By Brad Krause
Self-care conjures up the idea of luxuries like vacations, massages, and pricey makeup but it really should not. Self-care is not these indulgences (although to be fair, they can help!). Self-care is merely the things that you do to keep yourself whole from the inside out.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is crucial on many levels. Not only does it help you keep your body in top shape, but it’s also one way to tackle any looming mental health problems. Doing simple things for yourself, such as sleeping well and eating right, which will both be discussed below, can help you feel—and look—your very best.
Simple Self-Care Strategies
It’s time to let go of the idea that self-care has to be complicated. It doesn’t. Here are some ways you can start prioritizing yourself today.
1. Watch what you eat. This advice is as old as time, but science has proven there is more to food than the pounds reflected on the scale. Eating gives your body the fuel it needs to wake up each morning and tackle the day. And some of your favorites, like bananas, beans, avocados, and beets, are known to help kick depression to the curb.
2. Keep track of your finances. Stress is one of the things you have working against you. And there are few things as stressful as worrying about your finances. Take the time to evaluate your personal economics, and then look for ways to ease concerns and fears that you might have. Create a budget, which Bank of America says starts with determining your income, and stick to it. If you find you come up short at the end of each month, free up cash by refinancing your home, consider downgrading your vehicle, or forgo a few non-essentials, such as cable television and your daily stop at the gourmet coffee shop.
3. Make your home a retreat. Stress is also found at home, but you can stop it at the welcome mat by turning your home into a place you love. This starts by keeping things neat, clutter-free, and clean. You will also want to add features that you enjoy, such as a garden, backyard hammock, or covered area meant for entertaining.
4. Go to bed on time. Going to bed when you can devote eight hours to sleep might sound like it will take up too much of your time. The truth is that you have to make time for sleep. According to ResMed, the time you spend sleeping works to boost your immune system and recover from whatever you put your body through the day before.
5. Make time for yourself. Just like you have to make time for sleep, you also have to devote at least some of the minutes on the clock to yourself. This starts by learning how to say no—and letting go of the guilt associated with it—so that you can use whatever spare time you may have in your crazy and hectic life to pursue your personal passions. And, like working out strengthens your body, the things you do for yourself strengthen your mind and keep the fire alive in your soul.
If you do not prioritize yourself, you will never be fully you. You’ll be depleted and always wanting but never taking. Learn to accept that you have to take care of you. Self-care is crucial to your well-being, and it should never be an afterthought. These ideas are meant to act as an icebreaker. Use them on your journey of self-discovery and you will soon learn exactly what it takes to treat yourself how you deserve to be treated.
This is a guest blog post from Brad Krause. After spending most of his time in a corporate setting and neglecting his own self-care far too long, Brad embraced his calling and decided to become a full-time life coach. He now spends the rest of his life helping people get a better foothold on their wellness above all else.