How To Improve Your Self-Care This Year

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And so another year is ahead of you. Did you happen to tell yourself that you’re going to work on your self-care better than you did last year? How is that going? Yes, work, school, the children… you promised to do something for somebody and after all of this is finally over, you’ll get back to your own needs. In case you’ve forgotten about yourself and your self-care - here’s a friendly reminder!

What should self-care mean?

Self-care means something different to each and every one of us. For some of us, it could be spending more time by ourselves, for others - spending more time with friends. Regardless of our differences (that give beauty to this world), self-care at the end of the day should do the same thing for all of us: improve our mental health. These are activities that should help you reduce the stress, anxiety, depression and all the unpleasant, unwelcome feelings.

It sounds easy, right? But for some reason, we all forget about it every once in a while. And then, that once in a while turns into a long time. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a situation where you thought: “Hmm, I should definitely improve my self-care. But where do I begin?”

We’ve got your back!

Don’t feel like self-care is selfish

It is okay if you want to do something else tonight instead of going out. It is okay to ask your friends to leave earlier if you feel like you need a mental break. Often you might feel like it is selfish to leave the kids at home and go treat yourself with a movie, a walk or a dinner. If you don’t take good care of yourself, how are you going to take care of the people you love?

Self-care is a practice
...Especially if you’ve been avoiding doing it for a while now... or ever since you know about yourself (it’s really time to change that now, seriously!). It might take some time to get used to it, stop feeling like it’s selfish and rock it. So, be patient with yourself. Remember that even ten minutes a day is enough. They’re better than nothing. Take at least ten minutes of your day fully to yourself. Use them to do something you enjoy, even if it is just a cup of coffee on your porch.

Sit down and think about it

What are your hobbies? What are the things that you enjoy doing? What relaxes you? Is it music, is it reading or maybe exercise? Grab a piece of paper and start writing down. Think about all the things you haven’t done in a while and you wish you could. Make a list. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme, it can be as simple as cooking every Tuesday or going swimming two times a week. A hot bath every night, maybe? You deserve it!  

Don’t be afraid to experiment

You feel like you need a good hobby? Go for it! It won’t hurt you or anyone if you take a couple of hours a week to go to dancing lessons, bowling or exercising at the gym. It really won’t. Take time out of your week for yourself. The more the better. We do live in a time where we often relate our self-worth with the hours spent being productive at work, but should it really feel like that? You shouldn’t live with that stress, and you should try and reduce it as much as possible.

Good food and good sleep!

These two are something you’ve heard a billion times, but are you really doing it? A good diet and some good sleep give you more energy. And yes, this is also self-care. Your body deserves healthy foods and those eight hours of sleep you haven’t had for a while now. Give yourself the fuel you need so you can run.

Start to introduce self-care to other areas of your life as well

“What the hell does this mean?”- you may ask yourself. It means that self-care doesn’t have to end. In fact, you should work towards making it a higher priority even when you’re working or doing chores. Working in an environment that doesn’t cause stress, having a to-do list for your chores, taking a walk to work every once in a while instead of driving - it’s all little things that can improve your self-care. This should become a part of your lifestyle, not just something you add to your schedule. Otherwise, you’ll forget about it (once again). Take small steps and you’ll see big changes.

Don’t use self-care as an excuse to avoid responsibilities

Might sound a little weird, but it does happen. Be realistic with yourself. When is self-care really self-care, and when does it become a way to avoid responsibilities? Sometimes we do avoid them because they cause so much stress, but this shouldn’t become a habit.

Self-care is important because you are important

Think about it. How do you feel when you know that someone you really love and care about is under constant pressure, not taking a break to take care of themselves? Exactly. That’s how people who love and care about you feel when you do the same. Self-care should be a time where you have fun, relax, reduce the stress and have a time to self-reflect. It is when we don’t stop for a minute when we get lost in our day to day lives and the routines start to swallow us.

Remember that you deserve to be a priority to yourself every once in a while, such a priority that other people’s needs and requirements can sit and wait in the line. There’s nothing selfish or negative about it.

Once you start implementing better self-care, you will see that everything else will start to feel a little bit better than it used to. Responsibilities become less scary, stress becomes more manageable and motivation to do things grows.

So, what are you waiting for? There is really no better time to start being a better friend to yourself than now!

 

 

Emma V.