You’ve probably seen the articles about why self-care isn’t selfish and the lists of activities you can do to look after yourself. The stories invoke images of massages and spa days, sipping vibrant veggie juices in trendy yoga outfits and snuggling up with a blanket and a book in front of the fireplace.
But when your energy and mobility are limited, self-care becomes a lot less glamorous than the picture painted in magazines and lifestyle blogs. Chronic illness can turn even the most basic forms of self-care, like taking a shower and cooking a meal, into a challenge.
At the same time, our health care systems put a growing emphasis on individuals taking control over their own health and actively managing their illness. We’re expected to eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep and think positively, or seek professional help whenever we can’t.
Of course, that’s a good thing. It’s your body and your life, and ultimately you’re the one who has to take action to make the most of whatever situation you’re given. But how can you do that when you feel sick, exhausted and in pain?
How Self-Care is Key to Your Overall Success
There is a new movement in America, and it’s all about changing your perspective on self-care. Sure, the name itself sounds like a good thing, but all too often, society expects you to push your needs to the side for others. The American culture, in particular, is to view self-care as selfish or a guilty pleasure.
However, thankfully so, millennials and especially generation Z are changing the game. In fact, they understand that putting self-care first increases their chance of living a more successful life.
The following is how self-care is key to your overall success:
It Build’s Strength and Self-Confidence
When you care for yourself the way you would a pet, child, or friend, you’ll feel stronger and more confident about your ability to navigate the difficulties of life. It’s the old story about the flight attendant telling you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. There is a reason this works – you can’t help others when you’re passed out.
It Highlights Purpose and Self-Awareness
Living a mindful life where you actually check in with yourself about how you feel about your life is a vital component of finding your life purpose. Plus, the good news is that as you learn more, you’ll realize that your entire life may have multiple purposes. What is great for you to do today may differ from what you decide to do tomorrow. Being self-aware will help you live your purpose, whatever it is at the time, in a way that feels good to you.
It Keeps You Mentally and Physically Healthy
When you focus on keeping your body, mind, and soul healthy, you’re just going to experience a lot better health overall. Think about the reality of eating well most of the time, getting in enough exercise, staying hydrated, and feeding your mind with all the good stuff you can and how that will help you. Obviously, you’re going to be better off focusing your life on self-care than you will be not doing it.
It Gets You Moving and Improves Productivity
Most of the people living in the USA are overweight than are a normal weight. Fully 42 percent of the population of the USA are classified as not just overweight but obese. Self-care ensures you don’t allow yourself to become unhealthy, providing you prioritize getting enough exercise and nutrition. Putting your own health on the backburner is no longer considered altruistic or a promising idea.
It Establishes Proper Boundaries, Organization and Time Management Skills
When you value yourself, you establish good boundaries, organize your environment, and get things done promptly. As a result, you won’t feel rushed, and you won’t feel as overwhelmed – at least most of the time (after all, no one is perfect).
In the end, if you don’t practice self-care, you can’t expect to live an optimal life. It’s about finding the balance in everything you do in order to go after your overall dreams and aspirations. If you are unhealthy, negative, or experiencing other negative side effects due to a poor self-care plan, it will only trickle down into other areas of your life. Therefore, you must start with and do what is needed for you in order to give to others and achieve your dreams.
Now let’s make your self-care a priority.
Four Ways to Make Self-Care a Priority
Are you guilty of putting the needs of your friends, family, or other loved ones first? Unfortunately, it is an all-too-common situation in America as many are conflicted about its importance. However, data and research outline the critical consequences of avoiding it. The more stressed and burnt-out society is as a whole, the less fortunate everyone becomes in the long run. This fact alone should outline just how important it is for everyone to make self-care a priority in their life. The truth is, if everyone put more thought into self-care, society would function better.
