Self-care is engaging in activities that are beneficial to your physical, mental and emotional health. For most of us, a promotion at work or a sales target are a priority which is why we don’t invest our energy or resources in self-care. What we fail to realize is that self-care improves our productivity and will help us reach our goals. Furthermore, we don’t need to invest a lot of time and effort in Beginner’s self-care as even a few minutes a day can offer immense benefits.
You may have noticed that a bout of the common cold leaves you feeling low and irritable – this is because your physical health impacts your mental and emotional health. Physical self-care will help to boost your immune system and fight off infections as well as improve your overall physical health. The main aspects of physical self-care are a healthy diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.
A healthy diet does not require gourmet meals; instead, all you need to do is follow a balanced diet that is based more on raw foods than processed ones. Cooking is a form of self-care as it helps you to disconnect from the normal pressure and stress of daily life and focus on a productive activity that makes you feel self-assured. In addition to preparing healthy meals, you should put aside some time for exercise on a daily basis. Again, you don’t need to go to a gym or invest in fitness equipment – just go for a jog or a run at least once a day. As a rule of thumb, aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Most of us know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are important but we tend to overlook the importance of a good night’s sleep. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that more than 30% of American adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. You should get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night as inadequate sleep is associated with an elevated risk of several serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease and heart attack.
Modern life is hectic and rushed which results in stress and anxiety. Mental self-care focuses on reducing stress as well as being mindful of the thought processes that create stress. Even the simple act of taking a 5 minute mid-day break to assess your thoughts and actions can help to improve your productivity. Similarly, you should limit the amount of time you spend going over “what if” scenarios as this is often a source of regret and stress. Practice good coping skills such as meditation or mindful breathing as these are effective ways to reduce stress. When you get home from work, spend 5 minutes simply sitting (without your phone or the TV) as this will help to reduce some of your workday stress. You can also go on a wellness vacation to de-stress and improve your overall mental health.
Emotional self-care means caring for your emotional needs and identifying and nurturing your conscious inner state. Our emotions are a powerful force that often play a vital role in the way we interact with others and the way we view ourselves. Assess your thoughts and feelings so that you have a better understanding of your emotional make-up which will help you nurture your feelings. Honestly assess emotions like anger and jealousy to understand their root cause so that you have a healthier emotional response to stressful situations. Cultivate and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family as this will provide a sense of wellbeing and overall life satisfaction.
A conscious effort towards emotional self-care will also help you face life’s challenges with resilience and fortitude.
How to Start A Beginner’s Self-Care Routine
One of the biggest self-care mistakes that most people make is that they try to overhaul their entire lives. When they are unable to manage their new lifestyle, they get frustrated and give up which leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction. Start your self-care routine by making small changes to your daily lifestyle – swap your daily bagel for fresh fruit, go for a short walk and spend 5 minutes in meditation before you go to bed. Once you are used to these changes, you can keep improving on your lifestyle and habits so that it becomes a gradual process. This will help your new self-care routine become a part of your daily life.
Most people think that self-care won’t have a major impact on their life which is why they don’t want to change their habits and lifestyle. Unfortunately, the lack of self-care can have deadly consequences – the CDC reports that over one hundred and eighty thousand people die from preventable causes every single year. A regular self-care routine will help reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease which will allow you to lead a healthier, happier and longer life.
Author ~ Anita Fernandes
Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.