Have you ever felt as if you were too busy or too caught up with the next thing? You’re not alone. Sometimes we’re so occupied with everything that’s going on, and we need some time for ourselves. Think of it as investing in yourself and eventually spreading that positivity into others’ lives. Think of it as a glow up on the inside. Take note that self care isn’t a one day thing, but something that lasts for a lifetime. These practices are one step closer to helping you live your best life. As long as there’s consistency and a positive attitude, it’s really simple.
There’s this acronym that can help you out. It’s very simple. S.E.L.F. C.A.R.E: sleep, exercise, light, food, clean, avoid your kryptonite, routine & rest, and engage.
So how do I invest in myself? This one question many people ask, but it varies for different people. First, take a journal and write down goals. What do you aspire to? What do you want your future to look like? The reason why so many people fail to live life to the fullest is because they have no goals or ambitions. “If you aim for nothing, you hit nothing,” is what my mother says. Take time every now and then, (once a week or so) journal your goals, how you’re going to reach them, and if they change, so be it! I try to judge this plan on the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria: Specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant, and timely. When planning and writing out your ideas, goals, and aspirations, try to follow this guideline. It will be a big help.
I’ve written down my goals, so now what? I need a plan of action. How do I attain my goals? The most important thing is consistency. Take baby steps. Babies walk before they run. Take itty bitty steps until eventually you see progress.
Sleep is the one thing that is crucial to our physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can cause or worsen depression, anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Try setting a sleep schedule to allow your body to properly get the rest it needs. Set a strict bedtime to hold yourself accountable. Try setting an alarm or waking up early. Don’t sleep the day away! I like to practice little things before bed to alert my body that it’s time for sleep. Try taking a bubble bath, lighting candles, drinking tea, or even reading a book in bed before sleeping. These habits will make a big difference in your day. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Exercise. Things like DoorDash and Walmart delivery are convenient at times, but sometimes getting into the habit of being inactive affects you negatively. Exercise is an important factor in life. Without exercise, we run the risk of damaging bones, metabolism, muscle strength, and managing our weight.
Positivity is the kryptonite of negativity. Be a light unto others. The more you keep positive influences in your life, the more you’re able to maintain happiness and share that around you. Even simple practices such as affirmation mirrors, annual dates with friends, journaling gratitude, and avoiding things that keep you from living a favorable life.
I’m not a diet person, and you don’t have to be either to be healthy. Dieting is restricting food, but healthy eating requires willingness and self discipline. Try to avoid fast foods. Going out to eat is expensive and unhealthy. Try more fibers. Fiber increases good digestive health, helps with cholesterol, and helps you feel full to avoid binging. Limit added sugars for a healthier heart and good weight management. Finally, eat the rainbow. Diverse colors on your plate make everything better, including fiber, minerals, natural sugars, vitamins, and full stomach.
Maintain cleanliness, mentally and physically. Filthiness can infiltrate our minds and bodies. We all know this can cause sickness and disease, but could also do the same for our minds. Even simple things like cleaning your room or areas where you often spend time. Try it.
AVOID YOUR KRYPTONITE
Factors like technology, media, and other people can make us weak in the mind. These things can increase stress, anxiety, and depression. This doesn’t mean cutting all sources of entertainment out of your life, but have time to yourself to think. Keep positivity all around you. Even if it means simply clearing your mind, it works.
ROUTINE, REST, AND ENGAGE
Having a good routine and rest is better for overall health. Having an ongoing routine reduces stress and anxiety, giving your body its own schedule to follow. Around a certain time, your body says it’s time to eat, sleep, or even be active. Rest helps to avoid burnout, recharging your mind and body.
Even though self care is a combination of things, you can find your own ways to treat yourself. Do what makes you happy. Ride a bike, participate in something bigger than you like volunteering, read, listen to music, or whatever brings you inner peace. Find a balance and go with the flow.
Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day! Click here to see how you can practice your own self care.