Life can be hectic and many times it is difficult to avoid the stress and anxiety that can throw the balance of your life off. It is easy to put your needs last after trying to take care of family, work, school, or other things that can drain your energy and leave you with nothing left to give. Always looking out for others and not yourself will leave you feeling out of balance, frustrated, and exhausted. Taking time for self-care is necessary for both your physical and mental well-being. Self-care has been clinically proven to reduce depression and anxiety, improve concentration, reduce stress, minimize anger and frustration, improve energy, and increase happiness. Here are a few ways that you can take time for yourself and restore the balance in your life.
Move every day: Regular physical activity can strengthen the immune system, increase endorphins (feel good hormones), can help relieve anxiety and depression, increase energy among many other things. Taking time to be outdoors can help reduce fatigue and provide a connection with nature.
Eat a healthy diet: The food we eat can affect our ability to prevent, fight, and recover from illness. Food can also impact mood. Certain foods can encourage the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish , nuts, and leafy greens are a much healthier alternative to eating highly processed and refined foods which can negatively affect our brain and body.
Make sleep a priority: Getting an adequate amount of sleep can improve brain function, regulate your mood, and increase your energy level. Try relaxation or meditation exercises before bedtime to reduce stress and promote better sleep. Disconnecting from the TV or phone prior to bedtime is also helpful for calming the mind to prepare for sleep. Avoid caffeine and sugar close to bedtime also. Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to optimize their health.
Practice setting aside time for yourself: Do things that you enjoy doing and make time to recharge your own battery to avoid burning out. Set boundaries and don't feel guilty about making time for yourself. It will benefit your mental and physical health and will allow you to better be able to deal with the everyday stresses of life.
Self-care is not selfish it is vital to being able to avoid burnout, maintain and improve your mental and physical health, and you. will be able to be there for the people in your life that need you the most. It will help you to get in touch with who you are and allow you to avoid the burnout and frustration that everyday life can bring.