We have all been a little more stressed than usual the last nearly two years.
A combination of a global pandemic, national recession, local outbreaks, and widespread fear are no doubt common denominators. However, you owe it to yourself to take care of you first so you can be at your best through these trying times.
Self-Care Is Not Selfish.
During a disaster, we come together. We often put our needs on the back burner. While this is the earmark of a great community, it is not a long-term option. Remember, just as you have to put fuel in your vehicle to drive from point A to point B, you have to invest in yourself so that you can keep going. A few self-care ideas include:
- Eating healthy foods.
Obviously, the food you put into your body has a huge impact on your physical health. But, eating is also an exercise in self-control and moderation. You have to eat fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, and lean proteins, but there’s nothing wrong with settling down with an indulgence every once in a while. This doesn’t mean you should give into your Doritos cravings every day, but that, sometimes, it’s okay to splurge and enjoy the moment. For most days, keeping healthy snacks, such as trail mix and popcorn, on hand will help you satisfy cravings and keep your energy levels at their optimum peak.
- Taking a vacation.
It’s easy to get stuck in the proverbial rut when you’re constantly trying to lift others up but don’t have the energy to do so for yourself. Taking a weekend away (or, ideally, at least eight days) is an excellent way to recharge. Even if you don’t plan to leave your area, there are plenty of places you can stay close to home that feel far away. Look for a private vacation rental that keeps you away from crowds. This will also come with the added benefit of letting you enjoy attractions on your own terms and cooking for yourself when you’re ready.
- Creating healthy habits.
Healthy habits are those that keep you mentally and physically well. This includes everything from eating breakfast every morning to going to bed on time each night. Your healthy habits should also include socializing, relaxing, and avoiding unhealthy substances, such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You can also create healthy habits that work by taking your lunch break and reaching out for a helping hand when you’re overwhelmed.
No mention of self-care would be complete without stressing the importance of exercise. While what you eat heavily influences your overall health, exercising helps you keep your body limber and your weight in check, and it can also help you overcome the winter blues. You don’t have to have expensive exercise equipment, and, according to FitBit, you can even sneak in a workout at your desk without interrupting your workflow. A few other ideas are to go for a walk at lunch, play in the yard with the kids after school, or find a low-impact activity that you can visit before work. Swimming and stretching exercises are also ideal fitness activities for seniors.
- Get your finances under control.
One of the main causes of stress for many of us is the state of our finances. Look for ways you can save to alleviate your stress. Simple solutions like ditching cable for streaming services, brewing your own coffee, and doing your own cleaning and yard work can add up to big savings. If you’re a homeowner, you can also look into refinancing to lower your monthly mortgage payment, but be sure to speak to a qualified lender to discuss your options.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t turn your time and attention to others. But, when your job is to make sure that everyone else is well, use your expertise for yourself, too. Don’t forget, your physical and mental health matter, and you deserve to be good to you.
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