This blog is largely about self care and personal growth, both of which can lead to greater happiness. I did a lot of growing in my thirties, which was a decade of struggle, and those years inspired me to share my journey into self care and authentic living with others. And over the past few years, I have developed some self care habits that really help me live my best life, even during more challenging periods.
It’s not always easy to take care of yourself. There’s always a reason why putting yourself first isn’t a practice in our lives. Work, family responsibilities, lack of time, lack of money, or feeling like spending money on the self care items is wasteful, these are all reasons why people skip self care and keep pushing themselves into burn out. Some of us might even believe that we don’t need self care. I used to be one of those people. Believe me, we all need self care.
Because I used to fit into the category of not practicing self care, of pushing myself too hard, I thought it would be a good idea to share my best self care practices with you.
Have a Hobby
While I didn’t really practice self care in the past, pushing myself into burn out, I did always have hobbies I loved to do. These hobbies were the only form of self care I had, and brought me a lot of happiness. Likely they kept me from a breakdown–though I did eventually suffer a breakdown due to stress and anxiety. Hobbies are a huge part of my self care because hobbies are about me. My passions, my interests and having these hobbies and time to devote to them relaxes me and helps reduce stress while giving meaning to my life outside of work and family.
Ask for Help
I try to ask for help when I need it. It isn’t always easy, especially since I can’t ask for help from anyone but family. I don’t always like asking for help. But it is important to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes asking for help has led me to some conflict with loved ones, but I think that those minor arguments fostered good communication, and that helped a lot. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. It helps.
Have a Night Routine
If anxiety or stress is interfering with your sleep, and even if it’s not, having a night routine is a really important self care habit. Sleep is very important to our overall health, including our mental health. And having interrupted sleep or insomnia really messes up your emotional well being. When I suffered from insomnia I was constantly exhausted, forgetful and just generally irritated. I was also on the verge of tears a lot of the time. I had to establish a strict night routine and practice good sleep hygiene to break the cycle of insomnia.
Yes, this sounds like a no brainer, but your diet will affect your mood and anxiety levels. Eating a diet rich with veggies and good, natural ingredients is so important. Processed foods with additives and little nutrients aren’t going to do you any favours when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety. It’s really easy when you are stressed to decide that your dinner will chips and dip, but taking the time to make yourself a salad with some grilled chicken or even a tuna sandwich is definitely the smarter choice. Some people meal prep to help with this, but I personally hate meal prepping and my husband and I chose about five meals to make and purchase the ingredients. Then we go day by day and decide what we want to eat, or have time to make. It works for us, and that’s what is important. Finding a way to make healthy eating easier is how you’ll get int the habit of eating well.
Take Days Off Work
Please take days off from work. Find a way to make this happen from time to time if taking time off from your job is hard for you because we all need that little extra time to ourselves. I never feel guilty taking time off from work because I know that my job benefits from me being well rested and less stressed instead of just having me there, exhausted and half assing the day. Work doesn’t care about you, so you have to take care of yourself when work is getting too much, or even if just life is getting too much.
If you want more happiness in your life, start by looking at your self care. Are your habits consistent? Are your habits in line with your entire self–body, mind and spirit? I’ve shared the best self care habits I practice in my life. Of course, there are others. But these are the ones that I believe really make all the difference. These are the self care habits that allowed me to grow, to reduce stress and anxiety and to realize how important it was to make self care a daily practice and find other self care practices to support my mental health.
Do you practice any of these habits? What self care habits make the difference in your life? Share in the comments below.