Self care can take different forms for different people. To some, self care may look like a weekend trip with friends. To others, it may take the form of a nap or a yoga class. Your self care strategies will likely vary from someone else’s because of differing life circumstances and stress levels. The important thing is that you identify self care practices that work for you, and make them a part of your daily or weekly routine.
Why is Self Care Important?
In its most basic definition, self care is the “ability to take care of the activities of daily living”—eating, sleeping, showering, etc. But self care also refers to activities you engage in to maintain emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Emotionally-balancing self care can go a long way in reducing your overall stress level and increasing your productivity and quality of life. If your job or personal life has you feeling stressed out, try these simple self care tips to diminish stress and attain a more balanced state of mind, body, and spirit.
Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
The trifecta of self care: diet, exercise, and sleep. In many cases, it seems that people are able to master one or two of these things at a time, but the boost to your health is made complete by the combination of all three.
Among other benefits, good nutrition provides your body with energy. Energy is required to carry out daily activities including exercise, which promotes more restful sleep. And sleep helps improve your brain function, metabolism, immune system, and more.
The interplay between these three self care practices provides a multitude of health benefits that result in less stress and a better quality of life.
The American Institute of Stress (AIS) refers to deep breathing as the “super stress buster,” because it evokes your body’s relaxation response, leaving you feeling calm, focused, and less stressed. Try deep, abdominal breathing to focus your mind and reduce anxiety when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Write Things Down
When you’re feeling stressed out, it can be difficult to remember every item on your to-do list. Try lightening the load for your brain by writing things down as you think of them—grocery lists, work tasks, family reminders, etc. Keeping track of your to-dos on a notepad or smartphone app reduces the amount of information your memory is required to store.
Limit Your Screen Time
Prolonged exposure to screen technology overstimulates the mind, often leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Too much screen time also shortens your attention span and damages your ability to focus. So, when it’s time to concentrate on important tasks at work or at home, your brain has difficulty getting the job done.
Try setting limits on the amount of time you spend in front of a screen each day. Sticking to these limits will help your brain feel less fatigued while freeing you up to engage in other activities.