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Nowadays, it’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. We tend to let our entire lives revolve around our hectic work schedules, attempts to fit in seeing our friends and family, falling behind and catching up on household chores and all sorts of other tasks that we feel like we have no choice but to complete. But why not take a step back from all of this pressure and mayhem? It’s absolutely essential that you practice a little self care from time to time. This will boost your overall health and wellbeing, giving your body a chance to heal and grow and your mind a chance to relax. Never underestimate its importance and do your utmost to fit it into your schedule! Now, the type of self care routine that will best suit you will depend entirely on you, your needs and your preferences, as well as your lifestyle. If you’re struggling for ideas, here are a few areas you might want to focus on to get the most from your self-care routine.
How are you supposed to care for your body if you don’t understand it? Knowing your body is the first thing you need to do in order to effectively care for it. Sure, on a basic level, all of our bodies tend to work in similar ways. But everybody is still unique and what’s relatively normal in some may actually be a warning sign or red flag in another. Once you’re familiar with your body – how it looks, how it feels, how it functions – you’ll be more alert to changes that could be signs or symptoms of a health issue that needs to be tackled. If you notice a change in your body, you may need to reach out to a doctor, a therapist, or for processes such as eye tests, hearing tests, smear testing, STD testing, or other health checks. The better you know your body, the sooner you can reach out for help when necessary and, in some instances, this can actually be life saving.
So many of us fail to eat a balanced diet. Then there are those of us who are too harsh and rigid on ourselves with our diets. The truth is that moderation is key. If you’re going to eat well and don’t have any health conditions that necessitate it, you shouldn’t be cutting out entire food groups or denying yourself any treats all of the time. It’s simple to come up with a balanced diet. There are so many sites out there that show you exactly what should be on your plate and in what proportions. Of course, if you’re following a specific diet due to dietary limitations or ideological preferences – such as a gluten free diet, a lactose-free diet, vegetarianism or veganism (for example) – you may need to take a little more time with your meal planning. But regardless, all of us should be doing our utmost to get all of the nutrients and macros we need! If you’re struggling to do this, you can always reach out to a nutritionist who can come up with a straightforward meal plan for you! On top of this, you need to exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise also comes hand in hand with other benefits, such as increased strength, stamina, balance, flexibility and more. No matter how you exercise, just make sure you get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week and you should hit your targets!
Skin care can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. So many of us neglect our skin. But it’s the largest organ in our body and can get put through a lot of wear and tear over time. Now is the best time to come up with some sort of skin care routine. For your body, invest in a high quality moisturiser that will keep skin hydrated well. For your face, you’re likely to have to come up with a more in-depth routine, as this skin is more sensitive and can be much more prone to problems such as oiliness or dryness. Generally speaking, it’s best to consult a dermatologist to come up with the best skin care for you as an individual. But this can be pricey. If you’re trying to keep costs low, research your skin type and read plenty of online reviews for products that are marketed towards it. Reviews can show how others with similar skin types have found the products you’re considering buying. You might want to consider face washes, exfoliators, toners, moisturisers and more! If you suffer from any skin conditions, consult a doctor or dermatologist who will be able to prescribe prescription strength creams and ointments to help.
Now, massage tends to be a treat. But it’s a treat that’s well worth investing in every now and again. Not only is it good for your body, but it’s great for promoting a sense of general relaxation. A standard Swedish massage tends to be sufficient for most of us. During this massage, a trained and qualified therapist will use a combination of long strokes, short strokes and tapping to relax your muscles. This process reduces the production of cortisol (a stress hormone) and increases production of serotonin (a happy chemical), which helps to promote feelings of contentment and relaxation. There are, of course, other more niche forms of massage out there. So, do a little research to find the best for you. Sports massages and deep tissue massages may be good for those recovering from injury or with big knots in their muscles. There are pregnancy massages for pregnant women. Find the type that’s best for you and find a recommended and well reviewed therapist to carry it out!
Of course, everyone needs a little time to themselves every now and then – even the most social of us. Having a little you-time gives you an opportunity to do whatever it is you’ve really been wanting to do, but haven’t had the chance to yet. This could be something as simple as sitting down with a cup of tea. It could be reading a book you’ve had sat on your shelf for months. It could be catching up on your favourite TV series or watching a film. Maybe you just want to nap. Whatever it is you’ve been craving, take a little time out of your day to do it. This will increase your overall feelings of contentment.
Often, many of our stresses come from feeling the need to say yes to things we don’t want to do, can’t do, or simply aren’t interested in. This could be accepting overtime at work. It could be agreeing to plans you’d rather skip. It could be anything. Whatever is stressing you out, don’t be afraid to say no to it. In most cases, people will be understanding. If they aren’t, they’re the problem, not you! While this skill may seem basic, it’s not something that the majority of us find easy to do and can take a little strength and courage.
Of course, this isn’t a conclusive list of absolutely everything you can do to care for yourself, but it should help to give you a few ideas of things you should try to incorporate into your routine. It really is time to give yourself a little TLC and make sure you’re feeling well, happy and content all round!