Take care of you
No matter what age or stage in life you’re at, it can be easy to get caught up in looking after everyone but yourself. If you’re someone who tends to find yourself constantly doing for others, it can be a challenge to put yourself first. But the simple fact is that you have to nourish yourself in order to have the mental and physical energy needed to help others. So go ahead—fill your cup first for a change!
Looking after yourself is good for you. It means you’ve given yourself permission to do things like go to the doctor for regular check ups, schedule important health screenings (like a mammogram or colonoscopy), take time off when you’re sick, visit the dentist regularly, and get regular exercise—even if it’s in short 10 or 15-minute bursts. Making time for yourself is also important for your mental health because it allows you to relax, de-stress and recharge your emotional batteries.
If this all seems easier said than done, work your way through this list of tips that will help you see that self-care is something that you can make a priority in your life.
4 ways to help make self-care part of your daily routine
- Choose your time wisely. It’s critical to carve out a designated amount of “me time” each and every day. If all you can spare is 15 minutes, take it. If you can manage 30, 60 or even 90 minutes, that’s even better. Look at your to-do list, shuffle things around, delete where possible, and make space for you.
- Prioritize. It’s sad when “me” becomes the last priority on your list. Change that. Reevaluate the commitments you’ve made and drop any that aren’t serving you or your family any longer, say “no” more often, make efficient use of your time, and ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Enjoy yourself. This is the fun part! Think about all the things you love doing—the things that relax you, excite you, inspire you, and make you feel more alive and more “you” when you’re doing them. Once you have your list, incorporate some or all of those things into your week during those precious minutes you’ve carved out of your day. Maybe it’s 15 minutes with a hot cup of tea and a good book or a 60-minute art class. Maybe it’s a 20-minute nap! Having these moments to look forward to will help you push through the rest of your day as you’re caring for everyone else.
- Make sure it counts. If exercising is a chore for you, don’t count that 30 minutes at the gym as your “me time.” Keep going, but make sure to find another block of time to do something you truly enjoy.
We really need to stop feeling guilty about caring for ourselves as much as we care for others. You are the most important person in your life, and without making sure there’s a healthy balance between what you do for yourself and what you do for others, it’s impossible to make anyone truly happy—especially you.
For 45 simple self-care practices for a healthy mind, body and soul, visit Tiny Buddha.
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