How to Use Self-Care to Improve Your Life

DO YOU OFTEN FIND YOURSELF PUT SELF-CARE ON THE BACK BURNER?

You’re not the only one.

In this busy world, it’s all too easy to put self-care last on the to-do list. You might take care of your basic needs but neglect the “extras.”

However, thinking about self-care as “extra” isn’t exactly the right approach. When you don’t take great care of yourself, it impacts your whole life.

You might think that you are prioritizing your kids, your marriage, and your job. Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of yourself, those are the exact things that will suffer.

Here are some tips that can help you engage in self-care that improves all areas of your life.

DETERMINE WHAT SELF-CARE MEANS TO YOU

The basic definition of self-care is a collection of actions you take for your own health. This includes both physical and mental health. However, what self-care looks like is a very individual experience.

Some people are so limited in self-care that they have trouble with basic hygiene. You’ve probably heard at least one version of the caregiver too busy to shower or eat a meal.

On the other hand, you may be high-functioning in meeting your physical needs, yet fail to meet your needs for relaxation.

Take time to figure out what self-care means to you.

SOME SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

  • Meditation, prayer, or other daily spiritual practice
  • Journaling, scrapbooking, and other creative expressions
  • Jogging, swimming, yoga, and other favorite exercises
  • Journaling, scrapbooking, and other creative expressions
  • Seeing a doctor, dentist, or acupuncturist
  • Reading, crafting, gardening, and enjoying other hobbies
  • Taking time to just do nothing by honoring your need for rest

SELF-CARE ISN’T SELFISH

Feeling selfish is one of the biggest barriers to self-care. However, it’s important to understand that taking care of yourself helps you take care of others.

Perhaps you may have many people in your life that you have to take care of including children or aging parents.

You likely have relationships you want to maintain, including friendships and your marriage. Plus, it’s a necessity to work in order to support yourself and others.

When you focus on those things, it can feel like there is no time or energy to do things such as go for a walk or “take a spa day.” However, caregiver burnout is a very real thing. You can’t give and give to others without caring for yourself. It’s simply not sustainable. Eventually, you will crash physically or emotionally.

HOW SELF-CARE IMPROVES YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

When you’re locked into a pattern of neglecting self-care, it’s hard to see how important it is. However, self-care truly does make all of your relationships better.

WHEN YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, YOU FEEL:

  • RELAXED
  • SATISFIED
  • CONTENT
  • PATIENT
  • EXCITED
  • ENERGIZED

THIS HELPS IMPROVE ALL OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

FOR EXAMPLE, YOU WILL:

  • Express your emotions thoughtfully instead of reacting negatively
  • Come from a place of more peace when communicating with others
  • Know your own priorities so that you can focus on the most important relationships
  • Feel in touch with yourself so others’ moods have less impact on you
  • Set a good example for your children to practice self-care

HOW SELF-CARE IMPROVES YOUR LIFE

Self-care doesn’t just benefit your relationships. It benefits all aspects of your life.

Self-care means that you take care of your physical health. It helps you identify problems in your life so that you can nip them in the bud.

Self-care is something you do for yourself that has a ripple effect on everything around you, including being more aware of your own body and its needs.

SETTINGS GOALS WITH SELF-CARE

Self-care isn’t something you do once. In contrast, it’s something you do daily.

In other words, it’s not the big two-week vacation. Instead, it’s the things you do every day. Set daily, weekly, monthly, and annual self-care goals.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • 44Go to bed at a decent hour every night.
  • Spend one hour each week reading a book for pleasure.
  • Have a romantic date night once per month.
  • Set and meet one large goal each year.

Practicing self-care also means getting relief for your on-the-go lifestyle.

A therapist can help you identify the areas that need adjusted and help you to establish a strong self-care routine in your own life.

Please reach us today if you’re ready to take the next step in healthy self-care to improve all areas of your life.

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