4 Practical Steps for Adding Self-Care to Your Life
Life gets busy. When we are overwhelmed—struggling to balance work and time with family and friends—we often forget to take time for ourselves. But self-care is a necessity for a high quality of life and overall well-being. Not only can self-care help prevent future problems with our mental health and relationships, but it can also increase our happiness and productivity in the present. The key is to start with baby steps and grow as you go. Here are 4 steps to get you started:
- Take steps to reduce stress
With the busyness and unpredictability of life comes stress. While stress is inevitable, continually being stressed out can pose serious threats to our mental and physical health, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
Anything you can think of that will reduce stress will go a long way in improving your health. For instance, exercise is known to reduce stress and have a major impact on how we feel and function in our everyday lives; so, try to carve out some time in your schedule to do something physically active. Also, don’t be afraid to change up your schedule to make room for stress-reducing activities, such as taking a Friday off to get away for a long weekend.
Another way to reduce stress is to downsize your belongings. Decluttering not only makes for a comfortable home, it can also bring peace of mind and clarity of thought. Downsizing is not always easy, because there are often items that we just can’t get rid of. For those items, consider renting an inexpensive self-storage unit to buy yourself some time to decide if you can part with them. The overall average price of a self-storage unit booked in New York City, over the past 180 days is $102.21.
- Make time for relaxing
Along with trying stress-reducing activities, it’s important to schedule yourself time to do something relaxing. It could be anything that lets you kick your feet up amid a hectic lifestyle, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. For example, wake up early enough to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Take a moment to do deep breathing and focus on your breath. Start writing in a journal for 5 or 10 minutes each day. Try mindful meditation, or take a hot bath with Epsom salt and essential oils.
- Improve your diet
Diet is another essential part of caring for your mental health. If you want to feel better, stop relying on granola bars and meal replacement shakes. Those offer a quick fix, but little nutrition. Eat real food, such as lean meats, vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Meal prepping and food delivery services are great options for helping you control your portions, and they also offer a variety of healthy foods so that you don’t become bored and ditch your diet. Meal delivery services have a range of prices too, so you don’t have to feel stretched. For example, the Hello Fresh classic plan starts at just $8.99 per serving.
- Make room for sleep
Sleep is typically the first thing to go when our lives are busy. The thing is, sleep is not a luxury; our minds and bodies require it so that they can recover from the day’s activities. If you’re not getting a full 7-9 hours, chances are you will need to move your schedule around to make it happen. Healthy sleep patterns will help you wake up feeling more energized, increase your productivity, boost your mood, and improve your overall quality of life.
We all must make the time in our lives for self-care. Start by doing stress-reducing activities, relaxing, establishing a healthy sleep schedule, and eating a nutritious diet. Not only will practicing self-care benefit your mental health, but it will also yield rewards for your physical health and overall well-being.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Author: Brad Krause