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Wed, Apr 15, 2020 4:49 PM

Self Care Tips

What Is Self Care And Why Is It Important?

Self-care is any deliberate action we take in order to tend to our mental, emotional, and physical health. This may seem simple to you, but they are often the first things to be forfeit in times of stress. It is the act of knowing what you need, not forcing yourself to engage in supposed “healthy actions” because you think you should, and it is important to know the difference. Basically, self-care is essential to living a balanced life. This is important because, in order to “do” and “give”, you need a well of health and energy to draw from. Dealing with stress and anxiety is difficult enough, but if you are already worn thin from a lack of self-care, these emotions are going to take a much higher toll on you.

Here is a list of 10 suggestions to keep up your self-care.



  1. Get Enough Sleep
    We’re going to start with this one, but it is often one of the most difficult to achieve. A lack of sleep can cause major health problems. Limit nighttime sugar and caffeine. Reduce stress, try to clear your mind as much as possible and take deep, intentional breaths. Put on white noise if this is something you find helps you go to sleep faster. Also, try to stop looking at your phone 30 minutes before bedtime. Give your eyes and your mind a break.
    If you’re working from home now, try not to work in bed. Separate your work station from your sleeping area, so it is easier to disconnect once it is time to sleep.
    On the other hand, also try to not get too much sleep. This can leave you feeling groggy and unproductive for the rest of the day. 8 hours is ideal, 7 is passable, 9 is fantastic. 12... not so much.



  2. Eat Good Food
    The food you eat has an enormous effect on your body. First and foremost, food directly affects your energy levels. While eating foods high in sugar will give you a temporary boost in energy, it ends in a non-productive crash. Grains, beans, leafy greens, nuts, fish, and fruit are all excellent choices for fueling your body throughout the day. Another way food affects you is through your gut health. Gut health can affect things like your immune system, heart, brain, mood, sleep, hormones, and digestion. Eating these healthy foods as much as possible will help your short term memory and body inflammation. Also, try to make a point to eat your food slower. This will help with digestion and help your body absorb more nutrients.
    We are absolutely not saying that you also cannot use this time to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies or a loaf of banana bread, because you absolutely should. Just remember: Balance



  3. Include Exercise
    This one is up for personal interpretation to determine what this looks like for your life and your body. One thing you can incorporate into daily life is to take some time in the morning to stretch. Doing this will help your muscles perform better throughout the day. Additionally, you can choose to engage in daily yoga, high-intensity exercise, lifting weights, or simply walking your dog. Just make sure to MOVE at some point during the day, preferably for 20-30 minutes. This brings us to our next suggestion.



  4. Get Sunlight and Fresh Air
    Make sure you get some sunlight throughout the day, as this is a way for your body to get Vitamin D. It is suggested that getting enough Vitamin D can help with things such as chronic pain and depression, as well as improving blood pressure and boosting your immune system. A deficiency can cause fatigue, depression, and impaired healing. Fresh air has been shown to help improve digestion, blood pressure, and heart rate and strengthen the immune system, as well.



  5. Step Away From Your Screen
    If you’re working from home, it can be difficult to adjust to an environment where there are no coworkers or managers to help you manage your time. One thing this means is it can be all too easy for some people to get hyper-focused on a project and forget to take a break. This might be good for production, but it is not good for your eyes or your mental health.
    Otherwise, if you are home, screen time can be one of the easiest ways to pass the time. This can come in the form of scrolling through endless social media pages on your phone, binge-watching your favorite TV show, or playing video games. All of these activities are fine in moderation, but try to give yourself a break. If you need help, set timers to remind yourself to get up and find another activity.



  6. Spend Time With A Pet
    If you are a pet person, spending time with them can significantly boost your mood. The unconditional love and companionship some pets offer can be a fantastic benefit to your self-care. For many, spending time with pets helps reduce stress and anxiety.
    I don’t know about your pets, but mine are THRILLED that I’m home all the time now.



  7. Be Organized
    Without the structure of going to work and office life, it can be easy to get off task. There are more distractions and fewer “watchful eyes”. It is VERY easy to not be as productive in this environment. While it may take some getting used to, working from home or simply being at home does not have to mean you aren’t productive. Create a schedule.
    If you are working from home, schedule time to check your emails, meet with coworkers or managers to discuss projects and plan your breaks. Regardless of whether you are home working or not, and write a list of things you want to accomplish in the course of the day or week. Then, check them off as you finish these tasks. For many people, it can be incredibly rewarding to see items ticked off of a to-do list. Give yourself this feeling of accomplishment.



  8. Drink Water
    This might be one of the most important tips on this list. Staying hydrated has so many benefits, so I will only name a few. Proper hydration lubricates your joints, making it easier for you to get in your recommended movement for the day. It also helps flush out toxins from your body by improving your kidney function. It delivers oxygen throughout the body and improved skin health. (If you are like me and suffer from a skin condition like eczema, you probably know EXACTLY when you aren’t drinking enough water.)
    Come on guys, 60% of your body is made up of water. How are you gonna deprive your body of it?
    Lastly, your airways need water. Conditions like asthma and allergies can be exacerbated by a lack of water.
    Drink up!



  9. Limit Negativity
    These days, getting negativity delivered to your thoughts is as easy as reading stuff on social media or turning on most news channels. While it is important to stay up to date on current events, don’t bombard yourself with doomsday articles and videos of people talking about how terrible the world is. Try to balance out the abundance of anger and negativity with cute puppy videos or happy stories or whatever it is that makes you happy. Or, give yourself a break from the channels that bring you this information altogether. Limit the possibility of you seeing things that will bring you down. Most importantly of all, when you do read these articles, consider the source. Please don’t believe everything you read on the internet, because there is a multitude of very concerning false information.



  10. Learn Your Limitations
    This one is difficult because it can be viewed as selfish.
    Learn to say no if you need to. Everyone has a certain limit of energy that they have to give. If you are tapped out and emotionally spent, and someone asks you to do something that will negatively affect your mental or emotional wellbeing, please don’t be afraid to let them know. People will understand this more than you think. Be vocal about what you can and cannot handle. It is difficult to do, but important.

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