What actions can you take every day to engage in self-care?
We have reviewed the importance of slowing down and breathing but what else can you do? Below I will share the three most important actionable steps you can take to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Are you eating well and is it the right amount for you?
It seems like we all know what we should do and have heard the importance of a well-balanced meal. We know that meals should have protein, fiber, and carbs. So why don’t we do it consistently?
It’s because we allow our busy schedules to get in the way and we give up control over what we are giving our bodies. It’s as if we tell the stress monster “you tell me what I have time for today and I will do that.” This needs to stop and we need to make ourselves a priority, especially when it comes to eating well.
For instance, A cup of coffee in the morning and a bag of chips at lunch does not count as a healthy meal. Eating a healthy meal will lead to you feeling energized and balanced. Some other perks of eating healthy means avoiding health problems down the road or fixing ones you already have.
Along with eating well, remember to drink enough water. I know I’m guilty of this as well, but it’s important to intentionally remember to drink water Perhaps you have a headache because you have been working all day and have only been drinking coffee, give your body what it needs! Carry a water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink water.
Are you getting enough sleep? Do you feel tired in the morning or mid-day? Do you know how much sleep you need to get at night to feel rested and rejuvenated?
You can do this by not setting an alarm clock over the weekend and see when your body forces you to wake up. On average, adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep.
I understand that the ability to get consistent sleeps ebbs and flows with life, especially when you begin to have a family; but, if you are not allowing your body to get the rest it needs, it will eventually give out in some way.
So, give yourself some time to make sure you get rest and not feel like a zombie.
You either hate it or you love it. For some exercising is a way to destress and relax. Yet for others, it’s something that is forced to lose weight. Everyone is different and everyone has different interests, but make sure you are doing something. Go for a walk, take the stairs when you get a chance, walk in place or stretch while watching T.V.
Ideally, you should try to move your body about every 20 minutes. This helps with circulation and will help you stay focused on what you are working on. Your brain is able to focus 100% for 20 minutes straight and after that it needs a little break. If you have a desk job, remember to get up and just stretch for 30 seconds every 20 minutes.
If there are days that you are too tired to complete a rigorous exercise, that is totally NORMAL! Listen to what your body is saying and give yourself a break. Also, be nice to yourself when this happens. Maybe your goal is to exercise every day for 1 hour of intensive cardio, if you can’t for one day, you’re not a failure. Instead try something else, like going for a walk.
The important point here is that engaging in physical activity does not necessarily mean going to the gym and being there for a certain amount of time, you can be active throughout your day as well. It may take some creativity.
The best way to make sure you are completing these is to try to plan ahead and be mindful of what you are doing. This is where deep breathing can help because it allows you to slow down and pay attention to what you are doing well and what you may be able to improve.
If you would like to learn different ways you and your partner can be on the same page for your self-care, be sure to check out an upcoming couples workshop in San Antonio, TX. Also, feel free to sign-up to receive these tips sent straight to your inbox!
By: Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT
I specialize in working with couples and individuals to restore their relationships by utilizing research-based therapy techniques. Feel free to look at the online services offered through Modern Wellness Counseling and check out the client portal to conveniently schedule your next appointment.