What have you done to take care of yourself today? When asked this question, most people have to think long and hard prior to answering. Family, work and other obligations may cause you to put your needs behind everyone else’s. You may find this often leaves you stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. Putting others before yourself is a threat to resilience, well-being and even your overall health. Practicing self-care is one of the fundamentals of resilience.
While everyone practices self-care differently, the general meaning of this term includes any activities that you intentionally perform to benefit your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Try some of the activities below to practice self-care!
Stay on top of preventive care – This includes regular physical exams, vaccines, blood pressure checks, well-woman exams, and more.
Get medical care when you need it – Are you the type of person that avoids going to the doctor? If you’re sick, injured, or experiencing pain or symptoms that may require medical intervention, it is important that you get care.
Exercise – Regular physical activity is necessary for good physical health. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
Eat healthy – Good nutrition is also necessary for physical health. Be sure to nourish your body with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein and healthy fats.
Sleep well – Making sure you are rested is important for self-care and can help you handle emotions and deal with stress. Aim to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night!
Reduce stress – Life is full of stressors, big and small, and if not properly managed it can affect you physically and emotionally.
Get organized – This may not necessarily sound fun, but it can make a big difference in your mental health. Nothing dampens your day like disorder or chaos!
Know your boundaries – Learning when to say no to others is a critical habit for both self-care and resilience.
Unplug – Take some time away from your cell phone, computer, tablet, TV, etc. It can benefit your mental and physical health.
Have fun – Go out to dinner, see a movie, have a spa day—any activity that you can do that puts your needs and pleasure first!
Stay connected – Spend time with family and friends who make a positive contribution to your life—for example, those who make you laugh and smile.
Seek support – Whether it is family, friends, coworkers or a support group, having people that you can rely on is good for self-care and resilience.
If there is another self-care activity you would prefer to do, that’s okay too. Just be sure to choose an activity that you’re intentionally performing to benefit the most important person in your life: YOU!