The Importance of Self-Care
During a crisis, ( this year has been loaded with them). It may seem counterintuitive and almost selfish to practice self-care. It can feel like you are choosing yourself over others. This is so far from the truth. Self-care allows you to show yourself compassion. That compassion allows you to take care of yourself first so that you are able to better help those you care about. When you are less stressed, you are more able to pay that love forward on to others.
Self-care comes in many forms. It does not need to be an elaborate plan – it can as simple as taking a breath. Maintaining mental and physical health during challenge times can strengthen and prepare us for future stressors that may come our way.
Dealing with Stress
You may be feeling stressed if you are anxious, unable to concentrate, irritable, tired, lonely, forgetful, tense, losing or gaining weight(thanks quarantine), losing interest in things that once brought your joy. These are all signs of prolonged stress that often have adverse effects on your physical and mental health. Here are a few self-care strategies that can help you refocus on you.
- Breathe – During difficult times our minds tend to wander to the worst-case scenario and our bodies respond negatively. Taking the time to sit back, relax, and take a deep breath can do a lot for your mental health. Make sure to be absorbed as fully as possible when you are breathing or meditating. If you struggle with mediation there are plenty of cool apps to help you develop a steady mediating practice. My favorite is Headspace.
- Exercise – Regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay physically and mentally healthy. It doesn’t have to be a long or complicated workout – a little activity every day can greatly improve health. A brisk walk in your neighborhood can be relaxing and just enough to elevate your heart rate to a healthy level. Bring your along with headphones and catch up on a podcast your favorite artist’s new release.
- Eating Healthy – When you’re at home all day, it can be tempting to eat unhealthy foods. Who hasn’t worn down a path in their floor from the couch to the kitchen during quarantine. However, eating a balanced diet stabilizes energy and improves mood.
- Sleep – Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is much more important than one may think. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night is essential in staying healthy.
- Pampering – I know we just said self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. But, there is nothing like sitting back and letting someone else take care of you. Add a little spice to your regular Eshthecian or Hair Stylist visits by booking a new service. Adding something new to your beauty routine can refresh your ordinary self-care routine.
Finding the time to take care of ourselves when stressed out can be difficult. Start slow; try one or two of the tips below to start. During, these difficult times love is the foundation to healing and it begins with self.