Self-care, the focus on daily habits matters
Self-care are the things we should do regularly to support our mental and emotional health. Self-care isn’t something you do every once in a while. It is a way of life. It is what you do consistently to prevent getting stressed out in the first place. Practicing self-care is not always easy. Being busy, having a stressful life juggling work, household duties, and loved ones can sometimes mean we are too consumed with other activities to make time for ourselves. We often leave “me-time” to last on our agenda and can even feel guilty about taking care of ourselves.
Our mental health is supported by food and physical wellbeing
Your brain depends on the rest of your body and vice versa. There are schools of thought that ‘Food is medicine’. We need to care for both out physical and mental health. Regular exercise, quality sleep and eating well are the foundation to support our body and mind. Learn more about eating well there is plenty of information out there and if you get overwhelmed because there is too much information a dietitian and nutritionist may be able to guide you.
Sleep is so important
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough sleep can even cause health issues. Generally people under estimate the amount they sleep they get as their sleep may be a restless or they wake up feeling tired. There are many apps these days that can assist you see how much you are sleeping. Sleep hygiene is the environment we sleep in, considerations that may be impacting the quality of your sleep may be that there is too much light, too noisy, not enough air flow, and or the temperature is too cold to hot to name a few. Sleep hygiene, is an important factor and not always discussed. Also you can keep a sleep journal and if you have concerns about your sleep patterns talk to you health care professional for strategies or support.
Stress is the pressure we feel when our resources such as time, energy and problem solving are exhausted. We begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to make decisions, get can get angry, frustrated or teary Spending time outside can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Getting outside can also help you sleep better, especially if you do some physical activity.
Play… go to your inner child
As adults, we often lose the habit of playfulness. Sometimes we can reach a level of complacency or worse, loose our enthusiasm for life. When you stop learning and being challenged regularly, it can lead to a sense of flatness. Make time for activities that genuinely give you a sense of enjoyment, and that may challenge and give you a sense of accomplishment. Build these activities into your schedule so they become a regular feature of your life, not just items on the someday-maybe list.
Social Health is as important as physical health
We all need some social interaction for our mental health and wellbeing. Find the right kind of social interaction that suits you particularly at this challenging time. Surround yourself with genuine like-minded people that you get along with. Friendships should not hard. Positive attitudes in – negative attitudes out!
Being gentle with yourself is NOT selfish. Most of us are compassionate with our friends, family and loved ones, but struggle to be compassionate with ourselves. Sometimes when we feel upset, we criticize ourselves for being weak. This relationship with our own emotions can make our emotional struggles worse. We can easily go from feeling sad, to feeling guilty for feeling sad and even angry at ourselves. Make a habit of being gentle with yourself. This is not self-indulgent; it means treating your “self” like you would treat a good friend and the best way to be helpful to others, is to do your best to maintain your own mental health and wellbeing.
Self-care is not narcissistic or selfish.
Self-care is the opposite to selfish. It can be hard for us all to find extra time. But it’s extremely important to plan regular self-care time. Moments alone can help you to evaluate ways to move forward in your life and keep you grounded. Moments with friends can help you feel more connected and relaxed.
Whether you decide to go for a long walk, take a hot bath or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is essential. Look for small ways to incorporate it into everyday life. The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow and enjoy your life.