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5 EVERYDAY WAYS TO FIT IN SELF CARE

MAGGIE O'MEARA

 

Many believe that self-care is ‘selfish’ or not at the top of one’s to-do list. However, practicing self-care is so important for our health and well-being. Self-care involves integrating compassion and love for yourself and prevents burnout, low energy, and depression1. Benefits of self-care in your life includes better productivity, enhanced self-esteem, and increased empathy1. Self-care has also been practiced for centuries all around the world. Overall it will just make you a happier and healthier person! 

 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with life, work, and everything else. With seemingly not enough time in the day, one may think that self-care needs to be put on the back-burner. But practicing self-care actually doesn’t take that much time in your day! True self-care comes in the form of daily acts of self-love and kindness that don’t take that much time.

 

Here’s 5 Everyday Ways to Fit in Self-Care

1) Enjoy Your Cup of Coffee or Tea

The English have a traditional cultural method for stress management- and that includes a cup of English tea with milk and a biscuit2. Whatever tea, coffee, or snack you like, really indulge and enjoy it! Just this act of being calm, quiet, and drinking a satisfying warm beverage can be a form of self-care in your day. The habit of the English taking a tea break in their busy schedules is a great wellness practice we can learn from.

2) Do Something You Love

Everyday do something that you love that is just for you. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes! If it brings you joy, it will allow you to recharge and make you happier in your day. Examples could include listening to your favorite song, reading a chapter of a good book, gardening, taking a warm bath, going for a walk, or talking to a loved one. Whatever it is, make sure it puts a smile on your face!

3) Get Outside

In Peru, when the people feel stressed or need some self-care, they are known for getting outside and appreciating nature to feel better2. We can learn from Peru by doing the same when we need some self-care. Research also shows that being in nature or even just listening to nature sounds can decrease the body’s sympathetic response (that causes the “flight-or-fight” feeling)3. Getting outside to get away and feel relaxed!

 

 

4) Eat Slowly and Mindfully

One form of self-care is taking a moment to pause while eating. Really enjoying the food or meal in front of you and knowing that it will nourish you is self-love. Avoid eating in front of a screen and try eating without distractions. This will allow you to be mindful, check in with your body, and be satisfied with the food you’re feeding yourself. Doing this every time you eat during the day is an easy way to fit in self-care into your daily life.

5) Be Kind To Yourself

Sometimes our inner critic can be cruel! Practice speaking to yourself as if you were talking to a friend or a loved one. Building yourself up with positivity increases your compassion, care, and love for yourself. Tell yourself everyday that you are beautiful, successful, and good enough. Acknowledge that you are human and that you can’t be perfect! Being kind to yourself everyday is a simple form of self-care.

 

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References
  1. Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology,1(2), 105-115. doi:10.1037/1931-3918.1.2.105
  2. Montell, A. (2017, March 29). A Fascinating Look at What "Self-Care" Means Around the World. Retrieved from https://www.byrdie.com/self-care-ideas-around-the-world
  3. Praag, C. D., Garfinkel, S. N., Sparasci, O., Mees, A., Philippides, A. O., Ware, M., . . . Critchley, H. D. (2017). Mind-wandering and alterations to default mode network connectivity when listening to naturalistic versus artificial sounds. Scientific Reports,7(1). doi:10.1038/srep45273.

 

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