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Article by: Susan Peterson
Self-Care Isn't Selfish: Unconventional Ways to Save Yourself
Many times we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves because we feel a sense of guilt for putting ourselves first. However, just like the often quoted example that you must put on your oxygen mask first in an emergency before you can help your children put on their masks, self-care is necessary and needed. If you don’t make time to care for yourself, you won’t be at your best to care for others. So today, Trinity Skys shares some unconventional tips to help you put self-care into your busy life.
Take Time to Relax
These days, we’re always on the go but action without rest or taking a break actually hurts you. When we are too busy to take a break, we may suffer from frustration, get sick easier, suffer fuzziness in our thinking, or use unhealthy doses of alcohol or drugs to cope with stress.
The benefits of relaxing and taking a break are stress reduction, making time for rest, and restoration–all of this leads to thinking clearer and increasing productivity when you decide to go back to work.
Revisit Your Finances and Consider Refinancing
Obviously, financial problems can dramatically intensify stress, so to make things a little easier on yourself, try setting a budget and sticking to it as closely as possible. Also, if you’re a homeowner, look into refinancing, since this can save you lots of money by reducing your monthly mortgage payments.
Reduce Clutter in Mind and Environment
We are a people awash in clutter. We possess more things and buy even more stuff. Do you ever stop and wonder, “Why do I have all this stuff?” Reducing clutter and getting rid of things can lead to a more constructive and tidy environment. If all you see around you are things you have to consider and go through, the very thought of approaching the mess and decluttering can be overwhelming.
If you wish, use the method suggested by Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Organize things by categories such as books or clothes for winter and then use the question, “Does this item bring me joy or heal me?” And if not, discard. Her method is explained well here. The trick is to work on one small corner at a time instead of a whole room.
If you find you have things you can’t just part with and are still taking up space, consider finding an inexpensive self-storage unit to house your goods. This way, you can see if, six months or more down the road, you still feel the pull of those items. If you haven’t thought of them in a while, you may be ready to part with them. Or if you find yourself thinking about them, you can start to choose and bring them back into your home.
Improve Your Nutrition
Improving your nutrition can be as simple as swapping out unhealthy snacks for healthier options. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, try snacking on vegetables, nuts, or some fresh fruit. Not only are these snacks more nutritious, but they’re also more filling, so you’re less likely to overeat later in the day. Craving something sweet? Reach for a piece of dark chocolate or a bowl of berries instead of a sugary candy bar. These small changes can make a big difference in your overall health.
Explore Therapy and Other Treatments
Many people are afraid to explore therapy or seek treatment for problems they are having. Don’t allow stigma from society or yourself keep you from exploring answers or seeking treatment. Depression, for example, is very common and is marked by more than two weeks or more of low or sad mood, including tiredness, low energy, appetite loss, feeling empty, or loss of joy in activities that used to bring you happiness.
Take Up a Hobby
Most of life can be driven by goals and becoming even more and more productive. Social media is full of “friends” we compare ourselves to and can never seem to measure up to. The need to be on and ever happy becomes a draining experience.
Oliver Burkeman in his book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, suggests you take up a hobby where you are not trying to be better or even good. Instead, just enjoy yourself by getting into the process and not pursuing benchmarks. Just be human and enjoy.
Remember, self-care is necessary for you to be completely authentic and yourself. Find ways to relax, eat more nutritiously, declutter, learn a new hobby, and improve your finances by refinancing. If you take time to live a healthy lifestyle, you can help others by your example and by actually being there when they need you.
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