Moreover, don't judge yourself for needing space, not wanting to smile, and being yourself!
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 6, 2020. It has since been updated.
Self-care is important! We know it is. But do we practice self-care? Many of us would probably say 'no' and you can't entirely blame yourself for that. Many of us have stressful jobs or too many priorities to juggle. Most of our days go into taking care of our families, work, chores, bills, etc. And the sad truth is, the few hours that we get for ourselves, we choose to spend them around gadgets. As a result, we end up getting overwhelmed emotionally and mentally.
However, there are some simple changes we could make in our lifestyles that would ensure we keep our body, mind, and soul in sync. This would also make sure that we are well informed about our own self and can efficiently read the signs it gives. Taking time out for yourself is the biggest favor you can do to yourself.
Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. suggests that "learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you anti-stress, stay healthy, and be resilient." So we have enlisted seven simple practices that could help you improve your overall health.
Keep your body active and loose. And no, running errands for your home is not what we mean. Stretch, swim, jog, and dance, to unwind your body and mind. Do the kind of physical exercise that would help you release stress and stay fit at the same time. Sweat out the toxins and feel your cells getting renewed inside you.
Weight gain can give rise to a plethora of disorders like hypertension, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, etc. Therefore, it is important to watch what you eat. Obesity could also affect your mental health and push you into depression, anxiety, etc. Also, drink a lot of water to make sure your body is free from toxins. Detox drinks like fresh fruit juices, smoothies could detoxify your body and make your taste buds happy at the same time.
More often than not, we beat ourselves up for not achieving enough in our lives. That only stresses us out but bars us from appreciating all the blessings we have. Make a list of things you are grateful for, and maybe say a prayer to thank god for bestowing on you the facilities in life which many could only dream to have. Love your life a little more for your wonderful relationships, your hearty meals, and the privilege of having a home. Make it a habit of practicing gratitude not just on the good days but every single day. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal.
Make it a point to turn off or inch away from all the gadgets around you for a while every day. Technology is not only harming our physical health but is also taking us away from the people around us. Extend that pillow talk with your partner, spend a little more playtime with your children, read that book you have been meaning to read for so long, make your favorite dish, and share it with everyone. Also, maybe take out a quick few minutes to meditate and get in touch with your surroundings. Do things that would make you feel more alive and real.
And this, in no way means complicating the one you have. In fact, simplify! If your daily routine seems too complex and cluttered, let some go. Over-commitment will only pile up your stress. Don't pick up that phone call, don't talk to negative people, divide your household chores, etc., and add something you would love to do. Did you like that dance routine you saw on YouTube? Practice it. Thought of learning a new language? Find time to try it. Take another route to work or goof around a bit. Find a new purpose to live. Donate, and feed the needy if you want to. Make your life worth it!
Yes! Don't compromise here. Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Give your mind and body the time they need to replenish. Think of ways to calm yourself down, try to have an early dinner, make your bedroom sleep-friendly, and try to not get roped into negativity just before bedtime. It's high time we gave utmost importance to sleep.
Stop to smell that flower on your way to work, start singing, and don't judge yourself for taking your "me time," you deserve it! It is OK to be selfish sometimes. Ask your partner to get up and open the door for the maid while you snuggle with your dog on the bed. Start saying no, you don't owe an explanation to anyone. Cry, when you feel overwhelmed. Make plans with your friends; dance without the fear of looking silly, wear that dress you always wanted to - don't find flaws, see how pretty you look! Most importantly, appreciate yourself, and take care of your body and mind; there is just one like you so cherish yourself!
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.