Self-Care has become increasingly important in our fast-paced world. When we're mindful of taking care of ourselves, we can positively impact our attitude, health and energy. Below are five self-care strategies to help us move towards a happier life.
1. Realize that self-care is an ongoing necessity.
Many of us think we only need self-care when we're stressed. Although this can be a great wake-up call to change our unhealthy patterns and habits, shifting our mindset can be more effective overall. Instead, it's important to see self-care as a form of preventative healthcare.
Taking time daily to relax and unwind decreases the likelihood of negative feelings building up over time and allows us to gradually build a self-care regimen. Over time, our bodies will feel healthier and our minds more at peace.
2. Do what you enjoy.
Let your friends and family be inspirations, not prescriptions, of how to take care of yourself. So often we compare ourselves to how others like to relax, and think there must be something wrong with me if I don't enjoy the same things.
Maybe being social and meeting new people helps your best friend feel more connected and alive, but to you staying in and reading a book sounds like the most calming way to spend the evening. That's okay! Find activities and hobbies that you genuinely like doing and it will be that much easier to stick to them in the long run.
3. Carve self-care into your existing schedule.
As a meditation teacher, I'm always telling my students that one of the ways to begin and sustain a meditation practice is to fit it into your existing schedule. The same can be applied to self-care. When we look at self-care as something that requires special time to be set aside, a commodity most of us have very little to none of, then it becomes daunting and uninspiring.
Thoughtfully look at your daily schedule and think about where you can insert a walk, get a massage, connect with a friend, or find time for any other self-care practice that you enjoy. It doesn't have to take up too much time and can be a quick way to re-energize.
4. Be flexible.
Sometimes we get so fixated on doing something one way that we limit our ability to see that we can reach the same results in different ways. Say that one of your self-care goals includes staying fit by exercising every day.
This can cover a broad spectrum of activities that don't necessarily have to be limited to one type of repetitive exercise. You can try going to the gym one day, a yoga class the next, and then for a walk the following day. Experiment with your self-care practices and be creative with what works for you.
5. Do what's possible.
This means setting modest goals and being realistic about what you can do at the moment. If your goal was to eat all home-cooked meals for the week and one evening you feel too tired to make anything, then be kind to yourself and be okay with buying something to eat. You can always opt for a healthy alternative.
Every day will be different, bringing with it a different set of moods and various responsibilities. Adapting to our needs at the moment is in itself a self-care practice.
Remember self-care is supposed to be fun, enjoy time you make for yourself. So, don't take it all too seriously! Appreciate the journey to a healthier mind, body, and spirit.