Self-care. That’s a word that gets tossed around a lot. In a “treat yourself” culture, it’s hard to figure out what self-care is and isn’t. In essence, self-care should be easy to incorporate into daily or weekly practice. The treat yourself moments are great (and needed!), but we need to add in habitual self-care practices as well. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Move your body. Walk, go to an exercise class, do yoga at home, run, dance around to your favorite Spotify playlist. There are endless amounts of research on the benefits of exercise and mental well-being. It doesn’t take long for the effects to be noticeable. Take a 10 minute break to move around.
- Practice gratitude. During stressful times, it’s easy to get caught up in what is going wrong. We challenge you to think about what is going well or what you are grateful for despite the your stress. Come up with three things a day that you are grateful for; chances are you’ll have a lot more than three.
- Rest. In a world that moves on high speed it can be hard to remind yourself to slow down. Maybe you can’t take a nap at work, but you might be able to go to bed 20 minutes earlier. The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but most adults need somewhere between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep. Challenge yourself to make time for a good night’s sleep.
- Connect with people. Whether your people are friends, family, or work colleagues, make time for them. Plan a night of the week that you can look forward to connecting with others. We tend to think we’re all too busy to meet up, but oftentimes if we ask, our loved ones come through.
- Say no. You can’t do it all. If you’re feeling continually overwhelmed by all that you have on your plate, that may be a signal that you need to cut back. Listen to yourself and have courage to say no. Pay attention to what activities are draining you and see if you can eliminate or reduce those activities. There will be another time you can help out or go to a gathering.
Self-care does not need to take up much time. Try being intentional and planning how to incorporate self-care into your day or week. If you want more ideas on what self-care is and is not, check out this article.
If you’re struggling with self-care, you are not alone. If you would like to work with one of our counselors on integrating self-care into your life, please click the button below.
Written by Taylor Walker, Ed.S.