The term self-care is thrown around a lot, but how many of us really know what it means? Self-care is really about making yourself, and your own needs, a priority. Yet, for many of us, self-care is the missing piece in our lives. These simple self-care practices can fill that gap that keeps you from feeling your best — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Eat for Your Health
You may think that comfort food is self-care. Eating foods that aren’t nutritious may give you a brief feeling of happiness, but that effect wears off quickly and you’re left feeling bloated and tired. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge on occasion! Having some treats, while eating whole foods most of the time, is often a good strategy for dietary balance. The key is that your diet should be full of good nutrition most of the time. Nutritious foods not only promote physical health, but they also boost your mood, fight depression, and make you feel more confident. Making a balanced diet fit into your routine isn’t always easy. One way to make this easier is to use a meal delivery service. Many meal delivery options include a variety of interesting, healthy foods. The great thing is that the convenience and variety eliminate two of the biggest barriers to making healthy eating sustainable. And when you get rid of the boredom that typically comes with dieting, it’s easier to form healthy eating habits that stick for the long term. Get Some Rest
You have probably heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” It’s often used as a way to justify being busy, but the truth is that being well rested isn’t a luxury. Sleep is necessary for your body to recharge and maintain good mental health. If you feel like you aren’t getting the rest you need, try implementing a sleep schedule. A good sleep schedule actually starts in the morning with early exposure to light, which helps wake you up and signals to your body that it’s bedtime when the lights go down at night. Adopting a sleep schedule doesn’t happen overnight (no pun intended!), but when you stick with it consistently, better rest will become a way of life. Maintain Emotional Wellness
Eating right, exercising, and resting are all important habits for your physical and mental health, but you also need to take specific actions to care for your emotional and mental well-being. These are just a few self-care habits that help make mental health a priority. Practice mindfulness: You can use meditation, breathing exercises, and apps to practice mindfulness. According to Healthy Psych, mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety, and it also makes you feel more compassionate toward yourself. Create your own happiness: There are times when we don’t realize that our habits are causing us stress and standing in the way of our own happiness. For example, contributors to Health.com suggest staying off social media while working out so your mind isn’t distracted. Instead, spend that time focused on something positive, like mindfulness, listening to music, or reading/listening to a book. Take charge of your life: Do you ever feel like life is happening to you? We sometimes forget that we have choices in how we spend our time and who we spend it with. If you’re constantly stressed, stop and look at where you can say “no” to free up some time for yourself. Surround yourself with positive, open-minded people too, instead of those who have a negative energy. Your own mood will be drastically affected by these choices! At the same time, even though other people will influence you, the Abundance Project says that your own voice should be the one you listen to. At the end of the day, you’re the one who knows what you need, and you’re ultimately responsible for making it happen. Being aware of your own needs isn’t selfish. It’s just about shaking up your routines so that they’re serving you — rather than standing in your way.