and budget. There’s no time more important than the time you spend on yourself.
7. Eat Well
By this, we do not mean a diet. Diets are bad, and so is diet culture! What we do mean is eating in a way that ensures you get all the nutrients that your body needs every single day. You can and absolutely should pig out on cake if you want to! But be sure your body has what it needs before giving it what it wants; this goes for water, too. Your body can’t function properly if it’s dehydrated!
8. Don’t Take It Too Seriously
Remember to have FUN. Life is short, and we only have so many chances to enjoy ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us. While there might be a lot going on in the world, you should never forget that life is for living. With these self-care tips, you should be self-caring like a pro in no time!