If you want to reach your goals, self-care belongs on the top of your to do list. When you protect your health and wellbeing, you give yourself the strength you need to succeed.
Ironically, we often abandon self-care just when we need it the most. Feeling overburdened and overwhelmed can make you more likely to skip meals or miss workouts. On the other hand, if you make self-care automatic, you’ll create habits you can depend on to see you through major setbacks or minor irritations.
Be good to yourself. Use these tips to start developing your own personal self-care plan.
Self-Care Tips on Eating and Exercising:
1. Eat whole foods. Get most of your calories from natural foods, especially vegetables and fruits. Cutting back on processed foods will eliminate most of the empty calories and excess sugar and salt in your diet.
2. Dine in. Save eating out for an occasional treat. Preparing your own food gives you more control over what on your plate. It’s another high-impact strategy for eating healthy.
3. Manage your weight. Being overweight or obese can drain your energy and increase your risk for serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Control portion sizes and talk with your doctor if you need more help.
4. Stay hydrated. Your body needs water to perform its functions, including controlling your heart rate and digesting food. While most adults require about 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, you can usually rely on your sense of thirst to figure out your individual needs.
5. Stay active. Incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine helps you stay fit. Stand up while you’re talking on the phone and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Exercise regularly. You also need regular workouts for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Find a variety of activities that you’ll enjoy doing for at least a half hour three days a week.
Other Self-Care Tips:
1. Think positive. Studies show that optimists live longer and have stronger immune systems. Look on the bright side and count your blessings.
2. Sleep well. Sleep provides a time for restoration and rejuvenation. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule. Turn off the television and block out street lights and noises if they’re keeping you up at night.
3. Manage stress. Find relaxation practices that work for you. You might enjoy soaking in a warm bath or meditating in a quiet spot.
4. Take frequent breaks. Scheduling some downtime makes you more productive. Stand up and stretch when you’re working at the office. Pause in between errands to drink a cup of tea and calm your mind.
5. Delegate wisely. Focus on the tasks that match your strengths. Try to transfer the rest of your responsibilities to others, whether that means hiring a housecleaner or trading assignments with a co-worker.
6. Develop a hobby. Fill your leisure time with meaningful activities. Creative pastimes can help you relax and feel accomplished.
7. Be assertive. Stand up for yourself. Ask for what you need tactfully and directly. Remember that you are worthy of respect and consideration.
8. Stay connected. Cultivate close relationships with family and friends. Make time in your schedule for family dinners and coffee dates. Invite a new colleague out to lunch. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhile so you can catch up.
9. Seek inspiration. Find something that motivates you. You might want to join a prayer group at your church or climb a mountain to admire the view.
Reduce stress and accomplish more by making self-care a top priority. Treating yourself with compassion and kindness is essential to your mental and physical health.