Are you looking after yourself and attending to your personal self-care?
What do I mean when I say self-care?
Self-care is looking after your own well-being. It includes all aspects of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare.
Let’s determine how well you already attend to your self-care.
Do you clean your teeth and floss every day in fact twice a day?
Do you wash your hands after going to the toilet?
Are you bathing or showering on a regular basis, keeping your body and hair clean?
What about making sure you get a good balance of the important nutrients through your diet, such as your 5 a day in fruit and vegetables?
What about sleeping for 8 hours a night?
Are you leading a relatively active life and getting an hour of physical exercise at least every other day, if not every day?
If you are not doing all these things, you need to be. They are essential self-care habits. Self-care is vital for long term good health.
“Our health is something we often take for granted. But, there are some things in life that should never be taken for granted. Take care of yourself.” Catherine Pulsifer
Self-care means doing those things that are important to mind, body, and soul every day!
The thing about self-care is that it is a practice that requires you choosing to do it. It will not happen unless you intentionally make time for it. But the results will be worth the effort. With creating self-care habits in your life you can experience health and less illness.
So, why do so many people lead lifestyles where they end up at their doctor’s surgeries receiving prescription for medication, when they have the ability within themselves to avoid ill health in the first place, through practicing self-care.
None of the self-care habits that I’m going to mention today are difficult but every one of them is essential.
You owe it to yourself to make the time and effort for self-care. Your health will thank you. One day you’ll thank me, for waking you up to the importance of these essential self-care habits, not one of which will challenge you. That’s the stupid thing. How simple they really are.
By doing them you will almost certainly enjoy a longer and higher-quality life, reducing your risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and coronary artery disease, boost your overall energy and reduce the stress in your life.
But you’re too busy and too tired to do these things
No time to do them.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha
If you don’t make the time, then illness will steal far more of your time. So, no excuses. Do these self-care habits every day and begin to take proper care of yourself. I can assure you, taking care of your self-care is the easiest way to safeguard your physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual health.
Let me share with you the 10 essential self-care habits for a healthy lifestyle.
1. Eat healthily
What is healthy eating? The answer to this question has changed over the years, but it’s no surprise that the latest nutritional science points toward a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, paired with healthy sources of protein and fats. A largely plant-based diet with protein from fish, skinless poultry, nuts, legumes, and small amounts of lean meats is the best diet to ensure you eat healthily. So, eat more plant-based foods, fewer animal-based foods, and only as much food as your body needs.
2. Practice good hygiene
Practice good daily hygiene! Brush your teeth, bathe, cut your nails, wash your hair and wash behind your ears! Get those hands washed immediately after going to the toilet. Cleanliness is next to Godliness after all.
3. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
You all know that smoking and drinking is bad for your health, so naturally the best way to practice self-care is to quit both smoking and drinking. If you completely give up smoking then your risk of heart disease is 50% lower just one year after quitting. And if you give up drinking, the risk of developing cancer reduces quickly. Makes sense to give this a try then surely.
4. Drink plenty of Water
It’s important to drink 2 litres of water/about 10 glasses of water each day. Alas the majority of people I know drink a tiny amount of plain water! Yes, other beverages contain water, but they also introduce other substances into the body. Sugar-laden juices, caffeinated drinks, and alcoholic beverages cause our bodies to work hard to filter out the non-essential ingredients. You need pure water each day to flush out the toxins!
5. Sleep for 8 hours
Obtaining the proper number of hours rest for your body, and establishing a routine (try to keep to your sleep schedule seven nights a week for maximum benefit), will improve your health dramatically. You can’t cut back on the 8 hours, it really is necessary for both your mind and body to rest, relax and fully recover.
6. Combat negative self-talk
Your thoughts can make you ill. Depression is one of the hardest illnesses about. A majority of you probably have a mind that whirls with negative thoughts. Always putting yourself down, worrying about the things that may happen, concerned about your future. This is a recipe for ill health. Those thoughts eat away at you. You have to begin working on your mindset. I strongly recommend doing a mental detox that I wrote about in this previous article Detox Your Mind.
7. Relieving the effects of stress
Stress that continues without relief can lead to health problems including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and trouble sleeping. Plus of course a lot more. You need to relieve stress and boost your mood with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, and meditation. You’ll find many of these techniques fully described in other articles on this site.
8. Taking time for yourself
You know the saying, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” It is true, not just for Jack, but for all of us! Step away from the daily grind and find some play in your life: do something creative, play with your children, do something routine in a new way, find the time to have fun.
9. Practice spiritual self-care.
Whether to you this means, it could be spending time in prayer or meditation, or going on a long walk to contemplate purpose and meaning. Spirituality can provide us with a new foundation for our work, by shifting our perspective of what is possible
10. Connect with Others
This is one of the most important self-care habits we can have! Create meaningful connections with others. These connections are part of your support system. Having someone to share with allows you to relish your victories, share your burdens, and find clarity when needed. Don’t wait until you need your connections; reach out daily.
“Good health is necessary to get the most out of our experiences, so don’t neglect to take care of it.” Bill Calhoun
By applying these self-care principles every day you are addressing your health giving you the best chance of avoiding illness and the need for popping pills.
My message to you is that your active engagement in these basic self-care habits will improve your overall well-being.
It is your responsibility to maintain your own health, and this is achievable through self-care. So, start today paying attention to your own self-care and soon find more energy, more clarity and greater balance to your life.
Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. George Bernard Shaw