How many times during the day do you take care of the needs of others? Your spouse, your children, your boss, relatives, co-workers, even complete strangers are often given more of your attention than you give to yourself. Our day starts early and ends late with little time to take care of our own needs.
What if you were told there is a fail-proof, easy-to-incorporate plan to help you become a more productive employee, a more loving spouse, a more attentive parent, and a happier, more energized version of you? Would you do it? Simply carving out some time for yourself each day is the secret.
Many view self-care as some sort of indulgent, selfish behavior that only takes up time that could be spent dealing with work, taking care of others, or crossing off items on the never-ending "to do" list. However, studies show that those who take time to care for themselves have more energy, are better able to handle challenges they face, can quickly bounce back from setbacks, and have more confidence and self-esteem.
All of these benefits are transferred to those around you - more energy can translate into more productivity at work, more attention to loved ones, or more passion to share with your spouse.
The ability to handle challenges as they come up reduces your overall level of stress. We all know how stressful life can be when we are facing an unanticipated obstacle. We may suffer from insomnia, eat foods that are not healthy, and snap at those around us for no apparent reason. When we are well-rested, nourish our bodies with healthy foods, and take the time to understand and deal with our emotions, we are better able to manage our stress. And when we can deal with the obstacle and manage our reaction to it, we are less likely to take out our frustrations on others.
Sure, it might seem indulgent, but a little self-care goes a long way in positively impacting those around you. How can that be selfish when so many reap the benefits?
Self-care does not have to be a long, drawn-out process but can achieved through some simple actions. The important part of the process is making it part of your daily life. Some days that might include only a short break to take 5 deep breaths and refocus your thoughts. Other days you may have more time and can take a refreshing walk in the woods or spend time enjoying your favorite hobby.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Take a warm bubble bath and enjoy the bubbles!
- Get lost in a great novel
- Try a new, healthy recipe
- Lie in the grass and watch the clouds or, in the evening, gaze at the stars
- Walk barefoot in the grass
- Take 5 long, deep breaths
- Act like a child; jump in a puddle, find delight in a grasshopper, make a wish and blow the dandelion seeds, hula hoop, or get on a swing and swing as high as possible
- Make a cup of herbal tea and enjoy the fragrance, the warmth, and the taste
- Spend time with a loved one
- Treat yourself as well as you treat your best friend
- Take time to be You!
Better Health, Better Life, Better You!