Are you running around all the time? Are you feeling drained because of your long “to do” list? Is time slipping past you and you never have a minute to do what you want and like?
If that sounds like you, then this article is for you. You know you need to slow down but you don’t know how. This article will explain why it is important to take time for yourself and provide you with some strategies on how to do so.
What is self-care?
Self-care is taking time out to improve your health and wellbeing. This includes physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Self-care allows us to create little pockets of positivity to balance the difficult things in life: it builds our resilience and makes us more grateful. It grounds us and strengthens us to face what life throws at us, thus helping us better deal daily challenges, illness and preventing diseases.
Unfortunately, most of us relegates self-care to the bottom of our priorities so it often gets left out at the end of a busy day. When it should be the other way around: it should be our number one priority, giving us the energy and focus we need to tackle our day. If we do not practice self-care regularly, we end up feeling overwhelmed, tired, drained, frustrated and generally struggling.
How do I know I need self-care?
If you feel sad, tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, anxious, lonely, inadequate or you are experiencing grief, self-care is for you! You need to soothe yourself to avoid sliding into more serious health issues.
Benefits of self-care
Self-care helps us slow down and:
- Avoid burnout
- Bring more clarity, focus & concentration
- Improve sleep
- Support digestion
- Reduce anxiety, stress and depression
- Increase energy
Types of self-care
It is important to note that self-care is needed for different aspects of our health: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. True health happens when we manage to take care of all these aspects of our selves. As a nutritionist specialised in the gut-brain connection, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking care of our physical health in order to support our mental health – and vice versa. When we feel good in our body, we naturally feel good in our mind.
How to self-care
There are many ways to take care of our wellbeing but here are just a few suggestions:
- Sleep: essential for rest and repair. Ensure a good sleep hygiene
- Nutrient-dense food: our body need fuel to function. Make sure it is the right fuel with healthy proteins, fats and fruits and vegetables, as well as good hydration
- Exercise: gentle! Go for a walk outside, do some stretching, have a swim, run a mile, attend a yoga class…
- Going for regular GP/dentist checkups
- Meditation: silencing the mind and breathing to connect with your spiritual self
- Spend time with friends/loved ones: social connections are crucial to wellbeing. Nurture your relationships. Loneliness has been linked to the development of many chronic diseases and increases feelings of anxiety and depression
- Learn new things to keep yourself engaged and your brain stimulated
- Have projects/find purpose in life
- Practice gratitude: being grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we are lacking helps increase feelings of contentment and happiness
How to implement self-care in our daily lives
Select a few things from the above list – small steps at a time – or find your own and put them in your diary. They are as important, if not more, than any other meeting you have. Find what works for you. As life throws different things at you, you may need more self-care in certain areas than others: adapt and shift your priorities accordingly. But always remember to prioritise yourself: this is not selfish, it is important for your wellbeing and others will benefit in the process from the more relaxed version of yourself.
What about you? What is your favourite “me time’ routine? Is there anything you are doing that has really made a difference for you? Please share so we can all learn from each other and try other things! And if you have found this article interesting, please feel free to share it or comment on it.
👉 If you are looking for more advice regarding your diet and lifestyle to support your health and wellbeing, feel free to get in touch on 07788 444 199 or [email protected] or https://biovitalnutrition.com/contact/. I would love to help you.