How to Take Care of Yourself Now That You’ve Taken Care of Others
It’s that time again when the holiday season is behind us and we welcome the beginning of a new year. Now that you’ve taken care of everyone else, you can start the new year by taking care of yourself. You planned the family gathering dinners, checked off all the gifts from the list, participated in countless holiday parties, and even made your end-of-year deadlines. It’s time to put the focus on you.
Just the mere thought of self-care may cause some of us to feel a tinge of shame like we’re undeserving of it, but self-care is more than just treating yourself (although we’re not against it), but rather it’s about incorporating actions into your everyday life that will significantly improve your well-being. In doing so, you are then able to better take care of others as well. When we put ourselves first we are better equipped to help those around us. And that sense of personal wellness permeates through our relationships with work, family, and friends.
WHAT IS SELF CARE?
When we talk about self-care we’re not just talking about making a list of new year resolutions, we mean establishing practices, big or small, that can improve your well-being. There aren’t any rules one must follow. It can be anything that brings joy or fulfillment whether through physical, emotional, or spiritual actions. It doesn’t have to involve a huge commitment and it doesn’t have to cost a penny or take up much time. Anything from taking a walk, calling a friend, starting a new hobby, or getting a wellness treatment is a perfectly good form of self-care.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Across the nation, depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. Although technology has played an immense part in relieving certain stressors by streamlining many tedious tasks in our lives, it has also overwhelmed us with constant data and demands. We are inundated with emails, texts, calls, and virtual meetings. It may feel impossible to keep up and even more impossible to disconnect. To properly function from day to day it’s critical to take a step back and find ways to protect your mental health.
THE BENEFITS ON YOUR WELL-BEING
Practicing self-care improves your overall well-being by reducing stress, uplifting your mood, and increasing happiness. Depending on the length and types of activities you do, these rewards can be felt instantly and have a long-lasting physiological impact. One such positive byproduct is the effect on sleep. When people feel better they are prone to better sleep, and better sleep can manifest in all sorts of ways in your everyday life. Your focus gets sharper and productivity is increased. Your temperament is better, (we all know how short-tempered we can be when we don’t get enough rest), and therefore your relationships and interactions with others are improved. When you are in a good mood your anxiety and stress are reduced. Being in a better mental headspace allows you to be more present and handle difficult situations more effectively. Self-care has physical benefits as well. You have more energy, are less prone to illness and generally feel better all around, allowing you to enjoy more activities with family and friends. Studies have shown that people who feel happier and less stressed tend to get sick less.
WHAT MAY BE STOPPING YOU FROM SELF CARE
There are many reasons why we put self-care to the side. Perhaps we feel guilty about taking time for ourselves. These days it can feel like there is very little time left in the day after work and family obligations. However, that time spent taking care of yourself will have a ripple effect on other areas in your life. Whether it’s with work, your social life, or in the home, when you feel better about yourself it shows and others can feel that positivity too. Your work will improve and so will your relationships.
Or maybe it’s time and money that worry you. There are many steps you can take that don’t cost a lot of money or take up much time. The trick is finding the things that bring you joy and practicing them often. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes a day, there are several ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine that will still have a powerful effect.
WHAT DOES SELF-CARE LOOK LIKE
The easy thing about self-care is that you decide for yourself what you need. Taking care of yourself can look like many things, it can be:
Emotional: taking a bath, lighting a candle, learning a new hobby, therapy, reaching out to a friend, journaling.
Spiritual: meditating, practicing gratitude, prayer or going to church, helping others.
Physical: getting a facial or massage, buying yourself something you’ve been wanting, yoga, eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep, taking a singing or dancing lesson. Anything that can help boost endorphins will improve your mood like exercise, going for a walk or hike, and the coolest wellness treatments like whole body cryotherapy.
WHAT CRYOTHERAPY IS AND HOW IT HELPS
When thinking of self-care, whole body cryotherapy is a must. It is an effective, non-invasive, holistic wellness treatment formerly only used in medical facilities but is now available to the public. Think of it as an all-in-one self-care package. Not only does it help to calm the mind and relieve stress, but its remedial qualities extend to the body as well. Studies have shown cryo sessions help to improve overall mood, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce inflammation in the body and relieve pain. Using extreme cold air that circulates around the body for just 3 minutes, a cryo session invigorates the body and provides instant results, making it an easy way to take care of yourself inside and out.
Taking a few moments for self-care will always be beneficial, but long-lasting results are seen when you incorporate these into a routine. By practicing self-care throughout the week you are ensuring that you’re not sliding back into old habits that keep you in a rut. Just like with any new habit, the more consistent you are with it, the more it is ingrained in your lifestyle and the stronger you’ll be, in all aspects of your health.