In a society that encourages us to work longer hours for our dream, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Sure, we will shower every morning, and share coffee with our co-workers on Mondays and remind ourselves that we’re lucky to be employed.
But we should know that self-care is more than fleeting moments throughout the day when we try to catch a break and balance our emotions. Instead, self-care should be a state of mind, the climate in which we do all other things.
Our most important task during each day was making sure that we take care of our bodies and our minds from the dawn of time. We are the only ones that are responsible for keeping ourselves healthy and happy.
The best chance we’ve got against whatever life will throw at us is to make sure we’re as strong – mentally and physically – as we can be. So how can you employ the best self-care practices, and why are they so crucial for your well being?
Stress Is A Silent Killer
Stress seems to be all the rage on the Internet. Bloggers keep recommending bubble baths, and HR departments send e-mails about the so-called “mindfulness”. The truth is, people can live with chronic stress and not even know it.
Common symptoms of stress include physical and emotional distress, like:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Headaches, dizziness or tremors
- Exhaustion or insomnia
- High blood pressure
- Stomach or digestive issues
- Weak immune system
- Decreased sex drive
While a medical professional cannot measure stress, you can determine yourself if you’ve been under pressing conditions. And anyone can benefit from lower cortisol levels so that you could try planning some stress-relieving activities into your schedule.
Get Rid Of Your Couch Potato Tendencies
Your best bet against stress is exercise. If you’ve slacked in the gym department for a while, starting an exercise schedule can be daunting. Instead, try to take a few brisk walks through the park or around the block. This will not only raise your spirits but will also be a great, easy way to start working out again after a slump.
Also, try to remember that we weren’t all made for hitting those heavyweights. Some people prefer riding their bike or dancing like no one’s watching. As long as you keep your body moving with consistency, you will soon realise you’re a calmer, happier person.
Leave Your Worries On Paper
I’m a big advocate of any form of artistic expression. While mastery activities such as painting or singing are not as fun for us, talentless mortals, writing in a journal is just as effective. Taking a few minutes out of your day to let your emotions roam free on a piece of paper can do wonders for your mood.
You will find you are a lot less encumbered, and having the chance to explore your mental scenery without shame or judgement will allow you to get closer to who you are.
Moreover, you can use your journal to organise your time better, set goals, divide them into more achievable steps, practice gratitude, and even visualise your best life. There are no limits to the benefits you can sow from as little as ten minutes of writing, and the best thing is that you can always revise your notes. This will allow you to get a broader perspective on your emotions and spot any negative patterns that might hold you down.
Learn To Properly Relax In Your Free Time
You’ve been binge-watching Netflix for hours, but you still feel exhausted and overwhelmed. It happens to the best of us. When you’re having troubles letting go of your responsibilities and your mind seems never to stop attacking you regarding your tasks, there are better ways to cope than watching TV or letting yourself slip into social media scroll-hell.
Instead, you could try breathing techniques that will allow your mind to slow down and your body to enter a proper relaxation mode. Meditation is another powerful tool that will not only relax you as you’re practising it but make you an overall more content and fulfilled person.
There are countless apps and online guides that will allow you to pick up this hobby. And to make this deal even sweeter, neuroscience proved that long-time meditators have the same amount of grey matter in their pre-frontal cortex as someone 25 years younger! It’s a literal fountain of youth.
When kids need to be fed and dressed for school, and your boss is calling you during your off days, it can certainly be hard to find the time for yourself. But staying positive and making sure that you fulfil your responsibilities to yourself can do wonders on your outlook of life.
Life is certainly unpredictable, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. If you tell yourself that self-care is a priority, you will always find ten minutes to unwind and get ready for the battle properly. I believe in you! Now it’s your turn.