Most of the time, self-care is last on your list.
You usually give this to yourself as a reward after a stressful week or month, and sometimes, you feel guilty about taking care of yourself because you could have used that time to do other household or work tasks that are on your to-do list.
What you don’t know is that making time to take care of yourself every day is important because this will keep you healthy: Physically, mentally, and spiritually.
When you don’t have time to take care of yourself, you also don’t have the time and energy to take care of other demands in your life because you feel worn out and lack energy.
This will eventually lead you to break down physically and emotionally.
What is self-care?
This is a practice of taking action to preserve and improve your well-being and happiness.
You are paying close attention to yourself, not in a selfish way, but you make sure that you are being cared for by you.
You love yourself enough that you make sure that you are meeting your own basic needs.
Here are 7 little ways the healthiest people take care of themselves each day:
1. They get enough sleep
This should be on top of your self-care routine. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should have seven to nine hours of sleep daily. Getting enough sleep is important to keep you healthy. Having enough sleep is the most important thing to do next to nutrition and exercise.
This will allow the cells in your body and mind to recover and sleeping also replenishes your energy levels.
Photo: Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels
How can you incorporate a good night’s rest into your self-care routine?
- Create a sleep schedule and stick to it. This will help adjust your body’s clock and help your body learn when to sleep and when to wake up.
- Relax before you go to bed. You can read a book, take a bath, and avoid any bright lights before bedtime. You can also try meditating before you sleep to ease your mind.
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals hours before you go to bed. These will just stimulate your nervous system, leaving it active and affecting the quality of your sleep.
2. They plan their meal menus for the week
Your digestive and nutritional health affects not only the health of your body but your brain’s health and its functionality as well.
Food affects your brain activity and the energy level of your performance, your mind and body don’t function well when you work for some time without any food intake.
Food also affects your mood. Each kind of food has compounds that contribute to your hormones that change your mood.
Plus, food provides comfort and satisfaction. This does not mean that you can eat any food you want just because it’s comforting and satisfying. What you need to eat is healthy and nutritious food.
Here are some smart eating habits:
- Eat fruits and vegetables as they contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Half of your plate’s portion is recommended to be fruits and vegetables.
- Limit your sugar intake as this increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Consume more healthy fats such as Omega-3 and Omega-3 fatty acids because these are essential fats for our brain, they also reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, and are good for cardiovascular health. You can also find healthy fats in fish, seeds, nuts, avocados, and olives.
- Do not skip meals and eat small portions of meals regularly.
- Focus on your meal and enjoy your food.
3. Drink lots of water
Sixty percent of our body is made up of water, and our blood is 90 percent water.
Drinking water is an important part of self-care not only because it helps you stay hydrated, but because it has a lot of benefits.
- It keeps your skin and hair hydrated making it healthy and prevents skin disorders such as premature wrinkling.
- Flushes your body waste through sweating, urination, and feces.
- It will help you lose weight if you make this your replacement for sodas and juice. Also, drinking water before your meal could make you feel full, thus, you will consume less food.
- It keeps your joints, brain, spinal cord, and body tissues lubricated and hydrated.
- Maintains normal blood pressure.
4. They exercise regularly
Not only is exercising good for your physical health because it gives you energy, extends your lifespan, and improves your mood — it has benefits on your mental health as well.
You do not need to go to the gym every day to exercise.
Try incorporating other physical activities in your daily routine such as:
- Breathing exercises
5. They practice good hygiene
Good hygiene makes you feel good about your appearance and at the same time, it helps you ward off illnesses.
Simple personal hygiene such as washing your hands and brushing your teeth will help keep bacteria and viruses away.
Here are some basic personal hygiene tips that have a huge impact on your health:
- Taking a bath regularly: This includes washing your face to avoid breakouts and blackheads, washing your hair to remove dirt and oil, and washing your whole body as your skin is constantly shedding, and not doing so may cause skin diseases. This routine will, of course, wash away bacteria and viruses from your body.
- Brushing and flossing your tIdeally,l that you brush and floss your teeth after a meal. This will help you minimize the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. Sometimes, bacteria buildup causes gum diseases that go straight to the heart and cause problems. You should also visit your dentist every six months to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked.
- Hand washing: Dirty hands are one of the top reasons why bacteria and viruses get transferred and why humans get ill. Washing your hands before and after you touch food, after going to the bathroom, and after holding trash and money will prevent the spreading of bacteria and viruses. It is best that you have an alcohol or sanitizer at hand when soap and water are not available.
6. They hang out with their friends
Self-care can also be done with friends. Your true friends will support your overall health and life goals.
They will help you destress and unwind by being in each other’s company just having fun and being your personal life coach. Moments with your friends can help you feel relaxed and more connected to life.
7. They chill and spoil themselves
When you are stressed and unmotivated because of your work or other errands, there are personal things that you think about and want to do because you think that it will help you loosen up and make your day a bit brighter.
However, you tend to brush it off because you prefer to get sucked back into the vortex of negativity.
Whatever you are thinking, whether you want a massage or want to treat yourself to a facial — do it! Spoil and reward yourself. You might be surprised how your energy level and mood can change after doing these.
Esther Bilbao helps mentor women to have better relationships, health, and personal development.