Submission By: Brad Krause
Self-care is a broad term, but it’s one that is used a lot these days as more and more people discover the benefits that come with it. Learning how to focus on your needs in a healthy way, how to relax and reduce stress is so important when it comes to both your mental and physical health. It’s nearly impossible to feel productive, happy or energized when you don’t take the time to meet your needs, especially if you have a stressful job or family life that takes a lot out of you.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to boost your mental and physical health that don’t require a lot of time or money. From practicing a hobby to learning how to cope with stress and anxiety in a way that allows you to feel in control, there are many things you can do that fall under the umbrella of self-care. Focusing on your own needs will help boost your self-esteem and will get you to a healthy place even if you’ve recently had issues such as substance abuse or depression.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.
Ease work-related stress
Many Americans suffer from work-related stress, but if you find that it’s a constant issue–or if it’s making you turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking–it’s time to find a way to relieve those feelings. Talk to your employer about what you can do to share the workload with someone else, or start a conversation about how to ease workplace drama. Often, others are aware of negativity in the office but don’t know how to approach a solution.
It’s also important to find healthy ways to cope with stress when it does arrive, such as finding an outlet in exercise. Many people who workout at least twice a week find that they are much better able to handle stress and anxiety when it comes their way.
Get adequate sleep
Few of us function well on little sleep, so it’s imperative to get good rest every night. If you’re sleeping several hours at a time but still wake up feeling groggy and unrested, it may be an issue with your mattress or bedding. Make sure the temperature in your bedroom is nice and cool, and if your mattress is more than seven years old, consider replacing it.
Practice a hobby
Having a hobby is about more than just passing time; it can be a huge benefit when it comes to stress, anxiety, depression and even substance abuse recovery. Whether you want to learn to play an instrument, start a journal, garden, paint, or become a movie buff, there are limitless ways to enjoy yourself and benefit from it. Think about some of your favorite activities and how they can fit into your life on a regular basis.
As we get older, sometimes our relationships change. We stop hanging out with friends as often because schedules are so busy, which means we often don’t have the same support system of even a few years ago. One of the best ways to relieve stress and boost mental health is to find someone to talk to. Staying social is a huge benefit, whether it’s with a friend, family member, or counselor.
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy to do; schedules change, priorities are altered and often we just don’t know where to begin. Start by taking a look at your daily responsibilities to see if there’s a way you can free up some time to do something you enjoy and work out a plan to get it done.