by Michelle Porjes
Self-care habits are among the most important habits to develop. They are the habits that teach us to create moments in time where we are the priority. When we are only focused on helping others and not focused enough on our own care, we cannot be our best selves. Being our best selves is what allows us to take care of the elderly with grace.
Caring for others can be a marathon. Other times it can be a sprint. Either way, it requires patience and a pause for reflection each day
Care for yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally with these activities:
- Grooming. This can be a good gauge of your mental health. Those with significant mental health issues often neglect their grooming. It’s important to look and feel your best each day. It’s amazing how much a good shower, shave, and flossing can do for your mood and attitude.
- Healthy diet. It’s hard to rise above the quality of food you put into your body. Even with conflicting diets and advice out there, you have a good idea of what foods are healthy and which aren’t. Experiment with different diets and take note of their effects on your mood, sleep, energy, and focus.
- Exercise. Exercise has a positive effect on your mind and body. Exercise enhances your ability to sleep, uplifts your mood, and can increase your longevity. The current recommendation from the medical community is to engage in at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week.
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude is good for your soul. It creates hope and contentment even in trying circumstances. It’s easy to forget how much you already have if you’re not practicing gratitude each day. This can be as simple as stating out loud each morning what you are thankful for, or journaling them in a personal notebook.
- Practice forgiveness. Forgiving others has a powerful effect on your physical and emotional health. It also frees your mind from negative recurring thoughts and allows you to make more progress in your life. You’re only stealing time from yourself when you hold on to negative feelings toward others.
- Sleep. Set up a regular schedule for sleeping and stick to it. It’s not too hard to convince yourself of the importance of sleep. All you have to do is skip one night to experience the powerful impact of sleep on your wellbeing.
- Spend time with others. You can’t spend all of your time alone and remain emotionally healthy. It’s necessary to interact with others. How much human contact is needed varies greatly from one person to another. No matter how much of a loner you might be, though, spending time with others matters.
- Spend quality time alone. Spending time with others is important, but it’s important to spend some time alone, too. Everyone needs to get away and be alone once in a while. Again, how much time you need to spend alone is an individual preference. Make time for this important self-care practice.
Have you ever noticed that your self-care suffers when you’re down in the dumps? Have you ever noticed how much better your self-care is when you’re feeling positive and healthy? The quality of your self-care is a great barometer of your overall well-being.
Good self-care practices are also an effective way of keeping yourself firing on all cylinders.
If you’re feeling down and out, give extra attention to your self-care. You deserve the time and attention.