Sometimes it can feel like our attention is being pulled in every direction, especially these past several months. From learning how to live amidst a pandemic, to relying more heavily on technology to staying connected, to putting our best foot forward to help fight injustices in our communities, 2020 has been a year full of change and adaptation. When there are competing priorities within both our professional and personal lives, it can be difficult to remember to count yourself as a priority too.
International Self-Care Day is the perfect opportunity to slow down the hustle and bustle of your daily life to check in with yourself. It’s a chance to put your own needs first and reevaluate how you’re treating your mind and body. Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean a week-long trip to the spa or meditation in a field of blooming flowers (although, that does sound wonderful). In fact, practicing self-care doesn’t have to be an elaborate or expensive experience at all. Rather, it’s about setting aside time to be intentional about tuning into the mind-body connection.
Checking in with yourself also doesn’t mean you toss the other priorities or responsibilities in your life aside. Self-care is all about balance – doing what you need to do in order to remain energized, clear-minded and in touch with your inner self.
Finally, practicing self-care can mean something different for everyone. If you’re not sure where to start or need some fresh ideas, check out this list of easy and approachable self-care tactics you can apply today.
Enjoy fresh air and sunlight daily When we get in a groove of busy schedules, sometimes we find ourselves spending the majority of the day indoors. Getting a breath of fresh air and feeling the sunshine on your face is a great, yet simple, way to boost your mood and well-being. Whether you take a walk, eat a meal outside or even just mindfully enjoy the stroll to your car in the parking lot, take time for yourself by filling up those lungs with fresh air and appreciating the outdoors daily.
Learn to say no We often spread ourselves too thin because we are unable or unwilling to say no. Although it feels good to help others by saying yes, taking on too much or overcommitting to plans isn’t always in our best interest. Learn that it’s okay to say no. With work or other projects, delegating or asking for help is a great quality to leverage when you’re feeling overwhelmed. When you’re not able to put your best foot forward, there is no need to push yourself too hard. Instead, muster up the courage to request backup to get the job done.
Treat yourself Do something just because it makes you feel good! Go out for ice cream, buy yourself an unnecessary gift or spend an afternoon doing an activity you love like playing tennis or watching Netflix. We tend to think our own desires are negligible. Ignoring our wants tells our minds and bodies that they are not a priority, then we do not honor them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Treating yourself to something you wouldn’t normally enjoy is a major aspect of practicing self-care. While maybe not all the time, it’s beneficial to indulge in a sweet treat or a much-needed day off.
Prioritize sleep Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, that does not mean you should interrupt your sleep schedule to cross one more item off your to-do list. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for both our physical and mental health. Sleeping at least eight hours a night allows our bodies to reset and recharge for the next day while helping to keep our minds remaining sharp and focused. Instead of watching TV or scrolling through your phone, try reading a couple chapters in a new book before bed. Reading helps reduce stress and wind the mind down from the day, setting you up for a more restful night’s sleep.
Regardless of how you choose to prioritize your needs, always remember that self-care isn’t selfish. Checking in with ourselves is necessary in order to keep up motivation, energy and wellness. Regardless of how busy a schedule, there is always time to make room for yourself.
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