Self-care is any act to tend for your mental, emotional, and/or physical health.
Why is it important?
Self-care is important because a lot of the times we brush away or neglect our anxiety and stress. We assume it will just go away and that we will be unaffected from it. Truth is, anxiety and stress can take a toll on mental health, emotional health, and even physical health. Some underlying symptoms that people may not associate with stress are:
- weight gain or loss
- abnormal sleep
- shortness of breath
- frequent colds
Taking care of ourselves from the beginning can help prevent any symptoms like these, and more, that are caused by stress or anxiety. So… what are some ways to practice self-care?
Get enough sleep It is recommended to get between 7-9 hours of sleep daily. During this period of rest, our bodies and minds are still at work to heal and recover from anything we may have endured during the day. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress levels and anxiety levels because your mind and body did not get the chance to fully recover. Skipping sleep to get more done can hurt you more than help you in the long run.
Exercise regularly Exercising releases endorphins known to reduce stress and boost your mood. Try to get some exercise in daily whether it be light or intense. Getting in some movement will make you feel better throughout the day, especially if you have had a stressful day or week. Stuck on time? Try going for a walk after dinner or doing some light body movements like pushups or air squats throughout the day. This is especially important if you have a fairly sedentary job such as in an office.
Take a bath with essential oil and bubbles As cheesy as it sounds, doing this can significantly allow you to relax and take a break from anything consuming your mind. We recommend adding 1-3 drops of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or a citrus oil such as lemon or orange. If your body is under stress or you have sore muscles, try also adding Epsom salts. Epsom salt contains magnesium which is a natural muscle relaxer.
Take a break from computers and phones Known as “unplugging”, this strategy can help you focus on the present moment instead of what is happening on your social media, in your emails, or any other distractions. Sometimes being on a phone or computer for too long can make us feel overwhelmed. Try taking a break for a few hours or even a few days. Do things that will help you live in the moment such as playing with your dog, doing something with your kids, or doing something that relaxes you. Some relaxing activities are coloring, walking, meditating, shopping, and anything else that can get you to step away from your normal activities that leave you stressed.