How often do you find yourself putting the needs of others first and pushing aside your self care? Whether you're a mother, father, caretaker, or just a dedicated employee, there comes a time when everyone needs to take some time off and prioritize their own well-being. This change, of course, is called self-care, and in no way means that the other people in your life are now less important. Instead, it's a sign that you respect and love yourself as well.
Explore ways to feel better when you begin to carve out time for yourself... starting now!
Do More When You Put Yourself First
It seems easy enough to say that you love yourself. But the truth is, many disregard what they need to be healthy and happy in order to support others. The act of continually making "you" number two may cause harm to your own well-being. For example, those who are primary caregivers to the chronically ill are often at higher risk for developing a range of health conditions than those who are not. Parents are known to sacrifice a great deal of sleep and personal activities that provide enjoyment in order to meet the needs of babies and young infants. Students may not take the necessary time out to rest and spend time with friends or family when studying for important exams. Many are likely to suffer from increased levels of anxiety and depression when neglecting their well-being for others, or when making sacrifices to achieve specific goals.
Get in the Habit of a Self-Care Regimen
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to nurture yourself. However, these are helpful suggestions for those who may be feeling depressed, stressed, exhausted, or unmotivated as a result of giving too much to others and not taking enough time to refuel. You can love yourself more when you:
- Start the day with some quiet time. Enjoying a cup of tea in silence can help set the stage for the rest of the day. Those who wake up earlier and block out some time for themselves to engage in a favorite activity often approach the rest of the day in a better mood.
- Truly connect with others. Getting too bogged down in routine activities can be draining -- we often forget to slow down and enjoy the people around us. Spend extra time with supportive friends or get out and meet new people while doing something you enjoy. This is another way for many to feel better and come back to their family, their work, or their studies with a renewed sense of energy.
- Try a new exercise class. Zumba or Pound your way to feeling better and fit with new activities to engage your mind and body. This will get your adrenaline pumping and also provide new opportunities to challenge yourself. Exercise can also improve immune function and mobility, making it easier for you to perform a wide range of activities on a regular basis.
Feeling overwhelmed? Take a mini vacation, say no to “favors,” and begin to focus more on gratitude in order to reduce high stress levels. For some, getting a little sunshine during winter months can help improve mood. Speak with a CareSpot healthcare professional for additional suggestions to start taking better care of yourself today.