Self-care is not a new concept. It is defined as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health,'' which is honestly something we do instinctively. But as of late, the term “self-care” has become uber trendy, along with the more prominent actions and activities that fall under its umbrella.
And while things like treating yourself to a spa day, getting your hair/nails done, or going shopping may be the first that come to mind when we think of self-care, they are definitely not our only options. There are so many small, cost-effective methods of self-care we can apply to our daily routines! Yet we are constantly overlooking them or not realizing that they too count as self-care.
Following are four simple methods of self-care you can start putting into action today:
Make Yourself a Priority - Now this one seems so simple and obvious but if it was, why are so many of us NOT doing it? It’s because we tend to schedule our “me time” after everything else is already in place. That results in us squeezing in the things that promote our sanity and well-being, and sometimes not even getting around to them at all. But that can change if we shift into the mindset of putting ourselves first. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s selfish to do so because giving yourself the attention, time, and love you deserve is NOT SELFISH.
Watch Your Language - Words and thoughts have serious power. So not only do you need to be mindful about the things you say and think about others, but you need to watch out for negative thoughts and comments you have about yourself. When things don’t go right, avoid beating yourself up and questioning your worth. Instead, try focusing on the effort and progress you actually made and hype yourself up so that next time, things will go the way you want them to!
Don’t Sleep on Sleep - I don’t know when we are all going to learn that skipping out on sleep does us more hurt than good. When I was in college, I can’t tell you how many times I performed better when I chose to go to sleep and wake up early to study or finish a paper, instead of pulling an all-nighter trying to cram it all in. There are so many benefits to getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep, such as improved alertness, mood, and intellectual function. So yea, just go to sleep. It’s really that simple.
Get Off Social Media - Ah, social media. It’s something that's supposed to create and strengthen our connection to others but at times, it can have the opposite effect. Studies have shown that social media can cause unhappiness, negative mood, and lack of overall satisfaction with one’s life. And that’s probably because we can’t help but compare what’s going on in our lives to what appears to be going on in everyone else’s. So you don’t have to ditch Facebook and Instagram completely, but you might want to consider slowing up your usage a bit.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to methods of self-care. But the most important thing to remember is that self-care is personal and best suited to the individual. You have to do what works best for YOU. Take the time to identify what those things and then make the effort to proactively schedule the time to take care of yourself. You won’t regret it.