Self-care is more than just pampering ourselves – self-care is a necessity in order to reduce stress and maintain your short- and long-term health and well-being. When we get stressed, it’s common to ignore or not prioritize the things that might make us feel better. When you start to look at self-care as a necessity and not a luxury, you will begin to make time to take care of yourself.
Having a foundation for a self-care routine can improve your mental, emotional and physical health. Some of the benefits of prioritizing a routine include:
- Reducing or eliminating anxiety and depression
- Reducing stress
- Increasing happiness
- Adaptability to changes
- Building strong relationships
- Reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
This month, Dr. Gray and her team are focusing on the importance of self-care as part of their getting back to the basics 2022 series.
Take Care of Yourself to Take Care of Others
There is a reason why you are instructed to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others on an airplane. When you take care of yourself, you have more of a positive impact on those around you. Prioritizing self-care does not mean you are choosing yourself over those around you. It simply means you are being mindful of your needs in order to support your loved ones and meet their needs.
Self-care practices are to recharge your health, well-being, and energy. If you’re struggling with where to start in creating a self-care routine, here are some simple steps to help you get started:
- Move your body
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Prioritize a sleep schedule
- Schedule time to participate in self-care activities
- Set boundaries with those around you
Consider self-care practices as a means of restoring your energy. When you promote a healthy physical and emotional well-being, you are also modeling healthy behaviors for those around you. Having that conversation with your loved ones and setting boundaries will not only help with your self-care routine but also encourage others to prioritize a routine for themselves.
One Step at a Time
The best way to start incorporating “me time” into your routine is to start slow. Begin with a list of activities that bring you joy. These activities do not need to be elaborate or take a lot of planning, they could be as simple as taking a walk outside, writing in your journal, or meditating. Any activity that makes you feel better, is worth time out of your day.
When you start with small-self care goals, it becomes easier to create a habit out of self-care and reduces the feelings of disappointment if you can’t get it all done in one day. The small efforts you make in prioritizing self-care are also easier to accomplish if you schedule them into your day. If it’s scheduled like you would any other meeting, you’re more likely to make a conscious effort to make it happen.
When you start to consider your self-care plan, make sure you keep in mind activities that will benefit your overall well-being. Some additional ideas to keep in mind when developing your self-care plan are:
- Taking care of your physical and psychological health
- Managing and reducing stress
- Recognizing emotional and spiritual needs
- Fostering and sustaining relationships
- Achieving balance in different areas of life
It’s important to remember that self-care is about doing your best. If you didn’t get what you wanted done today, there’s always tomorrow.
Self-Care Builds Strength
When you start to think of self-care as a necessity, it no longer becomes selfish. Make sure to have those difficult conversations with the ones around you and explain to them that in order to be open and share time with them, you need to take care of yourself. You can even consider doing things together with your loved ones and support one another around their self-care goals.
Set boundaries with those around you so you take care of yourself. Once you become comfortable with making yourself a priority, it reinforces that you can take care of yourself and, in doing so, take care of those around you.
With a self-care routine that brings you joy, you’ll experience the benefits of a healthier mind and body. Your new self-care routine will also promote a sense of well-being that continues to encourage you to make yourself a priority. The benefits of a healthy routine also include being your best for the people who need you.
Did you miss last month’s blog that focused on Spirituality? Check it out here!