Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential! Taking care of yourself has a positive influence on both your well-being as well as your relationships. Here are our top 6 tips for integrating more self-care into your everyday life, step by step. Get ready for some me-time, you deserve it!
What is Self-Care?
When was the last time you consciously took time out and did something nice just for you? Is it taking you a long time to figure it out? Then it’s long overdue!
We like taking care of our family and friends. And that’s a good thing! We’re social creatures, and it makes us happy to help others. But, in that process, it’s important to remember one very important person in your life – yourself! Your energy, attention, and time are limited resources, so it’s important to listen to yourself, recognize your own needs, and then learn to manage stress in your life.
The term self-care itself is a pretty good explanation of the concept behind it. You take care of yourself by doing things that make you feel better and improve your mental and physical health.
Self-care doesn’t mean just thinking about yourself, much less exploiting others for your benefit. You just take care of yourself, while continuing to maintain those relationships that are important to you. The focus is on knowing and respecting your own boundaries and communicating those clearly to other people. This skill requires a high level of awareness of your own feelings, a dose of self-confidence, and good self-esteem.
Why is Self-Care Important for Your Well-Being?
A busy schedule, commitments to friends and family, and work deadlines that are getting closer and closer. All of this can trigger overwhelming feelings of stress and inner turmoil. Over the long term, neglecting your wellbeing and ignoring your needs can have negative consequences:
- Feeling exhausted and listless all the time.
- Feeling irritable and unbalanced.
- Exhausting yourself and not taking enough breaks.
- Feeling dissatisfied.
Our tip: Get more energy back into your daily routine with our 13 simple tips for overcoming a lack of motivation.
Self-care means, above all else, shaping your relationship with yourself in a positive way. Get used to your feelings and thoughts, get to know yourself better, recognize exactly what things aren’t good for you, and learn to let them go. Then you’ll practice self-care over the long term and most of all: feel balanced and at peace with yourself.
Implementing self-care practices in everyday life isn’t as easy as it seems at first glance. Some people find it difficult to consciously take care of their own well-being and take time for themselves instead of focusing their obligations to others 24 hours a day. One of these three reasons may be behind this reluctance to reserve self-care time:
#1 Fear of seeming selfish
Want to be there for others, but then find little time left for yourself? Remember, self-care has nothing to do with selfishness! If you want to be there for others, the first thing you have to do is take care of yourself. When you’re doing well, you’ll be able to help others better. Use self care to promote health in your life and you’ll deal with challenging situations in a completely different way and be much more relaxed when you do it.
#2 Thinking you don’t deserve it
Everyone deserves self-care. You do too! Know your worth and take time for yourself by practicing self-care. This way you’ll avoid getting into situations you don’t want to be in because of social habits and increase your self-confidence and self-awareness along the way.
#3 Feeling your performance is more important than your well-being
Always going at full speed can be very stressful in the long run. Balance in life is essential for your well-being. Remember that spending time on self-care is not the same as being lazy, even though some of us were raised with those cultural beliefs. Relaxation is just as important as top performance and is part of a balanced daily routine.
Boost Your Mental Health In 6 Steps
Self-care is a long-term mindset, so it’s best to make it a permanent part of your life. This involves more than taking a bubble bath by candlelight or reading a book once in a while. Although those are also good ways to relax: there’s no question about that! But there’s more to stress management than just taking breaks. Our tips and exercises will help you integrate more self-care rituals into your everyday life, step by step:
#1 Learn to value yourself.
Think you need external approval to be worth something? Nothing could be further from the truth. Treat yourself with self compassion and realize that your worth doesn’t depend on the opinion of others. You are valuable and you deserve self-care. Try this exercise for emotional self-care: pay closer attention to your choice of words when you talk about yourself. Try to phrase your sentences in a positive way and praise yourself sometimes! For more tips, take a look at our article on improving your self-esteem.
#2 Recognize your own needs.
When was the last time you asked yourself what you need? Listen to yourself. Wish you had more time for yourself and your hobbies? Want to learn to play a new instrument? A nice dinner with your partner? A virtual happy hour with old friends? Or just a bit of peace and quiet?
Countless needs and wants come up all the time. Self-care is all about knowing and acknowledging them. Try this exercise: keep a journal to track your needs. Writing them down helps you get in touch with your thoughts and feelings and reflect on what you might be missing.
#3 Set clear boundaries to maintain health.
Self-care includes the ability to set boundaries and say no. Know your limits and make sure they’re respected to improve your emotional health. Always ask yourself if any given request is really okay for you right now. Can you find the energy and time?
Rejection may not make everyone happy, but most people will understand. If you have relationships based on mutual respect, other people will know that you need time for yourself, too.
#4 Listen to your body.
Physical self-care starts with meeting your basic self-care needs. Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating regularly and following a healthy diet? Do you get enough exercise in your everyday life? A delicious meal, some exercise, or a walk can have a mood-boosting effect and ensure you get a good dose of happy hormones!
Our tip: Indulge yourself and get inspiration for your next meal! Healthy can also be delicious! Don’t believe us? Check out our wide variety of recipes for all seasons!Discover your new favorite dish
#5 Shush your inner critic.
A loving approach to yourself means not bringing yourself down or beating yourself up mentally. Stop your negative thoughts as soon as you notice them. After they quiet down, you can question how distorted they were and get a more realistic perspective instead of seeing everything in a negative light.
Try to focus on positive things instead. Focus your awareness on your body and your surroundings, and ask yourself what you are grateful for. That can be anything: a tasty meal, a good friend, an exciting book, a yoga flow session, or a nice movie. Every little thing that makes you feel good counts.
Our reading tip: How about some meditation to quiet your mind? Learn to meditate step by step in our article on meditation.
#6 Integrate fixed rituals into your day.
A self-care routine can mean different things to different people. But rituals are a common feature because they provide a new rhythm for, as well as a break from, a hectic everyday life.
Rituals can help you with mindfulness, get closer to a certain goal, establish new habits, bring more structure into your day, and come with other self-care benefits. Fixed working hours in your home office, structured meals, regular breaks, and even home workouts give you orientation in your day-to-day and a good feeling of having got things done.
For a ritual to make sense to you personally, it should appeal to your interests and improve your daily life. You aren’t supposed to see it as a waste of time or an extra burden. When you enjoy it, it’s easy to do it regularly.
- Self-care means doing things that positively affect both your physical and mental health.
- Self-care is not selfish, instead it helps you improve both the quality of your life and your relationships with others.
- Knowing your self-worth, setting clear boundaries, meeting your basic needs, pursuing your passions, and focusing on the positive are all part of self-care.
- To make self-care part of your daily life, figure out what you really need and make those things a regular ritual.
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