In this day and age, taking care of yourself seems counterintuitive, even self-serving. Most of us grew up hearing that we need to consider the needs of others before ourselves. But the truth of the matter is, we can’t pour from an empty cup.
Other people are going to need us— that’s a part of life. But if we have nothing to give them, we not only don’t help them, we become more and more depleted until we’re overwhelmed, exhausted, and out of the game.
The solution is simple: planning and implementing healthy self-care strategies. This not only helps our own well being, but leaves us far better equipped to help others. Here are some of the suggestions we give our clients who need to replenish their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Are You Taking Care of Yourself?
- Make sure you’re getting regular check-ups. Don’t wait till something goes wrong to start taking care of yourself. Make sure you check in regularly with your:
- OBGYN or Proctologist
- And any other specialist you see regularly.
- Do whatever you can to be physically active throughout the day. Something as simple as a short walk or a few situps each day can make a big difference— consistency is key.
- Keep track of your nutrition and healthy weight goals. If you are not at a healthy weight, don’t starve yourself (or completely remove entire elements from your diet). Simply focus on balanced meals with high-protein, nutrient-rich foods. [and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.]
- No matter your size or shape, there is no reason to force yourself into clothes that are physically uncomfortable and constricting. Work with a tailor, seamstress, or a company like StitchFix to find clothes and looks for your body type, and watch your stress decrease and your confidence grow
- Do whatever you can to maintain healthy sleep habits. Getting plenty of sleep lets your mind relax, and your body heal, rebuild and replenish what it needs to get you through another day.
- Keep a journal or running list of things you are grateful for each day.
- Remove time-consuming apps from your devices— and try to limit your screen time.
- Change your scenery when you notice yourself getting bored, agitated, or stressed. Pay attention to the lighting and organization of your space to help with this.
- Make sure you are regularly engaged in activities that benefit you emotionally:
- Attending your place of worship
- Breathing exercises
- Spending time outdoors
- Listening to your favorite music, or reading a book you love
- Schedule time for relaxation and rejuvenation— just like you schedule work, social time, and family errands—resting is a priority, too.
- Make time for recreation, leisure, and play.
- Spend time with family, friends, and others who matter the most to you.
- Find a friend and/or loved one who can hold you accountable for your self-care
- For many, professional counseling or coaching is extremely beneficial in developing healthy strategies and habits for stress reduction and promoting our well being. Just like with our physical care, we don’t have to wait until something is wrong to begin caring for our emotions. Asking for help is one of the healthiest things you can do.
It’s amazing how transformative the decision to take care of yourself physically and emotionally can be. The smallest steps can make the biggest difference, as long as they are done intentionally and consistently. You’ll notice an improvement not only in how you feel, but in the spirits and attitudes of people around you who are seeing the positive changes you’ve made. There’s no time like the present to start taking care of yourself— and start feeling better.
What are some of your favorite strategies for self-care? Share your success stories in the comments!