If you’re ill, feeling less than confident in yourself, and not caring about it, you’re not doing yourself or your family any good.
This is why self-care is so important.
Having a self-care plan can help you stay motivated and inspired.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care encompasses many things.
It’s a way of caring for your overall health – it’s a focus on not just your physical and mental health, but also your emotional and spiritual health.
Self-care is about taking care of yourself, ensuring that your body gets the nourishment it needs (inside and out), and finding time for fitness.
It’s really just about caring about your own feelings and your body. If you spend some time focusing on your health and well-being, then you’re practicing self-care.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
When you’re not taking any time to focus on your well-being, it can wear you down. You’ll start to feel stressed.
Stress can make you irritable, which you might cause you to take it out on your loved ones. By taking time out for overall wellness, you can avoid much of this stress.
Stress does lots of bad things to the body. It produces cortisol, which contributes to weight gain. It can cause health issues, including heart problems. It can also cause work problems and relationship problems. The good thing is, stress is avoidable.
Integrating Self-Care into Your Life
Your health and well-being are important. If you want to take some time to better care for yourself, here are some of the things you should be doing, aside from your regular visit to the doctor. The doctor can’t fix everything, and your wellness is your responsibility.
Even if you’re at the perfect weight, or you’re simply happy with your body the way it is, that’s no reason not to exercise. A good cardio workout is heart and mind healthy. When you get that heart rate up, you release feel-good chemicals in your brain.
You’re also exercising the muscles that help you walk, lift, and move in general. There are tons of health benefits when it comes to fitness, so fit in at least twenty minutes a day, even if it’s just a walk to the party store.
2. Healthy Eating
Just like fitness, eating the right foods is good for your entire body. What you put into your body affects it in one of two ways – it either does good things or it does bad things. Raw, natural, fresh foods full of vitamins and minerals have the best effect on your health. Refined and overly processed foods have negative effects, including weight gain and heart disease.
3. Good Hygiene
You’ll feel better after you take a shower. Even on the worst days, a nice, cleansing shower can make a huge difference in your mood toward yourself and the rest of the world. Brush your hair, brush your teeth, put on deodorant, and know that you’ve cared for yourself.
4. Stop Bad Habits
Once you’re eating healthily, it makes sense to drop the other bad habits that are putting toxins into your body. This includes smoking. Ditch the cigarettes and lower your risk of cancer and lung diseases.
Many bad habits people have revolve around diet – like sugar addictions, binge eating, alcoholism, and drinking soda.
Work hard to cut out the toxins, and you’ll have better health and more energy.
5. Practice Meditation
Exercise and a healthy diet are both good for your mind and body, and so is meditation. While you may think meditation is more about emotional well-being and mental health, it also helps with your overall health.
Meditation has been used for lowering blood pressure, curbing chronic pain, helping with insomnia, and reducing stress.
You can search for specific guided meditations on YouTube to help with what ails you, or you can just take some quiet time each day to focus on your breathing.
Just as alone time is good for the mind and the soul, so is time with other people. Find yourself a tribe of like-minded people that have your best interests in mind and spend some time with them a couple of times a week. The time socializing will do your mind good.
How to Find Time for Self-Care
It doesn’t take a lot of extra time out of your day to practice self-care. In fact, most of the things on this list are things you should be doing on a daily basis anyway. Focus a little more time on healthy meals and healthier habits, and you’ll feel better about yourself and spend less time stressing.
Feature image via Chicago Sun-Times