The right self-care strategies can positively impact your life now and for years to come. In fact, some can completely change your life. Give these eight self-care tips a try to see the big impact little changes can make.
Get Enough Sleep
This is a crucial step toward taking care of yourself, both right now and in the long run. People generally need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. Go four or more days in a row without that and you are likely to start seeing signs of sleep deprivation like confusion and lack of energy. It turns out that sleeping isn’t just good for day to day function, either. A new study has linked napping to better long-term heart health.
Drink Plenty of Water
If it seems like every health and wellness advice includes drink more water, then maybe it’s a sign that you should pay attention. Water is crucial to multiple body functions. If you don’t maintain proper fluid levels, your body may struggle to regulate temperature, balance electrolytes, and maintain energy levels. You should see the effects of keeping your body hydrated quickly with softer skin and increased energy and a stronger immune system.
Choose Healthy Foods
Instead of worrying about narrowing down your food choices, aim to make at least eighty percent of your food from healthy, whole food sources. That still allows you to treat yourself to those little indulgences and to enjoy a splurge now and then. Try to embrace a plant-based diet like the Mediterranean or DASH plans. These are linked to long-term improvements in heart health and lower rates of chronic disease.
Get Up and Move
Moving more can be a huge part of your self-care plan. It doesn’t have to be extreme exercise either. Find a few activities that you enjoy and practice them regularly. If you like walking, maybe extend that into hiking for a little more of a challenge and workout. If you prefer to relax and stretch, find a yoga or Tai Chi class nearby. Fitting exercise into your routine has multiple benefits. It can improve your physical conditioning, help you maintain a healthy weight, and improve balance, posture, and body alignment. You should also see improvements in cardiovascular capacity, which shows that your heart and lungs are getting stronger. Plus, exercise can boost both your energy and confidence.
Enjoy Your Friends
Finding a group of supportive friends and actually making time to enjoy them can bring extensive health benefits. This support system helps you overcome stressful situations and cope with the ups and downs of life. They’ll let you know when things just don’t seem right because they love and care for you. Plus, friends that make you laugh also boost your own happiness.
Find your creative side. Whether that is art, music, or landscape design, it doesn’t matter. Find something that lets you express yourself creatively. This simple act can help build confidence, raise self-awareness, and increase problem-solving skills. And all of those can have huge impacts on almost every area of your life.
Make sure that you treat yourself every once in a while, too. Self-care is serious stuff, but it should be part of an overall plan. So, whether that is a new pair of designer white sneakers in leather or a spa day, make sure to splurge on yourself.
Learn To Say No
Finally, learn to say no to the people who demand your time. It is your right to decide how you spend your time and effort, and your friends won’t make you feel guilty for turning them down when you need to. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should turn down every request for help or a favorite volunteer project you always work on. But, when there is a person or group that is constantly making you the go-to person, maybe it’s time to let them know you have other responsibilities that need your attention.
It doesn’t matter what self-care activities you choose to undertake, as long as you remember that it is perfectly normal to take care of yourself and not just the people around you. So, go ahead and schedule something just for you, learn a new skill, make something fun, or just spend some time with friends you haven’t seen lately. The benefits will last beyond that day and help you maintain balance and your health into the future.