From a successful career and loving relationships, the modern woman has it all. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work and sacrifices to keep everything in perfect balance. No wonder a recent study published in the Journal of Brain and Behavior found that women are twice as likely to experience severe stress and anxiety compared to men.
If this scientific finding rings true to you, it is high time to embrace self-care. Before you complain that you do not have the time or feel guilty for desiring me-time, know that making an effort to care for your body, mind, and soul is crucial to staying healthy, happy, and resilient to stress and anxiety.
Don’t know where to start? Here are six self-care tips to help you get rolling.
Upgrade Your Sleepwear
Perhaps one of the simplest yet most effective ways to care for yourself is by ditching the old college shirt you often wear to bed and buying fashionable and high-quality pajamas. After all, getting adequate sleep is vital to embracing self-care, and picking the right sleepwear can help you achieve it.
Clothes have the power to affect your mood and emotions. When you wear something cute and comfortable after a long day at work, you will feel happier and more relaxed—and, in the process, sleep better as well.
When looking for the right pajamas, make sure that the fabric is soft on your skin and suits the temperature in your room for all-night comfort. So, what are you waiting for? Ask your friends for recommendations, or google “where to buy good sleepwear” to find the nightclothes that pampers the queen in you.
Start a Journal
Relieving stress is the touchstone of self-care. That is why you should introduce journaling in your daily routine. Remember how writing in your diary as a teen gave you an outlet to release all your pent-up emotions without fear of judgment? Journaling functions in the same way.
Writing in your journal before going to bed or whenever you feel stressed about something can help relieve tension, reduce anxiety, and provide clarity. Make the process more enjoyable by setting aside a few minutes of your day to write. Buy a journal notebook in the color that you like, and allow yourself to write freely.
Do not worry about spelling mistakes or what people might think about your writing. Keep in mind that your journal is a safe refuge where you can be most honest with yourself.
Learn to Say “No”
Most women find it difficult to say no for fear of hurting others or passing up a great opportunity. But having too much on your plate is one sure way to get physically and psychologically exhausted. Be kind to yourself by saying no to people and commitments that will not bring value to your life.
Learning to say no is a crucial part of embracing self-care. Take note that saying no means saying yes to things that matter most to you. Respectfully declining an invitation to attend a party you do not like is your chance to catch-up on your reading, to go to the gym, or to retire to bed early.
Care for Others
Caring for others as a form of self-care may seem like a contradiction, but you cannot deny that pleasant feeling you get when you do something nice for someone else. Multiple studies have shown that helping other people truly benefits your emotional, mental, and even physical health.
Whenever you open a door for a stranger, give to your favorite charity, volunteer in your local soup kitchen, or do other kind deeds, you are lowering your blood pressure and stress levels and increasing your self-esteem. It’s not so surprising, given that caring and giving triggers the release of “feel-good” brain chemicals that make you happy and feel energized.
As such, make it a habit to do random acts of kindness every day. This way, you can hit two birds with one stone—care for yourself even as you help others along the way.
Unplug from Technology
Although using computers and smartphones helps make working and connecting with family and friends less burdensome, excessive use of technology can also be detrimental to your health. One research published in Preventive Medicine Reports found a direct association between depression among women and the duration for which they stare on device screens. It appears that spending more than six hours a day watching television or using the computer can lead to moderate or severe depression.
Love yourself more by limiting the time you spend on technology. Instead of spending hours browsing social media, explore creative hobbies that make you more relaxed and happier, such as doodling, coloring, or creating a scrapbook.
Spend Time Outside
Despite your busy schedule, make it a habit to leave your office cubicle a couple of minutes a day to visit a nearby park and spend quality me-time. More than breathing fresh air and resting your mind, exposure to greenspaces offers an incredible health boost. From reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and premature death to lowering high blood pressure and stress, the value of spending time outdoors as part of your self-care routine cannot be overstated.
The pointers above are just some of the fundamental ways to begin caring for yourself. Remember that contrary to a common misconception, self-care is not about overindulging or giving in to your every whim; instead, it’s about giving yourself the needed attention to ensure your physical, mental, and emotional health. Start showing yourself some love today. It is the best decision you will ever make.
#Health #Life #Self-care