The term, ‘self-care’ might bring to mind images of hot bubble baths, spa days, shopping sprees, and generally living your best life, but have you ever stopped to consider what self-care means? Self-care doesn’t just mean indulging whenever the opportunity arises because you think you deserve it. In fact, in most cases, self-care would mean refraining from certain things while keeping the bigger picture in mind.
Most times, taking good care of yourself means doing the more difficult and less comfortable things, but not all self-care feels that way. In reality, taking care of yourself isn’t that difficult. Here are five of the easiest ways to do just that.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most important and underrated ways to take better care of yourself. Of all the tips on this list, this one is the most important because without enough sleep, your endeavors are doomed to fail.
Getting enough sleep makes sure that your body gets a chance to recoup, rebuild, and recover from workouts and everyday life. It keeps your immune system ready to go and works as a reset button for your nervous system. If you’re not getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, you should consider making some changes to your daily schedule.
Once the sun goes down, start winding down for the day. Turn off your electronic devices, or throw on a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. Too much exposure to blue light from a screen can make you feel more awake than you actually are, and can throw off your sleep cycles when you finally doze off.
No matter what you do, make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
- Eat a healthy diet
The old adage, “you get out what you put in,” refers to more than just investing time and energy. Quite literally, your body completely regenerates itself approximately every seven years. So the ‘you’ from seven years ago is a completely different ‘you’ than the ‘you’ staring back in the mirror.
If you don’t like the ‘you’ staring back in the mirror, then you should consider improving your diet, because food is what your body uses to rebuild itself over time. Seven years is a long time to wait to see results, but you’ll feel better almost instantly.
Eating a healthy diet will leave you feeling more energized, focused, and ready to take on new challenges every day. Food is literally fuel for your body to use, so if you want optimal performance, you need to be using premium fuel!
- Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is most likely to leave you feeling happy and energized, but we know how difficult it is to get off the couch and head to the gym. The fact is that exercising is uncomfortable, and most normal people simply don’t want to be uncomfortable. That doesn’t make you a weak person or an unmotivated individual -it just makes you normal.
So instead of guilting yourself for not exercising as much as you could, practice some self-care by doing something physically demanding once every day. Whether it’s a five-minute circuit workout or a twenty minute walk, getting up and getting active is guaranteed to leave you feeling better afterwards.
The trick is always going to be getting started, but once it’s over with, you’ll always feel better, stronger, and more confident than before. Use each little victory to propel you forward into a regular habit of exercising, and you’ll find it a little bit easier to get started each day.
- Reduce your stress
Taking care of yourself involves taking responsibility for how you feel. If you find yourself stressed out too often, take some time for yourself more often. Set aside ten minutes twice per day when you can practice meditation. Set a reminder on your phone to practice mindfulness as you go about your day.
Avoid carrying stress home with you too. Be intentional with the way in which you unwind everyday, whether it’s smoking cannabis, going for a run, or both. You can learn more about the different ways to incorporate cannabis into a healthy lifestyle by reading this article on Veriheal.
- Learn to say no
A huge part of practicing good self-care is getting ourselves to do difficult or uncomfortable things that will be good for our health in the long run, but the other half of self-care is knowing when to say ‘no.’
“No,” is the lost word. Most people are too worried about what others will think, so the word, “no,” gets lost in a sea of half-true yeses. If you want to truly take care of yourself, you need to learn how to say no to others when things don’t align with your values and goals.
If you’re on a diet, say no when that friend invites you out for pizza and beer, or offer an alternative. The beautiful part is that nobody can tell you what to do -you make decisions for yourself, and that’s what self-care boils down to!
Life can get pretty hectic, but there’s always a way to practice good self-care. If you follow these five tips, you’re sure to find a more rewarding and stress-free life.