- Shayna Schmidt
Tap into Self-Care through Small, Everyday Habits
Written by Brad Krause
In the rush to prove ourselves both socially and professionally, it can often feel like we have no time to take proper care of our health. However, the secret is that keeping tabs on our health, especially our mental health, is the only way to become truly successful in all facets of life. Whether you're a student overloaded with homework or a business professional with meetings and cases to manage, it's essential to find time in your busy schedule for self-care.
Stay hydrated and nourished
You can increase your mental ingenuity and alertness each day by making sure you are properly fed and hydrated. One of the leading causes of midday aggression and stress is a lack of nourishment. If you find that you have trouble sticking to a cooking routine, you may want to consider investing in a food delivery service in your area (or calling your friends Khaya and Shayna at Weighted Plate to help you prep some healthy food!). These kinds of services can provide you with the tools to make regular meals, with enough variety to keep you from getting bored with your meal.
Why self-care is critical
Self-care at its simplest is the process of taking care of your body and mind through habits that are often overlooked - habits that may seem minor or not worth noticing, but actually play a great part in maintaining a positive state of mind. When you don’t get enough sleep, for instance, your body begins to exist in a constant state of alert. Stress hormones spike, which increases anxiety while decreasing your ability to deal with your problems in a creative, rational manner. This also impedes your body’s ability to recover from injuries or sickness and inhibits its production of the more positive hormones and chemicals that help keep your moods stable and your mind refreshed. Similar effects take place when you are constantly stressed, or if you just don’t take the time to breathe each day. Read more about how hormone changes can affect our health here.
Practice self-care through small adjustments
Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean that you have to cancel your entire day’s schedule. After all, that might mean you would only have more work to do the next day, which would add to your stress rather than mitigate it. However, just the simple act of taking a break for five to 10 minutes is enough to provide a boost to your mind. It’s like you can push a reset button on your day, just by briefly shutting out the world. If your day has been difficult or emotional, just taking a break can help turn the day around and help you think more clearly.
To help you relax efficiently, try outfitting your office with the tools you need to rest. Keep a soft pillow at hand and have a way to turn off the lights or cover up the windows for a brief amount of time. Also, if you work with other people, make sure they understand that you are in the habit of taking occasional self-care breaks and shouldn’t be disturbed for their duration. Finally, all of this is for naught if you don’t fully commit on the mental level. If you are in a relaxing setting but are still planning your next project, you are not truly allowing your mind to rest. Try your best to clear your mind in these times. If you like, try some breathing exercises or stretches, or put on some relaxing music. Do whatever it takes to dip into a state of relaxation throughout the day.
No matter how stressful our days can be, it's crucial for us to take care of ourselves and prioritize our health. With time, you'll find that self-care will help you feel more confident and equipped to deal with even the most difficult of situations.
This article is a guest contribution from our friend Brad Krause of SelfCaring. After a stint in the corporate world, working 15-hour days at least 6 days per week, Brad realized he wasn't happy. He was tired, had no time to exercise, survived off of junk food and caffeine, and had no social life whatsoever. He says he realized he was "impacting his company's bottom line, but wasn't impacting anyone's life for the better, including his own." He quit and hasn't looked back since, realizing that helping others is his passion. We all have the potential to be the best versions of ourselves, he says, but it comes down to prioritizing our own wellness through self-care.
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