We all know that self-care is important. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed at work or dealing with the stress of the holidays, sometimes we need to take a breath and focus on taking care of ourselves. Let’s be honest, sometimes eating healthy isn’t enough to get you out of a mental funk. Personally, I find that having a routine and some go-to self care tips help keep my mental health in check. Here are some of the things I do to take care of myself.
Self Care Tips
With the holidays around the corner, I wanted to take this time to write about self-care. This is a difficult time of year for many. Be it family or work or a combination of things, it is important to take time for yourself. It is important to make our health, physically as well as emotionally, a priority
Decide what self-care means to you
Self-care looks different for everyone. And there is more to it than a face mask, a chick flick, and a glass of wine. The first step to self-care involves a little bit of inner reflection – you need to look to see what it is you need. Think about your life and what that would look like if you made self-care your priority. Try to imagine what you would do or even not do and how you would feel at the end of the day. To start taking care of yourself, you really have to first identify what you’re needing in life.
Look at the basics
You can always look to start at the basics. Look at your diet and what you are eating to make sure you are making healthy choices. And don’t ignore how often you are working out or how well you are sleeping. These things may seem obvious when it comes to self-care tips but they have a big impact.
One of the hardest things for me to do is find time to rest and get a good night’s sleep. I feel like I always have a list of 90 things to do! I’ve had to carve out time and set alarms to remind me that getting a good night’s sleep is a big part of feeling rested and refreshed.
Invest time in self-care
Self-care is just as much about what you do as it is what you don’t do. And you have to invest it. Saying no to things is a part of self-care. Take a page from Marie Kondo and realize that if it doesn’t spark you joy or serve what you need, it might be okay to skip it.
If you’re tired and want to get to bed early but you promised a friend you would grab a drink, it is okay to skip it. Unless it is a special occasion (and even then, I would argue you should pick yourself above everything else) you should be your priority.
Do things that help you feel grounded
When things feel like its too much and you’re just treading water, the best thing to do is something that will make you feel grounded. Remember when you were in college and you’d be drunk in bed and it felt like the world around you was spinning? All you had to do was put one foot on the floor to stop the spinning and feel grounded.
Think of stress and anxiety as that drunk feeling. As everything is spinning, taking a short walk or doing a quick meditation is that foot on the floor that will stop the room from spinning. And it doesn’t have to be anything extensive or long. You just need to take a moment to yourself, remove yourself from the situation for a bit, and help refocus your mind.
Be sure to include some fun activities or hobbies on the list
Taking care of your self can be fun too! Early on in my marriage, a friend told me that one of the best self-care tips she ever got was to make time for yourself and to have fun. Things that bring you joy are important so find time to do them. Hobbies and activities that you enjoy can keep your spirits high and are important to your emotional health.
For me, that means making time to journal. I try to journal a few times a week because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on what happened for the week, what is going on, and how I feel. I write about the good and the bad and in the moment it always helps me feel grounded.
While self-care looks different for each of us, we all need to take the time to focus on our selves. Be kind to yourself and make time to do what you need to do so you can stay healthy.