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Working on Yourself: Why You Need to Start Practicing Self-Care

Working on Yourself: Why You Need to Start Practicing Self-Care

 Written by: Julia Merrill

We have all heard of self-care, but many of us don’t take the time to practice it. We may think it involves countless spa days or something impractical, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Self-care means seeing to your basic needs, many of which we often overlook.

 

Transform Your Home

 

Do you often feel anxious inside your own home? You should feel at ease and comfortable when you come home after work. Are your relationships causing you stress? It may be time to open up with your loved ones about things that have been plaguing you. If your home isn’t organized or clean, you may feel uneasy and tense. Get your housemates to agree to a cleaning routine. It doesn’t need to be complex, and can really take seconds to get things orderly. You also should have a space where you can relax that is just for you, such as a meditation area. It doesn’t take much to make. A quiet space free from distractions that offers a peaceful place to relax is all you truly need. If we don’t have a place where we feel at ease when we’re home, our mental and physical health can slowly decline.

 

Get the Sleep You Need

 

The amount of sleep we need changes as we age, but almost half of adults aren’t getting the amount the government suggests. Most adults should get at least seven and a half hours to maintain optimal health, both physically and mentally. Sleep deprivation can be dangerous and can affect every aspect of your well-being. It’s never too late, however, to improve sleep hygiene. A simple breakdown is easily followed. Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time, no matter what day it is. This trains your body to get sleepy at a certain hour. Turn off anything with a screen an hour before bed as the light can keep our brains awake. Keep your bedroom cool, as we sleep better in lower temperatures, and only use your bed for sleep. If you read in bed, you may have that association, rather than slumber.

 

Ask for the Help You Need

 

When we are stretched too thin, it can cause our stress levels to skyrocket, which affects how well we are doing emotionally. Sometimes, we need to step back and say “no” when we need to. Other times, we need to actively seek assistance. This can be intimidating, especially in a work environment. Therefore, prepare before you do. Assemble some potential solutions to a specific problem you’re dealing with, and their outcomes, before reaching out. People are also more likely to lend a helping hand if you have returned the favor, so be amenable to others when they too are in dire straits. Asking for assistance at home can be just as difficult, but in different ways. Be honest with those who live with you. If you need something, be specific and direct. Even our spouses can’t read our minds. If we need something, we need to verbalize it.

 

Care for Your Body

 

When we look after our bodies, we look after our emotional and physical health. That includes both how we eat and how we exercise. By eating regularly and avoiding overly processed foods and refined sugars, we can keep our blood sugar stable, which combats things like depression. Not getting the right nutrients can make us sick, as well as sad. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Physical activity is also a good means of staying healthy and happy. It doesn’t take much — a 30-minute walk after or before work is all you need. Gardening or doing a deep clean can be just what we need to feel better in every way.

 

We all need to care for ourselves and be our own first priorities. If we don’t look after the basic needs we have, our mental health — and often physical well-being — will suffer for it. Don’t let yourself suffer. Practice self-care, and feel better today.

Image Courtesy of Pexels

 

Author Bio:

Julia Merrill has many years of experience in the medical field and runs the site BefriendYourDoc.org.

Julia’s mission is to close the gap between medical providers and their patients, and aims to provide tips on finding the right medical care, health insurance, etc.

 

Connie

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