Our modern American lifestyle is hectic by nature. Jobs require more and more of our attention, with devices pinging after hours and our constant consumption of digital content. This steady digital contact increases strain on already exhausted employees and our families. Add in our numerous other concerns, such as caring for children and aging loved ones, and we have a recipe for burnout. The solution to de-stressing lies in creating a self-care routine that can work within our overly busy days.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care means we take care of ourselves, not just other people. It means we take the necessary actions to preserve our own health and well-being so we can meet the other demands on us. To practice self-care, you need to be conscious of your stress levels and know how to read your own body's signs. Self-care involves keeping an eye on your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care can mean the difference between constant anxiety and a calm disposition. Pushing yourself too far, too fast, can result in burnout and feeling overloaded. Simple changes can be big stress relievers; for example, studies show people who take small breaks in between tasks are more productive and re-energized.
How to Begin Practicing Self-Care
Schedule and Plan Your Activities and Relaxation
Scheduling large parts of your day can help you find out where you lose time. You may also find ‘empty’ spots that you can make better use of. And your smartphone isn’t necessarily your enemy—sitting in the car waiting to pick your child up from school could be a time to use a meditation app for a few minutes. You'll also want to schedule rest periods either before, during or after your day. Relaxation will help you unwind and put your problems into perspective.
Find the Best Method for You
Self-care should be part of your life every day. Meditation, relaxation, spending time with (or away from) family members, recreation and getting enough sleep are all self-care techniques and tactics. You may use just one, or a combination of them, on any given day, depending on your personal schedule.
Limit Your Electronic Use
Electronics are such a huge part of our lives because we use them both for work and relaxation. That's quite a puzzle when you're trying to escape your stressors! We now know that tablets, phones and computers can contribute to headaches and eye strain. Breaking away from your electronics can be a good way to unwind. Try outdoor activities, spending time with friends or enjoying an off-screen hobby instead.
Self-care has become a global priority and phenomenon because it’s so needed and so effective. It's a movement that's worth its weight in stress-relief gold. You can be a part of it and experience those benefits yourself. Schedule your time and activities, choose self-care activities to refresh you, and try to limit electronic use. You’ll begin to take control of your physical, emotional and mental health.