Self-care is vital to our overall health.
Most of us are incredibly good at taking care of others, and incredibly good at neglecting ourselves. When it comes to caring for others, we are generally taught from an early age that it’s a noble cause. This can create unhealthy situations, where we end up caring for others at the expense of our own happiness, and become “people pleasers”. In some instances we can take this so far that we neglect our own health in favor of someone else’s.
I propose a much healthier balance of caring for others, and self-care. Self-care is a buzz word nowadays, but all it really refers to is any activity that we purposefully do to take care of our emotional, physical, and especially mental health.
The baseline for self-care is pretty cut and dry. You should eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep at night. Contrary to popular belief however, self-care is a lot more than that!
READ MORE: How to Overcome Burnout
We all know that stress and anxiety are terrible for your overall health and can lead to illnesses like heart disease and high blood pressure. Knowing when to promote your own self-care is a key step in fighting stress in your everyday life. So perhaps you need a self-care checklist!
A self-care checklist is easy to make. All you have to do is make a list of the activities that bring you peace, or balance your life. Meditating, hitting the gym, running, reading, cooking, hiking, crocheting, or even taking regular naps are all examples of self-care. The only real qualification is that the activity is good for your mental, emotional, or physical health. Once you have the list written, make a concerted effort to do one thing on the list every day.
There may be days when you skip the list, because everything else is piling up around you. In that case, strive to do two things from the list, the following day. Working items from your self-care checklist will eventually turn into a habit (after 33 days, that is). This will lead to creating better overall health, and train you to consistently take care of yourself, instead of waiting until you burn out.