Many of us spend so much time and energy taking care of other people that we forget to take care of ourselves, and we forget how important it is to our well-being. Not just for us but also for others.
If you’re like me, you probably are dying to start taking care of yourself but you don’t know how to or even where to start because it’s unfamiliar territory to you.
Good news is that I’m here to give you some simple inexpensive and even free ways to effectively take care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally.
#1. Get and maintain a regular sleep cycle.
Yes, I get that work is important and that you really need to study for that test that you have tomorrow, but it shouldn’t be a priority over getting a good night’s sleep.
Many of us underestimate the power and restoration that sleep has and can bring to our bodies in every way possible. When you sleep, it’s not just getting some shut-eye for the next day, but also a way for your body to regenerate itself.
A regular sleep cycle does not necessarily mean six to eight hours of sleep, because every one of us have different bodies and they function differently. But it does mean that you go to sleep and wake up the next day at the same time every day.
#2. Learn how to say ‘no.’
It can be very difficult to say no to your friend, your family and even to your significant other (S.O.) when they ask you for help or for your time. But it is a necessity that is vital to your health.
Saying ‘no,’ does not make you a bad or a mean person. It makes you someone who knows how to set boundaries and limitations when it comes to helping others.
Your friends, your family members and your S.O. are all responsible for their own happiness and well-being. You are not and should not become their emotional caretaker because that leads to unhealthy co-dependency.
It’s still hard for me to say ‘no,’ and even when I do, it’s hard to not feel guilty about it, but from experience, I can say that it has evidently helped me in taking care of myself.
#3. Set aside certain days and times to do things that help you rest or relax.
Busyness is something that will always be present, no matter what your job is or where you live, because you can still be busy outside of the workplace.
Scheduling in set days and times to do things that will help your well-being is vital and important to practicing self-care.
Activities such as exercising, meditating, taking walks, focusing on hobbies, are only some of the many things you can do to spend those days and times, to help your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.
In doing this, even if you are busy with work or school on the other days, having these activities penciled into your daily schedule will help you to have a good balance and live a healthier lifestyle.
#4. Invest more time cultivating relationships.
We will never get more than 24 hours in a day to do what we need and want to get done.
So why not use it to focus on building and nourishing our relationships? They’re hard to come by and not something that will always be there.
Practicing self-care also includes using your time wisely and putting your energy into things that really matter in your life. Your career will never love you back and it will not be there for you in the good times and bad.
It took my grandfather’s death for my family and I to realize that spending time with your loved ones is more important than putting your time into getting that promotion.
There’s nothing wrong with loving your job and what you do for a living, but it’s important to keep your priorities in check and invest your time in what matters the most.