This is going to be a quick post, but I wanted to talk for a minute about self-care. From what I can see, and hear, this is something that a lot of people struggle with. We are so busy striving to better ourselves that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Or, we are so busy trying to take care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves.
It doesn’t really matter what the reason is that you aren’t taking care of yourself, it just matters that you start practicing self-care. These are simple concepts that you have heard a lot, over and over from multiple sources, but for some reason still struggle with doing them. Here are a few things I recommend.
1. Get enough sleep
Go to bed a little earlier or sleep a little later. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before it catches up with you. There is a long list of ways that getting enough sleep is better for your physical and mental health and I’m not going to list them all off here.
You may hate hearing this, but exercise is important. You might not want to have a six-pack or the perfect bikini body and that’s perfectly fine because that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about getting yourself moving. Go for a walk, a jog, a run. Start lifting some weights or a join a fitness group. Look for ways to move your body. Exercise is fantastic for your mental and physical health.
3. Make good food choices
I’m the first to admit that I struggle with this. I enjoy food. When we go on vacation, food is a part of the trip for me. I enjoy eating out and have a sweet tooth. However, over the past few years, I have realized the impact that these decisions have on me. I’m starting to make better food choices. What helps me is remembering that I can’t control a lot of stuff in life, but I can control what I put in my mouth.
4. Have an activity that you enjoy doing and do it
I enjoy reading and baking and watching a little tv with my family. These things help me to unwind and rejuvenate me. I also love getting out in the country. Last year we moved from a small town in Michigan where we lived surrounded by a farm to Louisville, Kentucky in a neighborhood. There are houses and people and cars and buildings all around me. When we drive out of Louisville and head to a park where we can hike and enjoy the country air, I can feel something in me pick up a little. It breathes new life into me. Think about what your thing is and then go enjoy it from time to time.
5. Track your successes
This is a simple task that you are probably tired of me sharing with you, but I won’t stop because I have seen first hand the results that this has. Last year when I was taught to start tracking my daily successes it was a real boost to my mood. When I start to feel down on myself and start feeling like a failure it’s usually because I haven’t been doing this. Recognizing the things that I’m doing well helps keep me going and boosts my confidence.
6. Time with God and reading the Bible
I would be lying if I didn’t include this in my list of self-care. Taking my focus off of myself and going to God and his word has helped me in ways I will never fully be able to put into words. At my lowest times in life, this was the one thing that helped me get through the day. If you are only going to try one thing from this list then this is the one I recommend. For me, it was what gave me the strength to eventually start trying numbers 1 through 5. Here’s a little more information on what this looks like for me.
There you have it. A quick little reminder about how to take care of yourself.