10 Steps to Self Care for Women AND Men
We all need to regroup with ourselves sometimes.
All too often we get lost in the hustle bustle of life and before we know it, we take a step back and realize we’ve run ourselves into the ground. It’s usually after we discover we’re not being as productive at work, or our significant other points out how distracted we’ve been, or we notice that lately we just haven’t felt our best. I wanted to be sure to pull the men into this, because let’s be honest, how many of them naturally read tips on self care? It’s important fellas, keep reading.
Spend some time alone.
In today’s world we are constantly connected with others. It can really put you in a fog. So first and foremost – you must occasionally unplug. Put your phone on do not disturb (after telling the people who matter what you’re doing so not to induce panic) and try to spend an entire day with yourself. Get away from the noise and dirty air. Before you know it you’ll love stepping away and just being alone sometimes.
During that alone time, get lost in your thoughts. Try to pin point what really makes you lose motivation. Do you often feel distracted at work? Do your relationships with some people seem to exhaust you more than give you life? Is your health standing in the way of you doing certain things? You have to find the cause before you can find the solution.
Kick bad habits.
Many “causes” can come from certain life choices. Those 2 cups of coffee you just have to have every morning to start your day – or that 1 giant, sugar overloaded latte that costs you $25 a week. The cigarette you need to light up after every meal. Your friends only wanting to get drunk on the weekends…I’m not preachin’ at ya, but the things that you know aren’t good but you do them anyway, maybe it’s time to finally give them up and start being the best version of yourself.
Simplify (or enhance) your “beauty” regimen.
So much stress can come from changing the way we look. Maybe instead of spending 30 minutes every morning putting on a full face of makeup you can get some extra sleep, or even spend that time exercising, reading a good book, or making a yummy breakfast. Or maybe you enjoy, or would enjoy, taking that time on yourself. That’s fine too. The goal is to be comfortable in your own skin so you can start each day feeling refreshed and confident.
Go to sleep
Stop pretending that you can function at your maximum capacity on 5 hours of sleep every night. The CDC states that 35% of American adults don’t get enough sleep (less than 7 hours in a 24 hr period) and this is linked to a rainbow of chronic health problems. Do I really need to say more?
Be water conscious.
Another thing American Adults aren’t getting enough of – WATER. The CDC says only about 22% of us are consuming a sufficient amount of water every day. Remember in grade school when we learned our bodies are made up mostly of water? So yeah, it makes sense that the more you drink the better you feel.
Goals Goals Goals
Step 7 of being the best version of yourself, goals! Life is nothing without them. A lot of people have no idea how to properly set forth a plan to achieve their goals. You have to simultaneously look at each step you take while keeping your eye on the prize ahead. Think short term = long term. Setting small goals each day will allow you to build up to the big ones.
Find a hobby.
At the end of the day when all of your responsibilities have been taken care of, what do you do to unwind? What do you do that you do solely for yourself? It’s important to have an answer to these questions. You might have to try a few things before you find your niche – in fact, you should always be willing to inquire about new things. You could be missing out on something you’re really good at or like a lot.
Become emotionally aware.
This actually isn’t talked about a lot. Emotional intelligence is vital. When you’re able to recognize and effectively express your own personal feelings – you will begin to better understand the people around you. This will improve your own coping skills and also help you manage interpersonal relationships thoughtfully and empathetically.
Ask for help.
If you’ve read through this and kept thinking “I just don’t have time for that” I really encourage you to seek help. Even if that just means telling your boss there’s no way you can pick up that extra shift again, or telling your partner that you really cannot go to another family event this weekend, or asking a friend if your hanging out today could consist of helping you fold laundry while sipping some wine. You cannot be the best version of yourself – the best mother/father, wife/husband, employee, friend, etc if you don’t take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty glass. Never feel selfish for putting your own needs on the table.