Self-care is something that you do for yourself, in order to take care of yourself. The practice of self-care can help you to improve your life at home, and at work as well as your relationships. Although the idea seems pretty simple, implementing self-care in a meaningful way is more than just choosing to take a bubble bath every now and then.  In order to be effective, self-care has to be a priority in your everyday life. 

Disconnect from Technology

Technology is all around you.  You have a cell phone, probably a tablet or two, a laptop, and most likely a smartwatch. Anytime someone wants to get ahold of you they can, whether or not the situation is important.  Due to constant connection, you are constantly in contact with other people, which can be wearing.  By disconnecting from technology, you separate yourself from the demands of the everyday world for a short period of time. Your body needs time to decompress and allow your brain to wander, think creatively and even be bored. 

In order to create a lifestyle of self-care, disconnecting from technology for short periods of time should be part of your regular routine.  Create areas of your home or times of the day where you set aside your devices and are simply present in the moment.  Taking this step alone will allow you to feel refreshed and enlightened.  

Schedule Relaxation

Relaxation looks different for everyone.  Exercise, art, cooking, or reading are all ways to create relaxation in your life. While it may be fun to “relax” with friends, it is best to find time to just be alone and be yourself.  No matter what you choose, the key to relaxation is to find time every day to do something that you truly enjoy and that does not hold any type of power over your life (finances, a deadline, a set schedule, etc.). 

If you have a very busy schedule or balance the schedule of multiple people you may find that you have to create time every day for your relaxing activity.  Although it may seem like a burden at first, making this time for yourself will help you to feel more fulfilled in your day-to-day life. 

Listen to Your Body

One of the biggest issues related to self-care is that most people don’t take the time to slow down and listen to the things their body is telling them. If they are tired, they take on an extra activity.  If they are not feeling well, they work overtime.  If they are feeling overwhelmed, they go out with friends. This type of insanity creates an exhausting cycle that leads to unsatisfied, worn-out, unmotivated human beings.  

If you truly want self-care to be a priority in your life, you have to listen to your body when it is telling you something. Understand that it is okay to cancel plans or to reschedule for a later date.  Be confident in the fact that you don’t always have to be around other people. And, most importantly, get rid of the guilt surrounding the idea that you shouldn’t do things for yourself.  Sick days and vacation days exist for a reason.  If you take care of yourself and balance that self-care with the rest of your life, everything else will fall into place.