Self-care is an important part of staying healthy and being able to manage your daily stressors. Taking time for yourself to relax and recharge can help you stay productive and maintain a positive outlook on life. In this Boyd Blog, we’re going to provide some simple self-care tips that you can use to improve your overall well-being.
Rest and Recharge
Regardless of who you are, you NEED sleep. A good night’s rest is essential for your overall health and well-being and allows your body and mind to heal from the day. A big way to achieve deep and efficient sleep is to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. Additionally, setting up a comfortable sleep environment can help promote better sleep. This includes keeping your bedroom clean and organized, dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. If you need to listen to something to fall asleep, search for a video on YouTube like “Rainfall with Black Screen” or invest in a fan or white noise machine. It is also important to avoid electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed. The blue light from screens can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep. Avoid substances before bed such as alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, since these will deter your body from falling asleep. Remember to unwind before you hit the hay with meditation, light exercise, deep breathing, or yoga to help you prepare your body for rest.
Fuel Your Body. Don’t Overdo It.
You know the feeling. Leaving work after a stressful day, reaching for the most delicious, greasy, sugar-filled foods around you as your form of relief, and stuffing your face until you are past feeling full. What matters is how you feel after that therapeutic “sugar high” wears off. You’re stuck feeling sluggish and malnourished. Instead of reaching for unhealthy options, try reaching for some fresh fruit, veggies, or unsalted nuts. Not only are these options tasty, but your body will thank you for them without the nasty side effects. To keep it easy, prep some fresh fruits and veggies and keep them in your refrigerator so they are easily accessible. If you must keep unhealthy options in your home for other household members, keep them out of sight and out of reach so they aren’t as accessible.
Be Kind to Yourself
We are typically our own worst critics, and we can be harsh. Try to combat these harsh thoughts with kindness. A good way to practice this is to replace negative self-talk with more positive self-talk. If you regularly think about all the things you’ve done wrong, try focusing on what you’ve done right. You must learn to focus on things you can control, and let go of those you can’t control. In addition, practicing gratitude every day will help solidify your positive thought patterns. Every day choose a dedicated time to either think or write down 5 things you are grateful for and celebrate them no matter how small. You can include this in your morning or evening routine to make it even easier to remember.
Treat Yourself and Maintain a “Don’t Do” List
After a long day, sometimes the only thing we want to do is sit on the couch and munch on popcorn or crawl into bed and scroll mindlessly through social media or YouTube. Try to fight this feeling and appreciate yourself by treating your body and mind after a long day. Turn off the phone and try to listen to what your body needs. Are you sore? Take a warm bath with a scented candle. Feeling stressed? Clear your mind with some meditation and practice deep breathing. Treating your body and mind will feel much more rewarding than just sitting and doing nothing for hours. Also, maintaining this “Don’t Do” list can help improve your mental and physical health:
1) Don’t stay in bed all-day
2) Don’t skip your meals
3) Don’t neglect your hygiene
4) Don’t ignore warning signs of physical and mental health conditions
5) Don’t forget to make time for yourself
6) Don’t forget to be kind to yourself
Stop the Scrolling and Turn Off the TV
While social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, it can become an addicting habit. When you start scrolling or watching TV, hours can pass and all of a sudden you have no time to do what needs to get done, which leads to unnecessary stress. Continuing this habit can be emotionally scarring, and lead to depression. When on social media, make sure it is meaningful and set a timer to avoid wasting too much of your time. Also, be mindful of who your connections are on social media. Following negative people, or people living lavish lifestyles that you compare yourself to can negatively impact your mental health in the long run. Similarly, focusing on what’s going on in the news or reality TV can bring down your mood. Try turning off the TV and reading a book instead.