Self-Care is Critical for Health & Happiness

No matter how busy you are in your day-to-day life, it is important that you take time for yourself.  Spending the day focusing exclusively on potential stressors, like your commitments at work and chaotic schedule at home, without providing time to allow your mind to rest and recharge can cause you to develop dangerous conditions, like high blood pressure.  Neglecting your care routine can make it more likely that you will catch a cold.  It can also lead to severe anxiety, depression, and low self-worth.  Self-care is the term generally applied to the process of taking time for the simple things from day to day — even things as simple as getting enough sleep and reducing your stress can have positive consequences for your physical and mental health alike.  Here are some of the easiest ways you can start to incorporate self-care into your daily routine.

 

How to reduce stress

 

A huge part of self-care is reducing stress in general.  Since each piece of self-care works closely with the others, reducing your stress will make it easier for you to sleep, which in turn will reduce even more stress.  There are two major ways you can cut stress out from your life. First, if you feel yourself being overloaded with things to do, whether they are in your professional or private lives, practice saying “no.”  Your friends will understand if you miss an engagement or two, and the quality of your work will increase if you aren’t constantly worried about the amount of work that’s still on your plate.

 

Another way you can reduce stress is by making your environment as relaxing as possible.  At home, this means cutting out clutter. Clutter significantly adds to stress and reduces your home’s relaxing qualities — but a clean home helps foster calm moods.

 

How to fix your diet

 

Kicking bad eating habits isn’t as easy as some people might initially believe.  When it’s easier to swing by a fast-food restaurant on the way home from work than it is to spend an hour in the kitchen, convenience often trumps health.  However, there are several ways you can defeat those bad habits and embrace a healthier lifestyle. One way is to subscribe to a meal-delivery service, which will provide you with the ingredients you need to put together delicious dishes with little fuss.  And when you add an electric pressure cooker to the mix, which can make cooking food much easier, eating a homemade bowl of chili at instead of heading to the closest restaurant suddenly became much simpler — not to mention a lot healthier!

 

How to get enough sleep

 

Another critical step in your new self-care routine is getting enough sleep.  While it may seem trivial, getting a good amount of sleep each night is crucial because your nightly rest sets up the pattern of your entire next day.  If you wake up refreshed and energized, you will be able to jump into the tasks of the next day with more fervor, performing more efficiently, with heightened mental abilities and a greater ability to reason your way through and past potential problems.  However, if you did not get enough sleep the night before, it is likely that you will wake up feeling groggy or achy.  This inhibits your ability to get a move on in the mornings, which – in the short term — may make you late for work, but will also greatly affect your ability to process situations and be aware of your projects in general.  Even if you end up working at a decent pace throughout the day, it is likely that the quality of the work you produce will not be as high (or as quickly created) as if you had gotten a good night’s sleep.  

 

This is why sleep is so important, but an increasing number of adults say they have difficulty sleeping through the night.  There are several things that you can do that will help yourself fall asleep at the end of the day.  First, make sure that your bedroom is cool and dark.  Cover up your windows with blackout curtains if you need to (just remember to be diligent about setting your alarm in the morning!), and turn your thermostat down if the outdoor temperature is 70 or higher. If your bedroom is too dry, considering getting a humidifier because dry air can cause cold-like symptoms which can disrupt your sleep. You should also try to foster as quiet an environment as possible — turn off the television and don’t listen to music or a podcast, even if it helps you sleep.  If external noise typically interrupts your sleep, you may want to use a sound machine or a similar type of app on your phone to create a cushion of white noise.  

 

No matter how chaotic your schedule, it is important that you find time for self-care.  By getting more sleep and making your home more relaxing, you will help your physical and mental health.

Guest Article from Stephanie Haywood

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