Self Care

The Reality of Self-Care

So, how well do you look after yourself?

Before you answer that, answer this – do you look after yourself?

Now, your immediate response is probably to guffaw. Of course, I look after myself! What an absurd question!

Is it really that absurd?

List all of the ways you act in order to look after yourself.

That’s where it gets tricky.

Self-care has to be deliberate. It’s a deliberate act that you carry out to positively influence your emotional, physical or mental health. It’s a simple concept. Which is why it’s so frustrating to discover just how many people overlook it.

Practicing self-care can help you relieve anxiety, improve your mood, and even improve the relationships you have with others (and yourself).

It’s just as important that you know what self-care isn’t.

Self-care shouldn’t be something that you force yourself to do. It shouldn’t be something you don’t enjoy. It should be something that adds to you, not takes away from you.

Self-care is not selfish. It isn’t just about thinking about your needs, but knowing exactly what is necessary to meet those needs. By doing this you act in your best interest and you’re also taking steps to improve the lives of others, too. By taking care of yourself, you will be better at taking care of others. See, it’s simple?

If you want to live a balanced life, then self-care is an important piece of the puzzle. So, where do you start? There are three rules when it comes to making self-care a reality.

The Basics

You don’t have to complicate things too much as you get started. You’ll slip into a rhythm and routine in time. As you do this you will identify more acts of self-care that work for you and you can implement these as you uncover them.

Active Planning

You have to plan your acts of self-care. Self-care won’t just happen if you don’t go out of your way to do it. Self-care must be an active choice that you make, you have to treat it this way. Add activities to your diary, announce plans in advance to make it stick, and look for new and interesting opportunities to practice self-care.

Conscious Mind

If you don’t view it as self-care, then it’s not going to serve you the way self-care should. Be more aware of what actions or decisions you make, why you make them, how they feel, and the outcome of them, too.

It means different things to everyone, but the reality of self-care is that a basic checklist is one-size-fits-all.

• Write out a list of things you know you don’t want to do. So, it could be attending parties you can’t stand, answering your phone during meals or checking your inbox outside of working hours. If you don’t like it… don’t do it.

• Follow a healthy, balanced diet.

• Sleep well.

• Exercise regularly – be sure to mix up cardio and strength exercises.

• Visit your doctor for checkups. If there are certain tests required for your age group, then make sure you take care of them as required.

• Practice meditation, yoga or deep breathing.

• Spend time with the people you love.

• Do something every day that provides you with relaxation.

• Do something every day that you love – at least one thing per day.

• Take every opportunity to laugh.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, the checklist above is the bare minimum of self-care. This is something that we should all be doing in a bid to properly care for ourselves.

Anxiety/Stress Mindset/Strenghts

Ways to Rest When You Deal with Burnout and Overwhelm

When people talk about mental health, you might assume it is only about severe stress or mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, but it can also be about your general mental state at any given time. This includes if you are overwhelmed in your life and facing burnout. 

It is just as important to rest when you have burnout as if you are dealing with a diagnosed mental health condition. Here are some tips for figuring out how to rest your mind and body.

Find Your Stressors

Before you can figure out how to get more rest when dealing with burnout, you need to first understand what is causing the overwhelm or burnout in the first place. This is in the form of your stressors or triggers.

A stressor or trigger is something that is causing you to feel more overwhelmed or anxious throughout the day. 

Is something in your life different right now?

Maybe your loved ones have been more demanding, you aren’t taking enough breaks, or work has gotten chaotic.

It can be anything from your job to your home life to the people you are around. Something as simple as falling behind on your daily journal can trigger burnout because you don’t have those few minutes to unleash all the thoughts in your head and stop obsessing over them.

Take a Break From Work if You Can

While this is not always an option, try to take a break from work in whatever form you are able to. This is of course a privilege not everyone has, but if you do, take advantage of it.

Take a mental health day where you don’t even think about work and might even get out of your house for a day. Take a long weekend or go on a short trip. 

If this isn’t an option, then try to lighten your work load. Figure out if you have any work tasks that can be delegated to other people, or if you can move your schedule around to have a few days a week that aren’t quite as hectic.

Learn How to Say No

Learning how to say no is a beautiful thing, and can benefit you in so many ways, beginning with helping you to rest from burnout. This might be personal obligations or people in your life who are always asking you for help, or work being more demanding. Burnout can happen in such subtle ways, where you think you’re just helping out a friend and don’t realize how much it is impacting your own life.

Find Ways to Practice Daily Self-Care

Self-care doesn’t need to be overly complicated or cost any money. It can be as simple as going for a walk after dinner, sitting in your office with the door closed during your lunch break, or reading a book in the evenings instead of watching TV. 

Self Care

Finding Ways to Practice Self Care When You Are In a Relationship

How much are you still “you” when you’re in a relationship? Sometimes the lines get a little blurred. We start thinking about being part of a couple and less about being an individual. This can be good when it comes to the relationship itself. It can also make us neglectful of self-care. 

Taking care of yourself should be a priority at every stage of your life. After all, if you’re not at your best, how can you be the best person for your significant other? 

Let’s look at some ways to practice self-care even when you’re in a relationship. 

Be Happy

It’s normal to think your lover is the ultimate source of happiness. Self-care kicks in when you remember there are other things which also make you happy. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to give up the things which give you joy. Take time for yourself. Do the stuff which puts a smile on your face. Who knows, it might be your significant other will enjoy these things too. 

Find a Friend

Your significant other shouldn’t be the only person in your life. Maintaining friendships is crucial to self-care. Take a little time away from your other half to spend time in old friendships. Catch a movie, go out to lunch, or just have a long conversation. Having diverse friendships is incredibly important to your mental health. 

Protect Your Interests

You don’t have to agree to everything. Setting boundaries with any relationship is one of the most important aspects of self-care. There might be activities you have no wish to take part in. Or it might be you need some you time. whatever the case, remember it’s always OK to say no.

Enjoy a Hobby

What are some things you enjoy doing in your spare time? For the sake of your mental health, don’t neglect your hobbies. It’s good to create or spend time in things which give you pleasure. Consider setting some hobby time aside as part of your schedule so your significant other can likewise enjoy their hobbies too.

Make Goals

What’s something you want to do? There’s nothing wrong with having goals even when you’re part of a couple. Share your dreams with your significant other. Give them the space to share theirs with you. Together, work to achieve them. 

Express What You Like…and What You Don’t

Being part of a couple means discovering new things all the time. Some you’ll like, some you won’t. When you express honestly how you feel you are practicing self-care by accepting your emotions without apology.

All of these things are important to your mental and emotional health. The key here is to recognize your significant other needs these same things as well. Together, make a practice of taking care of yourselves.