Self-care is something many people let slide. Many of us are prone to putting everyone else’s needs above our own. I can attest to the fact that if my kids need something, I will put their needs above mine 99% of the time. This wears on me. It makes me tired and irritable and quite frankly, not the most effective parent. What I’ve found in my own life is that if I do just a few simple things that take care of ME, I’m a better mother, friend, partner, and person in general. And it’s really not that hard.
Stay hydrated. This is the simplest thing that so many people have trouble with. Get fluids in your body, preferably water, preferably about 64 ounces a day. And honestly, if you only drink 40 ounces, no one’s calling the water po-po. Some is always better than none. Whenever you think about it, sip. If you need to fancy it up, add some cucumber or lemon. Buy Perrier if that helps. Whatever. Just drink. Your skin and energy levels will thank you.
Eat like you love yourself. If you’re shoveling fast food and crap down your throat 80% of the time, you’re gonna FEEL like fast food and crap 80% of the time. When you eat well, you feel well. Choose a diet that feels right for you and pay attention to your body when you put certain foods in it. If pasta blows you up like a balloon, omit it. If apples give you an afternoon burst of energy, eat ‘em. Eat well most of the time, splurge a little, and watch how much better you look and feel.
Take a multivitamin. No one’s diet is perfect, and a vitamin supplement will ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need to function optimally. I notice a difference when I forget to take mine. Get yourself a weekly pill holder like your granny had and put your supplements in there. Keep it someplace you’ll see it every day. Also, this is a great way to get some water because you’ll need to chug some to get the vitamins down.
Move your body. Movement fights depression & anxiety and keeps you fit. Take walks and hikes. Swim. Find a yoga or spinning class. Kayak, ski, snowboard, ride a bike! Exercise can also boost your libido, and sex can be a great physical activity as well. Movement is a win-win, people.
Find a soul-filler. A soul-filler can be anything from meditation to running to painting to reading a book. What lights you up? Carve out time each day to fill your soul with something that brings you peace and joy. Even 15 minutes of a soul-filler can make a difference in your day.
Spend time with positive people. If the people you are hanging around with are constantly negative, you might want to re-think your relationships. No one is going to be love and light ALL the time, but we all know those who do nothing but complain, whine, bitch, and moan. Those people are DRAINING. Spend as little time with them as possible. If you ARE one of those people, think about what you may be bringing (even unintentionally) to the lives of those around you. There’s a saying that we become like the five people with whom we spend the most time. Think about those five people in your own life – including yourself! Are they generally uplifting, helpful, joyful, compassionate, and loving? If so, you’re on the right track.
Get enough sleep. Everyone is different when it comes to rest, and you know yourself better than anyone. Generally speaking, 6-8 hours per night works for people. If you’re not getting adequate sleep, make some changes. Tons of sleep tips are available online. Sleep is under-rated in our busy society, and we all need quality rest in order to feel and function well.
Keep your living space as peaceful and calm as possible. Your home should be your sanctuary. It should be where you go to recharge and refresh. If it’s relatively organized, clutter-free, and clean, you’ll be able to do this without a hitch. A relaxing home is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your family.
Focus on the now. As much as possible, keep your mind on today. There is nothing in the past that can be changed, and it is only by living RIGHT NOW that we can make our way into the future. Worrying about what ISN’T is a waste of your precious time. Be about today.
And finally, appreciate what you have. Focus on your blessings, even if some days the blessing is that you made it through another day. Even our worries and problems can bring us gifts. If you spend a few minutes each day in quiet gratitude, you’ll find you have everything you need to be content. Appreciate it all.