Updated: Jul 20
Self care is all about keeping yourself healthy and sane - but, most of us don't give it nearly the attention that's needed.
It can be anything that contributes to your well-being and helps you avoid health issues, unhappiness, stress (#1 killer!), and all the other unpleasantness everyday life can bring. Take time every day, week, hour, whatever works for you, to do something for you. Here is a list of ten ways to help keep you being your best self: 1. Go to bed an hour early. Too many people are not getting enough sleep. A whopping 40% of Americans report getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. There is not much that is more important for our health and well-being than getting enough sleep, so do yourself a favor and get to bed early. 2. Spend twenty minutes de-cluttering. Clutter in the house causes clutter in the mind. It's hard to think clearly when you are surrounded by mess, so spend a twenty minute focus session getting rid of that pesky pile of clutter that always builds up. 3. Soak in a hot Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts help to relieve muscle tension and the hot tub of water will melt your stresses from the day away. Throw in some lavender essential oil if you like and play some relaxing music. Dump about two pounds of the Epsom salts into the tub and give yourself a good twenty minute soak. You are worth it. 4. Keep yourself hydrated. About 43% of U.S. adults drink less than four cups of water a day. If you fall into that category, you are suffering from chronic dehydration. The symptoms can include bad breath, dry skin, muscle cramps, cravings for sweets, fatigue, etc.. Every single process in your body down the the cellular level requires water to operate properly, and your body is composed of approximately 60% water, so consuming enough water is extremely important. Some ways to make it easier to stay hydrated are to keep a water bottle handy throughout the day, eat lots of fruits and veggies, sip more during meals, and try a variety of (caffeine-free) teas. 5. Go outside. It is easy to end up cooped up indoors all day. Make a point to take a walk outside for half an hour and soak up some sun. Studies have shown that being outside benefits the brain and makes us feel more alive and less stressed. 6. Pay it forward. Helping others is an amazing way to help ourselves in a way that connects us to the greater good of all that is around us. Volunteer, do someone you know a personal favor, or commit a random act of kindness when opportunity presents. It will boost your confidence and self esteem. Generosity is an endless resource of warm fuzzies and well-being.
7. Mindfulness. Take a few minutes to focus on the present, and only the present. The sounds, smells, sights, the feel of your feet on the floor, the breeze on your skin. No judgments, just observation. It will help to keep your grounded and more in tune with your true self. 8. Be a bookworm. Reading is a great way to keep the mind sharp as it ages. Reading fiction in particular promotes creativity, and some would say makes you a more interesting person. Reading can also improve sleep quality and encourage empathy. 9. Get moving. Anything you can do to get yourself up and moving, do it! Get up and stretch during long stints at the computer, go for a walk, get off the couch and jump up and down, do sit ups, whatever! Muscles are made to move, and we spend way too much time being stationary. A shocking 80% of U.S. adults do not get the recommended amount of exercise, so get up and move, move, move! 10. Unplug. Everyone seems to have their face in a phone or tablet these days. At home, too many spend hours staring at the TV or computer screen. We are always connected, all the time. Do yourself a favor, and spend one day a week, or however often you can make it happen, to unplug and do anything but look at a screen. Your brain needs the downtime to recharge and function at its best.