Here are four ways to make self-care a top priority in your personal and professional life:
Realize The Consequences and Change Your Perspective
The consequences are steep if you don’t eat right, exercise, and feel good about yourself by dressing how you desire and living the type of life you really want. You will feel unsatisfied with life, and you may even end up unprepared to help others. It’s not egotistical to take care of your needs. Is it selfish for your child to eat three meals a day? If it’s not selfish for someone else to do it, it’s not for you either.
Understand the Benefits to Proper Self-Care
When you take loving care of yourself, just like a zookeeper takes care of the animals in their zoo, you’ll actually become much more productive and useful to yourself and others in this life. You’ll feel good more often than not and be able to get more done in less time just because you aren’t held back by excess weight, poor mental health, or other concerns. Even if you have a handicap, using adaptations to make your life easier is all part of self-care and living your best life.
Start Small and Lower Your Expectations
Do things you know you love, and don’t expect perfection if you try new things. Enjoy the process. One of the biggest killers of joy is having too many expectations about the world and your environment that you cannot control. Understanding the only person you can expect anything of is you is number one to changing your perspective to being excited about self-care.
Create Consistent, Meaningful, and Mindful Rituals
Make them repeatable morning, afternoon, and nightly routines. Humans love habits. Most habits humans create are not good ones and are super hard to overcome. If you can build healthy habits and ritualize these healthy habits, you’ll find that you’re more consistent about everything you do that’s good for you. If getting up and drinking a quart of lemon water becomes a ritual, how will it change your life?
If you desire a successful and contented life and to make it easier for your community to function together, you must prioritize self-care. Understanding and following these tips will get you on the right path to making self-care a priority. The more you put your needs first, the more you can help and improve society.
Self-Care Intention for a Happier You
Going with the flow may sound like a fun way to tackle life. However, it doesn’t ensure that you will get everything you need or want to live a happy life. Without accountability or an action plan, you are more likely to sulk in negativity or maintain your current life. While that is not always a negative thing, it can be if you struggle to feel or maintain your happiness.
Adding and creating self-care goals to your daily life can help improve your happiness and overall outlook on life. Setting goals allow you to manage better all the areas in your life that need to work together to promote happiness and optimal health.
Here are five self-care goals to set for a happier and healthier you:
Spend an Hour Alone Daily
Everyone needs alone time every single day. Even if you’re an extroverted person, you also need yourself. So find a way to spend one hour of awake time alone each day. If this means you need to get up early or go to bed a little later, it’s going to be worth it. You can spend time alone while doing things like reading, meditating, and walking.
Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day
Getting enough hydration is one of the best ways to improve your health immediately. Most people are walking around very dehydrated. In fact, many people are overweight because their body is sending inaccurate signals due to trying to get more water inside. If you don’t give it water, it’ll tell you that you’re hungry to get moisture in food if needed. The guidelines to drink eight glasses of water a day is just a guideline you need more than this, depending on the rest of your diet and your weight.
Meditate Three Times Per Week
Setting up a minimal meditation practice can improve getting comfortable with silence and dealing with your thoughts in a mindful way. Set a goal to just meditate three times a week, with the hope you’ll love it so much that you start doing it every single day. You can learn to meditate by looking up YouTube videos or join a local meditation community.
Learn Something New Each Week
Lifelong learning is an essential component in living your best life. It’s amazing and sad to note, but most people never read another book once they graduate from school. But studies show that learning more and learning for your entire life makes it more likely that you live a successful, happy life than if you stop learning. So actively find something new to learn each week at a minimum to help you with your life.
Start With Morning Affirmations
Feeling and acting more positively doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, being more positive is key to living a healthy and happy life. An effective way to start training your mind to see the world more positively is, to begin with, morning affirmations. For example, tell yourself, “Today will be a good day because I am going to drink eight glasses of water, eat all my nutrition before 8 pm, and I’ll walk for 40 minutes today.”
Remember to give each of these goals a real and honest try. Don’t expect results or to feel comfortable the first day. Even if you fail it doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Instead, work on your resilience and get back up to try again. If your happiness is important, implement these self-care goals into your daily routine today.
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