This Guest Post is by Brad Krause, writer/owner of selfcaring.info/ . Brad is inspired to help others improve their overall well-being through self-care, and we are happy to have him share his insights!
Practical Advice on How to Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine
Self-care is getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. In order to be at our best, both for ourselves and for others, taking care of ourselves must be a priority. There are ways to fit self-care into your schedule, and once you do, you’ll quickly experience the benefits. Here are some tips on how to get started.
You’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s worth saying again: you are what you eat. That logic applies not only to your physical self, but your emotional wellness as well. Eating vibrant, fresh foods that contain nutrients and gut-healthy bacteria like Akkermansia will help you maintain a healthy weight, stay regular, and have energy to tackle whatever comes your way. Eating processed, high-calorie foods, on the other hand, will weigh down your body and mind.
Brush your teeth.
Your self-care routine should include basic hygiene habits, but unfortunately, a lot of people skip brushing their teeth as often as they should. Further, people with severe depression often feel too emotionally or physically exhausted to practice good oral health habits, which can ultimately make them feel worse. The health of your teeth and gums has a huge impact on your overall wellness, so it’s important to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist twice a year for routine check-ups.
Get some sleep.
Sleep is one of the few things we can’t live without. It’s how our bodies and minds recover from the day’s work and recharge for the next day. It’s also how damaged cells are healed and how our immune systems are boosted. Though everyone knows how much better they feel after a good night’s sleep and how groggy they are after a restless night, it’s often the first sacrifice made amid a busy life, but the truth is that we only hurt ourselves when we don’t get enough sleep. It makes us tired, irritable, unable to focus and unproductive, among many other problems. The first step in practicing self-care is forming a healthy sleep routine. Whether it’s following a bedtime ritual, changing your mattress and pillows, or altering the temperature in your bedroom, do whatever is necessary to get adequate rest at night.
Life is stressful. Some stress is healthy, like the stress that motivates us to accomplish things we might otherwise not attempt, but most of the stress we experience is unhealthy and only hinders us from reaching our potential. In order to reduce stress, we must prioritize relaxation. Nature is one of the best remedies to do just that. Get outside during lunch, or start walking each day after work. Take the family to the park, or end the weekend by stargazing in your backyard. Do breathing exercises at your desk, or start meditating and doing yoga at home. Also, make sure you’re scheduling in time to have fun, such as going to a movie, reading a book, or getting a pedicure.
Just say ‘no.’
This is a big one. No one wants to disappoint people, so we often say yes to everyone and
everything. The problem with that is that we usually wind up being overcommitted and stressed out. Eventually, we end up doing everything half-heartedly because we have nothing left to give. The solution? Say no. Say no to your coworker who asks you to cover their shift. Say no to going out on the town Friday so you can catch up on some R&R. Say no to a loved one who wants you to babysit again. This doesn’t mean saying no to everyone and everything; it just means becoming more intentional in your commitments. Doing so will improve your mental well-being, and you’ll quickly notice that you perform your commitments more effectively.
Find a hobby.
Along with eating healthily, getting sleep, relaxing, and learning to say no, finding a good hobby will also benefit your mental health and add joy to your life. The hobby can be anything, as long as you enjoy it and it engages your mind and/or body. For example, it could be golfing once a week, going fishing with your kid, making birdhouses in the garage, taking painting classes at the craft store, or knitting in the evenings before bed. The inspiration and zeal that come with a hobby can carry over into other areas of your life.
Self-care is critical for anyone who wants to live a fulfilled life. When we don’t take proper care of ourselves, we limit our productivity and happiness. It may take some experimenting to figure out how to fit self-care into your daily routine, but once you find your rhythm, you’ll never go back.
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