Self-care is taking care of your physical and mental health; making you a priority. And while you may ask yourself, “Don’t I already do that?” You probably don’t. We’re so consumed by daily stress that most of us probably don’t recognize just how little care we give ourselves. According to Psychology Today, self-care starts by knowing your limits, knowing how to rest, finding a way to decompress throughout your day, integrating fun into your day and taking time to love yourself. Self-care does not mean forcing yourself to do something you hate, just because you think it’s good for you.
Your Self-Care Checklist
There are different ways to provide self-care and they vary with each of us. It all boils down to taking care of our bodies, relationships, minds and emotions. Here’s an easy checklist to get started with self-care:
Go to bed. You can’t function properly if you’re exhausted. By starting each day completely refreshed you’ll be more productive than if you’re burning the midnight oil. Shoot for at least seven hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC.
Eat a healthy diet. The food we eat directly impacts the health of our bodies; you’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest emphasizing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Take an exercise break. You don’t have to join a CrossFit gym to incorporate physical activity in your life. Go for a walk, take a dance class – just get moving. Adults should do at least 150 – 300 minutes of exercise per week.
Make a lunch date. Make time to interact with someone face-to-face whether it is a friend, child, spouse or parent. Build time in your schedule to nurture these relationships. Positive social interactions not only boost your mental health but your physical health, according to Psychology Today.
Solve a puzzle. Research shows mental self-care helps keep the mind sharp and mentally healthy, helping to prevent dementia conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. If crosswords aren’t your thing, try a jigsaw puzzle or watch a biography or read a book on a topic that fascinates you.
Find some inner peace. No matter if you’re religious or spiritual, finding time to self-reflect nurtures our spirit. Meditation, attending a spiritual service allows our minds to shut out the rest of the world, reducing anxiety and possibly preventing depression, according to the American Psychological Association.
Say no. It’s ok to be selfish and say “no” to things, especially when saying “yes” would push you to your limit. Be firm, direct and remember you’re not turning down a person but a request.
Do one thing you love every day. This is different for everyone, but the key is making it something you enjoy – watching a TV show, going to the movies, cooking, gardening or just laughing.
Let The Maids Be Your Self-Care Partner
Scheduling a cleaning service with The Maids helps put you on the path to self-care. Think about it – having our team take over your cleaning duties definitely decreases stress and frees up time for you to do something just for you. Plus, relaxing, meditating and even playing is so much more enjoyable in the clean, clutter-free home. Contact us today to get starting on your journey of self-care.