The 5 most important self-care steps to live your best life

Self-care

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Dirima

Self-care has been a bit of a buzzword in recent years. According to Google trends, the number of searches for “self-care” has more than doubled since 2015. Self-care is defined as the individual practice of health management without the aid of a medical professional. It serves as a way to ensure we are taking good care of our minds bodies, and souls every day, not just when we fall ill. Self-care is more than just doing a face mask on a Friday night and reading your favorite book. It’s not always about glitter and glitz, it’s about doing the hard work too. Here are some self-care practices that you can put into action to help improve your overall health and well-being.

Ensure you get adequate sleep

Cheating yourself of ample sleep can start to have adverse effects on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Having a quality sleep routine will improve your energy, concentration, and productivity during the day – quality trumps quantity overall. To ensure you are getting quality rest, try to avoid any screen time at least 30 minutes before bed as using our phones and watching television keep our brains stimulated. Also, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages for eight to ten hours before you go to sleep. Their effects can last for hours and keep you up throughout the night.

Incorporate daily exercise

You of course might not be able to make it to the gym every day but you can certainly at the very least go outside for a walk or even dance to a favorite song in the comfort of your living room. Exercising and movement help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as boost your overall mood. Weight loss is simply an added perk.

Start saying no

Practicing saying no can come as a challenge for some – especially when it’s to the people we love and care about. However, when we feel obligated to say yes to every request it can quickly lead to us feeling burnout and overworked. Being able to set consistent and healthy boundaries and say no when you need to is imperative to practicing self-care and can even help boost your confidence.

Feed your body what it needs

Loading yourself up on junk food and unhealthy meals is a surefire way to feel instant regret – and if you don’t your body will feel it in the long run. Eating for energy also helps keeps our minds active and alert. Some foods to eat for self-care that can make you feel more radiant, happy, and healthy are salmon, quinoa, blueberries, leafy and colorful veggies, and broccoli.

Implement a healthy way to process your emotions

Implementing healthy coping skills is important for dealing with difficult emotions like sadness, anger, anxiety, or even grief. This can look like journaling to get out whatever you might be feeling, talking to a trusted friend, or enlisting a mental health professional like a therapist.
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