Do you often find yourself feeling stressed out and like you have no time for yourself? Chances are you answered with a”Yes!” that was so loud it shook the neighbourhood.
It’s not surprising really. We have more on our plates now than ever before, and even though we have jobs, careers, and outside interests we still have a natural tendency to take care of everyone around us before we tend to ourselves.
It’s that mindset that gets us into trouble, leaves us feeling stressed out and can even lead to illness in some cases. That’s why self-care is so important, and is becomes increasingly so the busier we get with the rest of our lives.
Creating a self-care habit for yourself when you’re not used to putting yourself first will take a bit of a mindset shift. It’s just like creating any other habit for yourself; it will take practice and consistency for it to be become a regular part of your life.
Here are 5 tips you can use to develop your self-care mindset.
Tip #1 –
Pay attention to yourself
One of the things that we do is ignore our own emotional needs. An article on Psychology Today recommends that people start taking care of themselves by active listening to themselves. You can do this by restating your thoughts gently, out loud to yourself.
A good example of active listening to yourself would be if you are feeling lonely on the weekends to state softly, “It's hard to feel lonely on the weekends.” This practice puts you in the habit of acknowledging your emotions.
Tip #2 –
Make time to meditate and reflect
A few minutes of meditation or quiet reflection every day can help you soothe your soul. Even as little as five minutes of quiet when you get up in the morning can help to remind you that your own self-care is important.
The best part about meditation is that the longer you do it, the easier it gets. Start with as little as five minutes a day and see if you can work up to 20. Adding meditation to your self-care practice can also help relieve stress and leave you feeling better.
Tip #3 –
Include a morning workout in your self-care plan
One of the first things to fall by the wayside when you’re not taking care of yourself is time for exercise. It’s so easy to say “I don’t have time for the gym” or “I’ll stop on the way home” and then you end up stopping for takeout instead.
Changing your self-care mindset to include time for exercise and not see it as wasted time is important for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It’s really the ultimate gift you can give yourself, not only because it will improve your physical health, but you’ll also end up feeling better about yourself too.
Many people suggest working out first thing in the morning. You’re sure to get it done that way, and the post-exercise endorphins will give you a lift throughout the rest of the day.
Even if you can’t get to the gym in the mornings, try and carve out some time for a walk or a jog around the neighbourhood. It’s often the quietest time of day and you can even combine your walking and meditation as a way to get both into your routine.
Tip #4 –
Learn to say no
One of the biggest changes you’ll need to make when developing a self-care mindset is learning how to say no to others.
Saying no is one of the most important parts of self-care. You learn to honor yourself by respecting your time. If you cannot do a project or a favor, then say no. Don’t add stress to yourself just to be accommodating.
Learning to say no can also be amazing. People will learn how to respect your boundaries, and it allows you time to continue your focus on self-care.
Tip #5 –
Stop comparing yourself to others
One of the nicest gifts you can give yourself – and when it comes right down to it, that’s really what self-care is – is to stop comparing yourself to other people. When you’re always comparing yourself to other people and feeling like you don’t stack up, you’re really discounting your own uniqueness and taking away any chance of being happy with who you are.
Developing your self-care mindset means learning how to be happy with who you are, regardless of how you see other people. This is especially true if you’re comparing yourself to the people you see on social media. All you’re seeing there is a snapshot of one moment in time… you only see what they want you to see, not all the hard work and struggle behind the scenes it may have taken to get there.
Building up your self-care mindset is just like creating any other new habit. Practice and consistency will get you there, and will have you taking care of and being your best self before you know it.
Incorporating these tips to your daily routine will help improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. And taking care of yourself will leave you feeling stronger and more energized to continue taking care of those around you too.
What do you do for your self-care mindset? Share in the comments below.