Self-care is a critical part of each person’s daily routine, but is frequently misinterpreted as an excuse for unnecessary expenditure or laziness during the workweek. Far from this undeserved reputation, self-care helps to minimize stress and increase your overall sense of happiness (as well as your efficiency and productivity at work) from day to day. Daily basics such as getting enough sleep, taking breaks and reducing stress are important foundations for a strong self-care routine. Here are four ways you can start to take care of yourself.
Shortcut #1: Take breaks whenever you can
It is important to take time for yourself each day, even if you generally have difficulties freeing up time. It doesn’t need to be a long break - a rest of 15 to 30 minutes can do wonders for your mental health and general fatigue. Part of the reason why quick breaks are so effective is that they give your mind and body a chance to step away from the stress and pressure of your current projects. You can make your breaks even more effective by incorporating deep breathing exercises and dimming the lights in your office or room.
If you are particularly stressed, you may benefit from a massage. Massages don’t have to be expensive, hour-long marathons. A quick half-hour massage can be just as therapeutic. Massages can increase the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, improve your range of motion, reduce joint pain and make you feel better, thanks to the endorphins released during a massage. Their most significant impact, though, is their ability to release stress related tension in your body.
Shortcut #2: Reduce stress by eating well
The reason why it is so important to reduce stress is because stress can negatively affect your body in a number of different ways. Some people, for example, develop poor eating habits when they are stressed, preferring sugary, high-fat comfort foods instead of nourishing vegetable-based dishes. Healthy meals can help to reduce stress and improve the functioning of the body.
Shortcut #3: Declutter your home
One of the easiest ways to reduce stress that is frequently neglected is to declutter your house. Clutter frequently compounds stress and anxiety, preventing your home from being the safe, relaxing sanctuary it is meant to be. Decluttering your home, in turn, helps to declutter your mind. The decluttering process may be difficult for you if you have a large amount of knickknacks and decor strewn about. If this is the case, you may want to find an inexpensive self-storage unit to store your things until you decide that you are ready to let them go. Many storage units are less expensive than you might think. Or just stow away your clutter in decorative bins. Out of sight = out of mind and you can not be stressed by that pile of stuff you have meaning to sort through every time you pass it.
Sortcut #4: Enforce a healthy sleep routine
Another thing you can do to make yourself feel better each day is to increase the quality of your sleep. The first way to improve your sleep is by sticking to a regular schedule, even on the weekends. Your bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet. For light sleepers, it’s best to install blackout shades to block out outdoor lighting and maintain darkness. Investing in a great mattress and pillow will pay you back dividends in hundreds of nights of more restful sleep.
But, if you have to wake up early, keep your windows open and wake up naturally with the rising sun. Sunlight, as opposed to artificial light, helps to enforce your natural circadian rhythms and provides an energy boost to kick off your day the right way. Finally, be sure to avoid excess technology, alcohol or tobacco an hour before you go to sleep, as they will inhibit your ability to stay asleep.
No matter how busy you get, you should always make time to take care of yourself. By taking breaks throughout the day, reducing stress and improving your sleep, you will feel better for a longer period of time each day.
Guest blog by: Brad Krause selfcaring.info/
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