Taking care of yourself can be as complicated, or as easy as you make it. Often we make it harder than it has to be. I’m not totally sure why, but I think if we make it so hard to take care of ourselves, then we can justify not doing it in the name of saving time. Whether it’s avoiding the gym, skipping meals, or not taking the time to relax and meditate, we know that we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As we get down to the final days of this challenge, I hope that if you take nothing else from these 30 days, you do remember your ABCs. So, in the spirit of those, here are 10 ways you can care for yourself, body, mind, and spirit.
1. Get some exercise
One of the absolute best things you can do for your body is move it! We were not made to be sedentary beings, and sitting down all day does all sorts of nasty things to your body besides just make you fat. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 days a week and you will notice a difference in not only how you look, but how you feel as well.
2. Get some sleep
Good sleep, that is. Sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a whole host of other maladies that affect your quality of life. You can take better care of yourself just by making sure you get enough sleep each night.
3. Watch what you eat
Eating clean, healthy foods is a must for taking care of your body. Ditch the junk food, and opt instead for fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. And lest you think that eating clean has to taste bad, check out some of these clean eating recipe books for some wonderful recipe ideas.
4. Get organized
Make sure you keep your life and your space uncluttered and organized. Schedules, routines, and to-do lists will help with keeping your life on track. Don’t be afraid to use them.
5. Stimulate your brain
This is especially important as you get older. Playing brain games, doing crosswords and puzzles, or doing other mental exercises helps to keep your mind active and help to stave off mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Spend time with friends
Social relationships are a big part of taking care of yourself. We all need to interact with others at least once in awhile. Plan regular nights out with friends when you can, and don’t forget to get together with other family members once in awhile too.
7. Spend time with yourself
Spending time alone gives you a chance to relax and recharge. Use the time to read a book, listen to music, indulge in your hobbies, or even a leisurely bubble bath. This is your time to take care of you.
8. Master the art of self-reflection
When you’re spending time with yourself, take a few moments to reflect on your life and your goals. Focus on the positive things in your life. What’s working for you now? What are you grateful for?
9. Spend some time in meditation or prayer
Spending time in meditation or prayer allows you to let go and connect with your Higher Power regardless of what name you use. Having that connection with something that’s bigger than you helps to not only put your thoughts into perspective, it can also ease any sense of aloneness you might be feeling.
10. Last but not least, respect yourself
It’s hard to take care of yourself if you don’t respect yourself. Lack of self esteem is a big problem in today’s society because we are judged so often by what we do and what we have instead of who we are. We let others decide whether we’re worth it or not, and take care of our own needs accordingly.
When you have self-esteem and self-respect, taking care of yourself comes easy. You are comfortable enough in your own skin to make sure that your needs are met. Will it all happen overnight? Of course not, especially if putting yourself first is new to you. But if you can incorporate these baby steps into your life, you will soon have the art of taking care of yourself mastered.