Finding the time for proper self-care can be a serious challenge – particularly when you’re rushing to meet deadlines at work, or you’re constantly focusing your energies on caring for the kids. Throw a stressful life event like moving to a new house into the mix, and you’ve got a serious mess on your hands.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with my own less-than-perfect self-care routine. Demands at work and at home pulled me in so many different directions that I constantly felt stretched thin and under the weather. If you feel the same way, then this is the article for you.
What is Self-Care and Why Do You Need It?
Self-care is the process of actively taking the time to do something for yourself. It’s about caring for your body, spirit and mind. Self-care isn’t selfish or indulgent, it’s a crucial part of wellbeing, and something that many of us overlook as we run around trying to accomplish things for other people.
If your coffee grinder is more of a lifeline than a delicious treat, and you’re struggling to stay on top of your health, then you might need to review and strengthen your self-care routine too.
In a culture that rewards people for putting the needs of others before their own, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of neglect. Habits like failing to get the right amount of sleep, eating poorly, or simply missing out on exercise can all have a negative impact in the long-term. The good news is that your body will start to give you subtle hints when you need to invest more energy into certain aspects of your life. However, you need to be tuned in if you want to receive those messages.
Here are a few red flags that could indicate the need for a better self-care routine.
1. You’re Always Tired
We all have those days when we just don’t want to get out of bed. There’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes you just need a little extra rest. However, if you’re constantly tired, and never seem to have the motivation to get anything done, then you might notice that your exhaustion begins to have an impact on your health.
A constant stream of sleepless nights can lead to problems with your immune system, weight gain, grumpiness, and more. Most adults need an average of approximately 8 hours sleep per night, but the amount of rest you need often varies depending on how demanding your lifestyle is. If your colleagues and friends constantly comment that you’re looking tired, then it might be time to reexamine your self-care.
2. You Feel Constant Aches and Pains
Are you sick of complaining about a growing list of strange aches and pains? If you don’t move your body properly with regular exercise, and get the right nutrition on a day-to-day basis, then you’re likely to see a host of changes to your physical state as a result. For instance, common issues include decreased flexibility and strength, loss of bone density, increased weight, contracted range of motion, and more.
The average adult needs around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week as suggested by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. If you’ve been so busy focusing on other things that you’ve forgotten to exercise, now might be the time to add a little movement back into your schedule.
3. You’re Missing Your Mojo
There’s nothing wrong with being a generous person. However, sometimes, we spend so much time fixing other people’s problems, that we forget to focus on our own. When we spend all our energy on other people, we can begin to fall down a slippery slope. Before long, we discover that we simply don’t have any energy left to look after ourselves.
If you’ve forgotten what makes you, you, then you could be losing your mojo. Too much time focusing on other people stops you from living your own life and finding happiness for yourself. Sometimes, it’s important to slow down, smell the roses, and enjoy the little things in life. Sip your way through a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, take a long bubble bath, and do one thing every day to make yourself happy.
4. You’re Always Isolated
Sometimes we all need to unplug from the distractions of life. In fact, that can be an act of self-care. However, when you disengage from other people for long periods of time, this can be bad news for your health. As an introvert, you might value your quiet time and need it to recharge. However, make sure that you don’t completely isolate yourself from others.
Human beings feel a deep need to connect to others – it’s natural for us. While many acts of self-care can sometimes be performed in solitude, make sure that you reach out to other people at times too. We all need a little help from our friends and family at times.
5. You’re Not Eating Right
Have your healthy snacks disappeared in favour of fast food? While grabbing a bite to eat from a drive-through can seem like a great way to save some much-needed time, it’s also not a great way to look after your body. Remember, you need plenty of whole foods and nutrients to help your body function at its optimum level.
The right food is what gives you the energy you need to nurture new ideas, solve complicated problems, and accomplish goals. When you’re not nourishing yourself properly, you’ll find that it’s practically impossible to achieve your full potential. If most of your nutrients come from fast-food joints, then it’s time to consider a self-care makeover.
6. Your Negative Mindset is Bringing You Down
Do your friends always refer to you as a negative Neil or Nancy? Maybe you spend so much time complaining about what’s going wrong in your life, that it’s hard to see all the blessings that you still have around you. We all get like this at times – particularly when we’re not feeling our best, or we’re struggling to get the right amount of sleep.
A positive mindset is a natural side-effect of a good self-care routine. However, when you stop looking after yourself properly, you might notice that your mood starts to go downhill. If your sense of optimism has taken a real beating lately, then it might be time to take a step back and think about what you’ve done to look after yourself lately.
7. You’re Super Disorganised
If you feel as though you’re constantly rushing from one task to another, but you’re still facing the constant fear of missing out, then this is yet another sign that you’re not looking after yourself properly. People without the right self-care routine often feel frazzled and unable to keep track of their schedules – usually because they pile far too much on their plates.
Sometimes, the easiest way to start improving your self-care routine is to look at your schedule and prioritize what you need to do each day. You might discover that you’re spending so much time on tasks for other people, that you never really have time to give yourself your full attention.
Devote Some Time to Self-Care
Today, we’re all living busy and hectic lives, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget to look after ourselves. If you’re constantly struggling to find the joy in life, or your health is taking a hit, then that’s a good sign that you need to re-think your self-care routine. There’s nothing wrong with looking after yourself. Remember, you can’t help other people if you’re not feeling your best.
This post was written by Caroline Black. Caroline is a health and wellness enthusiast with a passion for happy living. She devotes her time to helping people rediscover their joy in life and loves writing content about self-care and positive thinking. When she’s not writing, Caroline can often be found enjoying a hot cup of delicious coffee.
I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Caroline for getting in touch and contributing this great post.
Caroline writes for JavaPresse, let’s show her some love on Twitter.