Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities you have in your life? Are you getting burned out at work or from the demands home life brings? Do you have a calendar that is constantly scheduled with things to do and no end in sight? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to think about incorporating the concept of self-care into your life and practicing this week’s, Help Yourself to Happy Challenge.
What is self-care?
Self-care means enhancing the quality of one’s life by taking active measures to improve it. It is all about putting yourself first. In order to maintain both your emotional and mental health, it is vital to stay aware of your own needs and feelings. Self-care acts as a preventive way to reduce burnout, feel better emotionally, physically, spiritually, and make positive improvements to how one lives their life.
Who is self-care for?
Self-care is for everyone. Adults, teenagers, and children all experience stress in different outlets of their lives. For adults, going to work, managing a household, and caring for others can lead to feelings of worry or tension that can impact your entire outlook on life and, your ability to function during the day. For teenagers and children, academic pressures put in place to succeed can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. These symptoms can impact them socially or cause struggles within themselves.
If you are having trouble deciding if you should be incorporating self-care into your life, I encourage you to first evaluate your overall feelings about yourself and the way you act around others. Then, if you are still not sure, I would encourage you to take a look at the University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work Self Care Assessment and Checklist page. This page allows you to access several different measurement tools for self-care, stress, burnout, and life satisfaction.
How do I incorporate self-care into my life?
The good thing about self-care is that anyone can utilize it and there are many things you can do to practice it. Here are a few suggestions to spark ideas and inspire you to incorporate self-care into your life.
Be calm: Engage in activities that are relaxing and can help improve your mood. Some ideas for tranquility include bubble baths, breathing in the fresh air, using scented candles, rubbing peppermint or lavender oil on your arm, and listening to calm music are some solutions to relive stress.
Go "unplugged": The amount of time that individuals spend on their phones, computers, and watching television shows is astonishing. Take a minute to evaluate the time you are checking your email, Facebook, texting, sitting on the couch, etc. and decide if you can decrease this amount. By doing this, you may find you are more focused and you have more energy.
Eat well: A healthy and balanced diet will help the way you feel and, will also improve your thought process. Eat regularly and try to eat 3 well-balanced meals every day. Have a healthy snack on hand when you are running late for a regular meal.
Try something new: Participate in a new activity that you enjoy. Whether it be book club, a fun dance class, a gardening activity, charity work, a new exercise class, or after-school sport, make sure it is something that is different from what you do every day in your work and home environment.
Take a mental health day: Plan a spontaneous day for yourself or child that involves leaving work or school behind. Take a short day trip somewhere, experience the outdoors, or spend time with your loved ones. This will allow you to distress and put things back in perspective.
If you would like additional ways to think about and/or practice self-care for you or your child, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email.