Self-Care Practices You Can’t Afford to Skip

February 24, 2020

We hear a lot about self-care nowadays. It’s a trend that people have jumped upon. As with most trends, when so many people are talking about it, and offering up advice, it can start to seem more complex than it actually is. Self-care can seem almost impossible there’s so much to it. Trying to fit self-care into your day can be more stressful than not bothering at all. 

But, it doesn’t have to be like this. Self-care is just a new fancy new way of saying looking after yourself. It’s a new name for making time for yourself, to do things that benefit your health, well-being and happiness. There are no rules or regulations when it comes to self-care, and it means something entirely different for everyone. It’s certainly not something that should stress you out. 

Self-care should make your life better, easier, more enjoyable and healthier. Practicing self-care should be something that you enjoy, that makes you feel great and gives your confidence a much-needed boost. But, which self-care practices are worth it? Which things should you be bothering to make time for in your busy schedule? 

Why Is Self-Care So Important?

Well, that busy schedule is precisely why self-care is so important. We’re all busy. We work hard. We look after our families and try to keep our homes tidy. One in three of us has a side hustle outside of work, and more of us than ever before are trying to start our own businesses. We read so much about all of the things that we should be doing to take care of ourselves, often conflicting advice, and we try to do it all. We’re exercising, trying every new diet trend going and trying to be the best that we can be at absolutely everything that we put our mind to. 

Worse still, we never stop. We carry work around with us on our phones, we’re always easy to reach if our friends and family need us, and we check our phones approximately 80 times a day on average. You might find that you never really take a day off work and that you are always checking in. Even if you can avoid work, you might spend a large portion of your time on social media, comparing your life to other peoples, wanting what you haven’t got and doubting your own self-worth

Self-care is more important than ever because we’ve got so much going on. It can help you to stay fit and healthy, boost your mental health and confidence and improve your relationships. All by simply putting yourself first from time to time. Here are some of the self-care practices that you shouldn’t skip. 

A Healthy Sleep Routine 

Sleep isn’t self-care, is it? It's essential; it can’t possibly count. Well, sleep is something that we have to do, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t self-care. Make sleep part of your self-care routine, and you’ll give it more importance in your life. It won’t simply be something that you have to do to live. 

Developing a healthy sleep routine and good habits can help you to sleep for longer, fall asleep faster when you go to bed and get better quality sleep when you are there. 

Some good sleep habits include leaving your phone in another room, reading or meditating before bed, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, whether you need to or not. But, your precise routine will be individual to you and your lifestyle. Try things out to see what works. 

Prioritize Rest

Sleep isn’t the only way to give your body the rest that it needs. We all need a break from time to time, and resting is a way to chill out, to clear your mind and to refresh. 

Try to rest for a little every day, especially when you are busy. But, again, how you rest is personal to you. Do something that you find relaxing every day. This could be reading a book with a cup of tea in a quiet five minutes, watching some TV instead of doing the washing up, or meditating for five minutes before bed. It might be chatting on the phone with a friend, or going for a walk. It doesn’t even have to be the same thing every day.

A Good Skincare Regime

Taking care of your skin can stop you from suffering from dryness, spots and other skincare issues. But, it’s also a chance to do something for yourself. A little slice of daily pampering, that both softens and soothes your skin, and helps you to feel cared for. There are many sensitive skin causes, and so your routine might depend on your skin type and any specific issues that you face. 

Try to get into good habits with your skincare. Take your makeup off, cleanse and moisturize every day, and then treat yourself occasionally, when it needs a little more TLC, or you are craving a small treat. 

Exercise for Your Health and Well-Being

So many of us exercise with a goal in mind. You might push yourself harder if you are training for an event or trying to hit targets. Or, you might make more effort at the gym if you are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, this often means that when we’ve hit our goals, we stop, or cut back massively. 

Instead, exercise for your health and well-being. Exercise because it makes you feel good about yourself, boosts your confidence, helps you to sleep and improves your mental health. Exercise because it’s good for you, and because you like it. 

Find something that you enjoy, maybe running, swimming, joining a team or class or even just walking, and try to make it part of your routine. Something that you look forward to and enjoy. Not something that you do because you feel as though you have to. 

Spend Time Away from Your Phone

Does your phone rule your life? Your immediate answer might be no, but think about it carefully. Do you take it everywhere? Do you check it in the night? Do you check it during dinner or when you are doing something that you enjoy? Do you feel lost without it? 

You certainly aren’t alone, and smartphone addiction is becoming a severe problem in modern society. 

While phones are good and have many benefits, when it becomes an addiction, it can have a negative impact on your mental health. A full digital detox might be a good idea, but trying to spend just a little time every day without your phone, going for walks without it, and leaving it in another room while you sleep, can all reduce your dependence on your device. 

Practice Continual Gratitude

Hopefully, you say thank you many times during an average day. But how often are you actually grateful? And how often do you think about those things that you are thankful for? Most of us just throw the words out because it’s polite and a habit that we have developed over time. 

Practicing gratitude is a little different. It’s not about saying the words. It’s about spending time thinking about all of the things in your life, or from your day that you are grateful for. You might even want to write them down as a reminder for the future. 

Practice Yoga Daily

Daily yoga has a massive range of health benefits. It can improve your posture and circulation. Over time it can strengthen your muscles, and it will ease any aches, pains and tension that you might have. Yoga can reduce stress, and it could even help you to balance your weight. 

For the biggest gains, you need to practice yoga regularly, and really push your body. But, if you just want to sleep better, live more mindfully, ease aches and pains and boost your mental health, even 10 minutes every day, before bed or first thing in the morning could help. Check out some yoga routines on YouTube for ideas. 

Start Saying No

So many of us are guilty of saying yes to everyone all of the time. We say yes to helping people out and taking more on at work. We say yes to every night out and social gathering because we don’t want to let anyone down. 

Saying no might not sound like a big deal, but it is self-care. Saying no allows you to put yourself first, and means that you aren’t taking on more than you’ve got time for. This can reduce your stress, and help you to keep all of your plates spinning. 

Spend More Time in Your Kitchen 

Cooking is a fantastic way to practice self-care. When you cook, you genially eat better, as you’ve got greater control over what goes into your meals. When you cook, you are more likely to try different flavors, meals and ingredients, and have a better digestive system. And, of course, cooking is a great way to let your hair down and have some fun. 

*contributed post*

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