There are moments in my life where I continue to realize that these old cheesy cliches you hear every so often are actually true. One that has dawned on me heavily relates to how to prioritize self care.
I was once told “you can’t give to someone else unless you have given to yourself”. Listen, I know some of you out there are gagging at the thought of this quote. However, it really couldn’t be more true, especially since we have all recently experienced lockdown due to COVID-19 recently.
With the recent pandemic and its impacts stressing everyone out, prioritizing self care is difficult. Therefore, it seems appropriate that we focus on how we can prioritize self care better in preparation for the continuing impacts and why not? We really shouldn’t have to give a reason.
Realize that Self Care isn’t Selfish
With the way that modern day society puts emphasis on working and personal accomplishment, most of us feel a little uneasy in taking time for ourselves. Society has taught us to care more about how we are in our work lives and less about our personal lives.
If you really think about it, prioritizing self care can actually make us more available to being there for other people. If work has you overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed, your mind will lose the capacity to truly be there for other people.
Give Yourself 15-30 min a Day to Reflect
If you really want to prioritize self care, this one can be a powerful one. Taking about 15-30 min a day to yourself can help you reflect on your day, how you’re feeling and get your thoughts straight. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but if there are any rituals you enjoy throughout the day, make sure you are able to squeeze those. It could be:
- Making some coffee or tea and enjoying some quiet time.
- Going for a walk in a park.
- Reading news or other literature you take interest in.
- Even sitting in silence and practicing mindfulness.
Ideally, you take the time to yourself, not before bed, but at some point early or mid day.
Focus on Your Internal Monologue
That voice in your head, the voice that controls how you see yourself and your day-to-day mindset is a powerful thing. Taking control of your internal monologue can be the difference between you living out a positive mindset and a negative one.
If you are constantly beating yourself up, then you will probably benefit from sitting down and genuinely asking yourself why it is that you feel the way you do. Here are some quick tips:
- Take a moment each day to give yourself a pat on the back. Give yourself credit for what you are doing.
- Take a hard look at your day-to-day life. What is there that causes negative thoughts? Find it, get rid of it.
Discover and Identify What Really Matters to You
Nowadays it seems like there’s a new trend, product, or service everyone is adopting. While things are fun and great, take time to assess what you care about and what makes you happy. Don’t do things simply because others are doing them. Really take the time to figure out what you like.
Everyone, for the most part, has a part in society that defines who they are. Parents are known to be…parents. But what happens when their kids move away? Executives are known as corporate super stars, but what happens when they retire? Athletes are known for their outstanding athletic ability, but what happens when they, too, retire? Or get injured?
The question is, who are you when you strip away your superficial identities? This is the raw, unfiltered, you. I implore you to practice exploring yourself and your own self interests. You may find out what you thought you were interested in may not represent you to the fullest extent.
Stop Skipping out on Food
Listen, a lot of people skip out on finding foods and diets that are better suited for their health rather than their convenience. Really, society can take the blame here. There has been this myth floating around forever that suggests healthier food is more expensive than food that isn’t as healthy but is more convenient. I cannot express this enough – this simply is not true.
Based on this study done by the Australian Prevention Partnership Center (APPC), they found that a healthy diet for a family of two adults and two children was actually 10-15% cheaper than an unhealthy diet.
If you want to explore some healthier recipes, try looking at FitSW’s new recipe list. There are loads of free, easy to follow, and easy to shop for, healthy recipes. These can help you to transform your diet.
Find a Hobby You are Passionate About
If you prioritize self care then you prioritize self interest as well. This doesn’t have to be anything big, but exploring new and different activities you have fun with is important. Whether you enjoy working out, painting, fishing, or any other activities, these things help take your mind off of the daily grind and focus it towards yourself.
Not only that, but taking time away from focusing on work, studies, or whatever it is that consumes your daily life can actually help you take different approaches.
Develop a Sleep Routine
Sleep is one the most important aspects if you want to prioritize self care. Lots of people who work and go, go, go until they finally call it quits for the night. This is a formula for “how not to sleep 101”. You need to take time to wind down for the night before trying to fall asleep.
Namely, it helps you fall asleep quicker. In addition, it can help you take some time and just reflect on things.