I remember sitting in my therapist office about 8 years ago. She asks me, “Wayne what does self care mean to you?” I answered “ Well, it means taking care of yourself ” I said. She said “ Yes that’s true, but how do you take care of yourself?” I started to realize that this question was a lot harder than I thought and the only answer I had was “Well I shower every day, brush my teeth etc…
As important as it is to have good hygiene, I realized I didn’t know that much about self care. What I did know was that I wasn’t taking care of myself and it was causing me stress and anxiety.
Remember we can distract ourselves very easy. It’s a great way to avoid our problems, but avoiding our problems doesn’t solve them, it just prolongs them.
Our sub conscious mind is very complex. That’s why we can be stressed or have anxiety and not even realize. Self care Reduces Stress and Anxiety. Let’s get right to it.
What is Self Care
Self Care is taking care of your emotional needs. It’s being mindful or paying attention to what’s going on in your life. Self care is knowing your boundaries and not crossing them. It took me a long time to realize that I was doing more for people than I was doing for myself. It gave me a false sense of happiness. I thought if I made other people happy it would make me happy.
I’m willing to bet everyone of you at some point in your life have gone above and beyond for a family member or a friend or even an acquaintance. Now, I know helping others is a great feeling, It’s healthy in fact. People pleasing however is an unhealthy distraction which takes you away from self care. Remember it’s ok to say no. If you don’t take care of your self who will?
How to Reduce Stress an Anxiety with Self Care
- Take It Easy – Sometimes we go overboard, we do too much. Try not to put to many things on your plate at a time. Prioritize what needs to be done and remember it’s ok to say no.
- Meditate – Meditation has come a long way. You don’t have to be alone or in complete silence. You can do it while talking to your kids or even watching TV. Remember it’s about staying in the moment, relaxing your mind so it doesn’t wander off into worry or stress.
- Proper Rest – Getting at least 8 hours sleep every night is very important. It can boost your immune system, help with your appetite and memory. Although we can function on 5 or 6 hours, over time it can cause health issues.
- Socialize – It is important to socialize. It is very beneficial for self care. We all have very busy lives and it can be hard to socialize. Strengthen the relationships you already have. It will improve your self care and keep you on schedule.
- Exercise – If we take care of our bodies then our minds will follow suit. The mind and body are connected. That’s why when we eat junk food, not only do we not have energy, but we don’t feel good about ourselves. On the other hand when we have a salad or fruit and work out we feel great. Does that make sense?
- Self Image – We have to be our own best friends. If you don’t love yourself its impossible to truly love anyone else. You can’t give away what you don’t have inside. So no more negative self talk. If it’s hard in the beginning, fake it until you make it. Positive self Image leads to a healthy self-esteem and self-respect. It also makes you mentally stronger when it comes to caring what other people think about you.
Start Taking Care of Yourself
I have been a positive person my whole life. For years, I never even knew I was stressed. It was only until I experienced physical symptoms that I had any idea.
When we practice self care, not only does it make us happy and calm. We also get to know ourselves better. It’s like taking a personal inventory of ourselves. Be humble. It’s ok to have character defects. We all have them. No one is perfect.
When we get to know ourselves better, we are gonna make better choices and decisions. Even if things are going well, you can never be to healthy or calm.
When was the last time you got upset? Was it road rage? A dispute where you were trying to prove a point? and why? To scream at someone who can’t drive? Or convince someone you werre right? We can’t convince anyone of anything and If I could i don’t want to.
Either way, right or wrong you still end up stressed. It’s not worth it. Handle things calmly. That’s self care.
Take care of yourself.
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