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How to Practice Self-care When Things are Tough

Not all manicures and “treating yourself” are taking care of yourself, don’t you know? When you break it down, self-care is about ensuring that the most important needs are fulfilled. And that (literally) takes some time. Often, looking after the easiest, most human needs—eye-roll inducing, self-evident—is tougher than it sounds. And with self-care so commonly […]

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Not all manicures and “treating yourself” are taking care of yourself, don’t you know? When you break it down, self-care is about ensuring that the most important needs are fulfilled. And that (literally) takes some time.

Often, looking after the easiest, most human needs—eye-roll inducing, self-evident—is tougher than it sounds. And with self-care so commonly viewed on social media as an act of pampering, it’s no surprise that many of us can twist the real sense of self-care.

But no longer! It’s a new year, and with it comes a new chance to reassess what it entails to take care of ourselves—starting with those simple (but, in truth, enormously important) needs. Those that are so clear, they are always the first to be ignored.

So, how are we going to reach them? The recurrent theme is time—plans it and prioritizes it, so that self-care becomes as normal as you tie your shoe laces before you leave the door.

A lot of individuals with whom I work usually use time as an excuse not to be able to take care of themselves. If they’re too busy with jobs, or they’re too busy with kids and they’re too busy with home management. Others also claim that since they are still working on tight budgets, they cannot afford self-care.

Below are easy self-care tips when are busy.

Sleep

You’re going to need to nap. Both people do that. Sometimes, though, it’s not a lack of sleep, just so much of it, it’s going to screw with one’s mental wellbeing. Psychologists suggest that the trick to sleeping the most is developing a schedule and sticking to it. “I’m going to bed every night at 10:30 p.m. Wake up at 6:00 a.m. Any single night people need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to live well.”

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, continue to put your light down, stay warm, try to rest in front of your bed, and certainly stop looking at your phone, tablet or TV screen. Go to bed and get up every day at the same time.

Drink water

Again, developing an unalterable, time-based drinking water regimen would make it much easier to drink more. For instance, every time I say something during quieter moments at work, I try to take a drink of water. You may even choose to drink certain doses at certain hours of the day (use a marker to keep track). It’s a perfect reminder to have a reusable water bottle put on your desk at work or on your bed or sofa at home.

Feed yourself well

You’ve guessed it—like relaxing and drinking water, taking care of the simple needs in relation to eating well is about time as well. Specifically, scheduling your time to follow a daily schedule. It helps to keep the personal factors out of feeding, and leaves little to chance. Eating five meals a day—three main meals and two snacks—is necessary, no exceptions.

You may not be able to shop for your perfect healthy fresh food items, or for a dinner like a health influencer, but if you eat food that nourishes your body and gives you stamina, you’re doing great things.

Walk

Who’d have known that? Setting aside time every day to shift your body rig would help supply you with vitality and a big boost of good vibes. Whether it’s dancing around the house, heading for a nature walk, or just stretching, it’s vital to get exercise in one way or another for self-care.

Keep breathing

The great thing about being still and breathing is that it’s a mindfulness healthy alternative. Breathing in slowly, at your own rate, through your nose and out through your mouth is a ritual as old as time. And for that, there are legitimate excuses. In more than a few researches, it is proclaimed that attentive silence, indeed, just sitting there, breathing, relieves anxiety.

Emotions

We all feel emotions all day long, of course, but what about the feeling behind the emotion? A valuable aspect of simple self-care is “checking in” on you, and it’s about awareness. To listen to our underlying emotional needs. We might feel fine on the surface, if rather irritable. But the fact that we urgently need a hug and a little ‘cry, we may be covered up.

Cleaning up

With water as before, is not only life-giving, it’s cleansing, it’s clean and tidy, and it’s fun to swim in. So while it’s not as important to your life as sleep, food, and safe drinking water, it’s pretty important to have a tub, bath, or basin-scrub, self-care wise. Although the planet would not end one day if you miss a shower (I do it all the time!), it is not possible to ignore the act of taking care of yourself by simple grooming.

Your body is a sanctuary, you know. Keep it shiny and tidy, and not only can it shield you from infectious disease and infection, but it will also feel good in your head. Funny how it works, huh? Have a deal with yourself to take showers at the same time every day.

You could mess up, but your “same time, same place” attitude would ideally mean that you will just keep going the next day. And that’s about all of the above. There’s already been tomorrow; please keep driving! It’s time on your hands.

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