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Are You Practicing These 5 Self-Care Basics?
Self-care seems so easy in theory, but it’s often harder to practice than you think. If it were truly easy, you probably wouldn’t even have to think about doing it. In reality, most of us have to make a conscious effort to practice self-care. While most ways of practicing self-care take little effort, it’s sometimes easy to forget the foundations such as getting enough sleep and managing stress. If you need to recharge your self-care routine, start by doing the basics below.
Getting Adequate Sleep
You probably have heard countless times that it’s important to get enough sleep. This doesn’t just mean you should strive for the seven-plus hours recommended for adults. You should also be aiming for better sleep quality.
If you often feel tired the next day, even after getting enough hours of sleep, you might want to start by having yourself checked for sleep disorders. Sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea affect much more than just your energy level. According to research from the Harvard Medical School, sleep issues can also be detrimental to your mental health, increasing your chance of developing certain disorders. The good news is that improving your sleep often alleviates symptoms and helps with the overall treatment.
In addition to getting checked for sleep disorders, there are many other ways to improve your sleep. Luckily, most of them are completely within your control. For example, avoiding things like caffeine and alcohol and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can help you get better-quality sleep.
If you have a busy schedule, it might seem impossible to fit in time to relax. But even though downtime is often seen as a luxury, it’s essential for your mental health. Because it’s easy to make excuses about skipping downtime, many productivity experts recommend actually scheduling it into your day.
Many people see downtime as a waste of time, but it provides you with the perfect opportunity to meditate, exercise, read, or do other relaxing activities that boost your mental and physical health.
Using Healthy Products
If you like to spend downtime pampering yourself, you can make the routine extra indulgent by choosing healthy and natural products. Whether you dye your hair, paint your nails, or get a facial for self-care, it’s important to only use products with the best ingredients possible. Not only are natural products healthier for your body, but they are also better for the environment.
Protecting Your Finances
Most self-care advice centers on relaxing and doing activities you enjoy, but taking care of your wallet is another way to practice self-care. It makes sense when you consider that unresolved money issues are a major source of stress for many people.
There are countless ways to practice financial self-care, such as financially focused meditation. Tackling big goals can feel stressful, but it’s important to focus on the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel once you succeed. Plus, according to a recent survey, 73 percent of people who reported having clear financial goals also said that they had lower stress levels.
For example, a major financial goal might be to refinance your home to get better terms on your mortgage. Taking this step will involve a bit of work, but it can help you take advantage of good interest rates, free up cash using your equity, or make your mortgage payments more manageable.
Saying “no” to an invitation or other request can feel impossible, but in some cases, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. When your body or mind is giving you signals to turn down a request, it’s often hard to follow through with your words. Mastering the art of saying “no” is challenging for just about everyone, but you’ll thank yourself for learning how to say that one simple word.
Self-care seems easy to do, but life often gets in the way. If you’ve let your self-care routine slide lately, getting back to the basics of good sleep, saying “no,” and fitting in downtime will help you get back on track.