3 SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL SELF CARE

June 24, 2019

3 SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL SELF CARE

Self-care sounds like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t we care for ourselves? That’s because, while self-care is a popular topic, it’s rarely explained thoroughly. Self-care is more than eating healthy and having proper hygiene, though those are components and important ones. The concept really boils down to making your mental and physical health a priority.

Once you get the whole picture, you’d be surprised what essential elements of self-care you’re neglecting. Broadly defining self-care is difficult because it’s a subjective experience. What works for one person may not have any effect on another. However, there are categories that everyone can engage with in a way that is meaningful to them. Here are three crucial self-care tasks you can take on today.

Redefine R&R

Many people wait to press the pause button that allows them to enjoy a little rest and relaxation until a long weekend or a beachside vacation. A key component of self-care, rest and relaxation should be at the top of your daily to-do list. While your monthly massage definitely counts, R&R can easily be peppered into your day-to-day routine by:

  • Taking a technology-free walk in nature. Researchers at Stanford University found that walking in nature, as opposed to an urban setting, can result in a lowered risk of depression.
  • Not taking your phone to bed. The blue light emitted from phones, tablets, and laptops is one of the major culprits behind sleep issues. So, dust off that old alarm clock and be sure to set it so you get a solid 8 hours.
  • Reading a book or a magazine. Set up a special area in your home—a comfy recliner with soft light or a hammock under a shade tree in the backyard—and get lost in your imagination.

Get adventurous

People often get stagnant, stuck in the same old routines that can make life feel like you’re simply treading water. Trying something new is a self-care technique that ignites our passion or life. Even something as simple as trying a new recipe, taking a different route to work, or rearranging your furniture can have a positive impact. However, if you really want to inject some spirit into your life, try:

  • Going on an outdoor activity, like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, backpacking or mountain biking.
  • Taking a solo trip, even just for a weekend, to a new place you’ve always wanted to see.
  • Starting a new hobby, like taking a painting class or dancing lessons or get really adventurous and try scuba diving or skydiving.

Reduce stress in and outside your home

Our lives are filled with stress; no one living in our modern society can escape it. For some people, stress is something they shake off during a hard workout, like Spin class or running. Others, like people with mental health concerns or who are in addiction recovery, have a more fragile relationship with stress. For them, stress management is vital to reducing or eliminating dangerous triggers. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the frustration, anger and fear that comes with stress. You can improve the way you manage stress by:

  • Trying a restorative yoga class—or follow along with one of hundreds of free online videos. Restorative yoga is all about stretching, loosening tight muscles and focusing on slow, deep breaths.
  • Taking meditation Whether you dedicate 10-20 minutes every morning or squeeze in 5 minutes of deep breathing throughout the day, meditation can restore your inner peace and boost your willpower.
  • Declutter your home. Studies have shown that clutter reduces focus, which in turn causes frustration. 
  • Saying no. It’s okay to tell someone you can’t do something, especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed. If saying no makes you uncomfortable, start with saying “not right now.”

 Just like any new habit, practice makes perfect. You may not get to all your self-care goals every day, but keep at it until it becomes a regular part of your life, as important and automatic as going to work or washing the dishes. Self-care is a simple, yet often overlooked, primary ingredient to our overall well-being. Pick two or three goals and work on them one day at a time to see lifelong results.

 

Brad Krause

brad@selfcaring.info

Writer/Owner

selfcaring.info/





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