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How to Practice Self-Care

Self-care activities can help you manage stress and improve wellbeing. Taking care of yourself is important, especially if you have many responsibilities, like going to school, working, or living in a stressful environment, or taking care of a loved one. So, how do you practice self-care?

A good dose of self-care is learning to understand your needs emotionally, physically, and professionally. If you understand these requirements and learn to put them first, you will take better care of yourself and be better prepared for all your daily activities.

Practice emotional self-care

Deal with stress:

Relieve the general tension of life by addressing sources of stress, which can be at work, home, school, or some other responsibility. Identify what you need to control. This is usually in response to tension. Practising relaxation techniques increases your energy, motivation, and productivity. Some simple techniques for reducing stress include:

    • Close your eyes and focus on a calm and relaxing image that brings peace. Imagine a beach or a place of nature that matters to you.
    • Perform progressive muscle relaxation in which you alternate tensing and relaxing your body muscles.
    • Practice deep breathing.
    • Do tai chi or yoga.
    • Have a diary.
    • Take a hot shower.
    • Take 5 to 30 minutes each morning to meditate or just be silent

Have a support network.

Spend time with friends, family, and people who make you feel good about yourself. Choose caring and trustworthy people who respect your needs and limits. Avoid the ones that diminish or harm you or make you feel inadequate or inferior.

Do not forget your free time.

It is important to have time for fun, especially when you are stressed out. Find activities that allow you to relax and be with loved ones. Some ideas are:

    • Read your favourite book.
    • Watch a funny movie.
    • Have a hobby.
    • Listen to relaxing music.
    • Go on a long walk
    • Have one free night a week with your partner or friends

Read: 10 Self-care Ideas for Busy Mums

Psychotherapy.

Learn to recognise mental overload and do not be afraid to seek professional help. Having to talk to someone who does not make you feel weak, or insignificant is so important. Find a counsellor you trust and can relate to; otherwise, treatment will not work. Psychotherapy is beneficial for self-care because:

    • Helps you cope better with daily worries and stresses.
    • You can form an objective opinion.
    • Encourages you to live a better life.
    • Provides a safe place to talk and think

Praise yourself:

Encourage yourself by saying positive, personal, and powerful phrases whenever you are down. Here are some examples:

    • “I believe in myself.”
    • “I can.”
    • “I love and accept myself.”
    • “I gave my best.”
    • “This too shall pass.”

Practice physical self-care

Do sports regularly.

Move outdoors or from the comfort of your home! Do the physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, even if it is divided into ten-minute intervals. It is okay if you cannot exercise everyday but try most days of the week. Choose activities that you enjoy and that are preferably fun and varied, so you do not get sick. You can:

    • Dancing at home.
    • Take care of the garden.
    • Do some skipping.
    • Stretching or doing yoga.
    • Take the dog for a walk

Eat well.

Eating healthy foods to help maintain your energy and health. When you are too busy at work, home or caring for others, it can be difficult to plan and cook a healthy meal for yourself. Some ways to change your diet to take better care of yourself include:

    • Eat more dark green vegetables.
    • Eat a variety of fresh or frozen fruits.
    • Prefer low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
    • Consume a wide variety of lean proteins.
    • Eat regularly.
    • Consume whole-grain products

Sleep well.

It takes most people about seven to nine hours to feel good the next day. Getting proper sleep can be difficult when you are stressed out or overwhelmed with daily obligations. To attempt:

  • Set a goal of how many hours you will sleep each night and stick to it.
    • Leave the room free of distractions like the television.
    • Use a sleep and exercise tracker like a FitBit that tracks sleep quality.
    • Make the room a quiet and comfortable place with soft lighting.

Take vacation.

Forget the responsibility for a while. Vacations does not have to be an annual beach trip as it can be stressful and costly. You can have short breaks during the week or the month. For example, plan for half an hour of rest and relaxation every day, whether at home or outdoors.

Practice professional self-care

Take regular breaks.

Plan breaks to get up, walk, and rest while you work. Respect the lunch break and talk to colleagues to recharge your batteries. Also, remember to drink plenty of water.

Make the workplace a comfortable environment.

Create a space where you feel calm, capable, and motivated. This will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more productive. You can:

    • Clean and organise your desk.
    • Buy plants for your office or cabin
    • Have a comfortable and well-adapted chair.
    • Wear comfortable footwear and clothing
    • Sit by a window because natural light is better than fluorescent light.

Do not take work home with you.

To ensure a better balance between work and personal life, you should not take any task home with you. This means avoiding “office tasks” in the bedroom and work-related matters during rest periods.

Recommended read: 5 Self-care tips for busy professionals

Improving Your Self Care

Put your needs first.

That is not selfishness. In fact, you will be better able to help others when you are mentally and physically healthy.

Ask for help when you need it.

When you are stressed, it is extremely difficult to handle everything by yourself, and you get even more nervous. Let friends and family support you. It can be easier if you:

  • Make a list of the things that you need help with.
    • Be specific with the support requests.
    • Take the other person’s skills and interests into account when asking for help.

Say “no” and set boundaries.

You cannot help everyone at any time, after all, you are human and cannot do everything. Say “no” to more responsibility and “yes” to more opportunities for fun and social inclusion.

Hope this post on how to practice self-care will encourage you to look after yourself. Thanks for reading and remember to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. See you in the next post.

 

Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Founder of UIC | Wife | Mum of Two | Inspirational Writer | Mentor | Aspiring Entrepreneur

5 Comments

  1. Some great reminders. I find that self-care can slip ironically when you need it the most, so it’s always helpful to be reminded of the importance and some of the ways you can build up those small things in your day to day life. xx

  2. Avatar Gemma says:

    Thanks for sharing these great practical tips. I definitely realise how important exercise is to self-care and, of course, eating well, but I need to work on creating free time for myself. When life is busy, I can sometimes find it difficult to switch off!

    Gemma x

    https://www.thegutchoice.com

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