You can’t take care of others without caring for yourself first! Self care helps ensure that you’re ready to face anything that life tosses your way.
Natural caregivers and busy partners are well known for being able to handle their busy lives efficiently and effectively. They are the ones we come to with our problems and for a shoulder to cry on. It’s funny how we would feel lost without that mother figure or best friend in our lives.
However, what effect does this have on the caregiver? While they most certainly feel needed and loved at some points, do they not feel drained and overwhelmed at other times? Does it become too much at times?
It would be insulting and selfish to answer these questions with a “no” for we all know the truth. The human mind and body can only handle so much before it begins to feel the effects of being burned out and exhausted. At the worst of times, the human body becomes sick and starts to break down.
This is where self care comes into play. Over exhaustion and stress not only lowers your mood but also has a horrible, long term effect on your health. Heart disease being a major concern for many. Listed below are some ideas to do for a 30-day self care treatment.
30 Days of self care guide
1) Get plenty of rest
We have been told from an early age that getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night is important for growing minds and bodies. While many of us now may have reached our peak of height in the growth chart, our minds have not. The human brain does not stop growing nor working.
Depending on who you ask, mental exhaustion may or may not be worse than physical exhaustion. According to the human body, there is no difference. Long periods of mental exhaustion have the same power to cause the body to feel sore and sluggish just as psychical exhaustion can.
Getting plenty of rest, like the recommended 7-8 hours a night, will not only “recharge your batteries” but also do another thing that you, your family, and your wallet will thank you for- protecting your heart. As discussed slightly above, stress and lack of sleep are connected to heart disease. You may not be able to see the damage but when you start to feel the chest pain it may be too late to reverse the damage already caused and you will be forced to change some things in your life.
Besides protecting your heart, your skin will look better and those despised bags under your eyes will start to disappear if you have them.
Meditation is one of the many great ways you can take care of yourself without having to spend a penny. The best thing about meditation is that there is no wrong way of doing it. You do what is most comfortable for you.
The most popular way of meditating that people think about is sitting somewhere quiet inside a comfortable location, early in the morning or meditating outside as the sun is rising and listening to the birds chirping. If you like to do it that way, then go for it for there is nothing wrong with it.
However, this is not the only way to meditate. If you are a night owl and find having the moonlight kissing your skin while you listen to some relaxing music is more your style, then that is the right way of mediation for you. Let your mind wander, think about anything that comes to you. Your mind does not have to be silent all the time.
On the other hand, when sitting still is impossible then you can find other ways to meditate. Activities like sewing, arts and crafts or going for a walk can serve you in the same way as sitting still can. Baking is another idea if the kitchen is more your speed and sanctuary.
Spending anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour a day meditating will help you in the long run.
3) Eat healthy meals
It is common knowledge that eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies is important for a strong and healthy body and mind. No matter your age, this still rings true for us all. However, do we all follow this medical advice truthfully?
With the accessibility of fast food places on nearly every corner and frozen meals taking up a few aisles of every grocery store, eating healthy home cook meals go to the wayside more often then what they probably should. We are all guilty of this at one point or another. Some steps can be taken to change this, however.
Part of this 30-day self-care “challenge” would be eating healthier. The first thing you should do is find a dietary plan you would like to try or follow. The second would be to create a meal plan so it will be easier to go grocery shopping. One thing you should leave off the meal plan is skipping breakfast.
4) A hot bath or shower
There are plenty of health benefits of taking a nice, hot bath or shower. The first thing that comes to mind is muscle relaxation. The second would be a few minutes of peace.
A few things that you can add to the bath to make it more relaxing and lovely would be to add rose petal and/or essential oils. You can spoil yourself with some lighted candles and relaxing music. Possibly have a glass of wine and read a book or eat some chocolate and cheese while relaxing in the tub.
If you prefer showers you can pour a bucket of water with rose petals over yourself while the candles burn in a candle holder on the counter. If anything, you can tie some eucalyptus to the neck of the showerhead. The steam from a hot shower will release the essential oils into the air that have the benefits of mental clarity, anti-stress and respiratory health to name a few.
5) Do a hobby you enjoy
There is nothing like spending what time you can on the hobbies you enjoy. They offer an escape from the everyday troubles. No matter what hobbies you enjoy, allow your mind to wonder about other things. To be creative and dream about what you can create with the tools in your hands, allows you to be alone in your little world.
Allow for those moments to happen. Besides relieving stress, they also bring important happiness. Uplifting your own emotions allows you to have control over your own life. Try to spend a little bit of time each day on your favorite hobby, whatever it might be.
6) Spend time with your real friends or with your romantic partner
Spending time with the ones you love and who truly care about you in return is one of life’s great pleasures. There is nothing wrong with needing someone else who you love to lift you when you are down. They can also do something for you that you can not do for yourself at that moment.
Your friends or your romantic partner can and will point out why you are amazing. They will show you your good qualities and have no qualms about accepting your faults. Rekindling those relationships will give you a much-needed break from your troubles for a bit and allow for a bit of fun.
Take the night or day off to go have dinner or go see a movie with someone or just by yourself. Enjoying a play at the local theater or visiting a museum, get out and take some time to clear your mind and do something fun once or twice a week!
7) Start to exercise
A healthy mind starts with a healthy body and a body that is in motion stays in motion. Besides building up muscles and protecting your heart, exercising has another positive link- protecting your brain. According to the research done by the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, exercise “boost[s] your brain’s protection against dementia.”
It is good to get out of the house and breath in some fresh air. Going to a gym or taking a simple walk around the block, getting out of the situation that is causing you stress or taking up a lot of your attention would be good for you.
If it has been a while since you have done any exercising it is best to start light. Doing a 5-minute walk with an exercise buddy or doing some light yoga would be the best advice before adding more to it.
8) Clear out the clutter
Having a cluttered house or working space can make the energy stale and heavy. Slowly tackling parts of the room or the house to de-clutter will make you and your surrounding area feel better. Not keeping things that no longer serve you not only will lighten the energy but also donating the things to charity or selling them for extra cash will only add to the feeling.
When it comes down to it.
Stress is a silent killer whether you like it or not. Taking some time off to change the energy around you and spending time doing the things that will benefit your health is the best medicine you can give yourself. Taking this list as advice for a 30-day self care project can bring you more benefits in different areas of your life then what you may think at first.