An often-overlooked aspect of self-care is developing something that caters to your specific needs, which all begins with self-awareness. You could pick up a random self-care routine, and it might help a bit, but if you want to see the best results, you need to be create a plan to specifically address your own issues.
You can’t even start to plan that until you know what those problems are. By being more self-aware, you’ll be able to easily pinpoint the root of your problems and continue on to build a plan to address that.
The first and most important step is identification. This means taking an honest, hard look at your life and figuring out what it is that you’re not happy with. It could be anything.
You might not be confident in your figure, you might dislike your job, you might be struggling emotionally, and so on. Don’t be afraid to get a little bit critical with yourself during this time.
This is a time for honesty, not comfort. Once you know what the problem is, though, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper. The next step is analysis. At this point, you know what your problems are in your life, but that’s about it.
By looking closer at your problems, you should try to analyze what it is that’s causing these problems to appear in the first place. Take, for example, you not liking your job. That sounds simple enough on the surface, but by digging deeper, you’ll recognize that there are more varied reasons for this.
You might feel unfulfilled in your potential, or you might feel as though you’ve gone down a path you regret. Or it may be something simpler like the hours that you have to work or a bad coworker.
It’s these things that you want to start to know more about. Just knowing what the problem is in your life isn’t necessarily all that helpful. You want to know what’s causing the problem to exist in the first place so that you can treat it at the root level.
Much like a weed growing in your yard, you don’t just want to cut the visible part away - you want to uproot the whole thing so that it doesn’t come back. Knowing what your problems are (and what’s causing them) allows you to start down a path of rebuilding for a better life.
You can formulate a self-care plan specifically to help address these big issues and help better your life in the long run. Too many people use self-care as a Band-Aid, but you want a long-term solution, so make sure you engage in awareness and analysis before you initiate a plan for your self-care.
A common misconception about self-care is that it’s always just relaxing and soothing. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, if you’re always just relaxing, you need to adjust your self-care strategies a bit.
Some parts of self-care are going to be uncomfortable and difficult, but it’ll never be destructive. Even if self-care can be hard, it’s only ever done with the intention of helping you improve yourself.
For example, if you’re used to a pretty sedentary lifestyle, you might think self-care is just relaxing a bit more. Possibly at worst eating some better foods, but never anything too strenuous.
In reality, self-care for you would be getting out of your comfort zone and exercising to become more active. It’s not going to be a comfortable or enjoyable transition, but it’s helping you improve, and would be your ideal form of self-care.
This same idea can be applied to those who work too often. Some people are just addicted to working and refuse to give themselves enough downtime to process things and relax.
For them, self-care would be more focused on relaxing and enjoying themselves. They’d want to go back to work, but they would have to stay at home and find something to do as a hobby, something enjoyable.
Mental health is another part of self-help that might not be as enjoyable as you’d think it will be. You might be imagining taking a mental health day and just not stressing out about things too much, but it can often go a bit deeper than that. You’ll probably have to sit down at some point and think hard about what it is in your life that’s stressing you out - what’s causing you to feel the way you do.
This can be an uncomfortable and deep look into your own mind, so it’s certainly not a cakewalk. Don’t go into self-care with the idea that you’re just going to get to relax. Of course relaxation is an important part of it, but that’s not all it is.
At the end of the day, it’s about bettering yourself, and you can’t expect to improve by just staying stagnant. You need to face up to some less than desirable realities and realize that you’re going to be confronted with some unnerving situations. As long as you can push through these, though, you’ll come out on the other side a better person all around.
Health is something many of us take for granted, but taking care of your health is one way of making your yourself a priority. The fact is, it’s more important to your success than you may realize. A healthy body and mind will open up a world of possibilities and allow you to truly live your best life in ways you simply can’t do when your health is compromised. Let’s take a look at the ways improving your health can improve your life, along with your success.
When you take good care of yourself, you’ll have more energy. Poor food choices and little exercise leave us feeling sluggish. You aren’t able to go after the big goals you have at work when you’re tired all the time. Having higher energy levels is beneficial to your personal life, as well. If you have children, you want to be able to keep up with them. Increasing your energy levels will ensure you won’t be sitting on the sidelines of your life.
Higher Brain Power
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your cognitive function. You’ll be sharper and more focused when you put the right kind of fuel into your body with good nutrition choices. Exercise increases the blood and oxygen flow to your brain, as well. Finding success in life requires you to be on top of your game. You’ll be more likely to get that promotion or set yourself apart from the crowd when your brain is in peak condition.
When you eat well and exercise, you’ll start to see your body transform in new ways. Even if losing is not a goal, an improved physique can add to your confidence level. You’ll be ready to take on challenges such as travel, hiking, or enjoying all the experiences life has to offer when you start to feel more fit. You won’t fear running out of breath or not fitting in. Eating well and exercising can do a world of good for your self-image.
Finally, when you’re in good physical shape, you’ll experience less stress and heightened mood. Your brain chemicals will work for your benefit due to higher levels of the feel-good neurotransmitters. These results will be good for your future health, too, by lessening your odds of developing conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure.
If you feel your health has been holding you back in life, now’s the time to get started on taking a better path. Improving your health, eating, and fitness can truly improve your life in ways you never expected.
The rewards are well worth the effort.