When you live a busy life, taking care of yourself can soon fall way down in the pecking order. You’ve got family, friends and a career that all come before you. Whilst selflessness is no doubt a good trait to have in some respects, there is a difference between this and self-neglect. You might not even realise you’re doing it. Your happiness is as important to you as it is to others around you, so taking steps to look after yourself is beneficial for everyone. Here’s how you can keep yourself in a positive frame of mind and put your own needs first every once in a while.
1. Get enough sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be understated. Now, I understand that this is definitely easier said than done. On paper, it would be amazing to treat yourself to an extra hour or two in bed every morning. This might be the ideal scenario, but in real life it’s just not practical. But sometimes, you do need to look at your sleeping pattern and how it’s affecting your day-today life. Lacking concentration, mood swings and visibly looking worn-out are all clear signs that you’re not getting enough sleep. So what can you do? Firstly, see if you can get to bed a little earlier than usual a couple of times a week. Once the kids are in bed and you have time to relax, this could be time spent getting an early night and catching up on missed ZZZs. Put your phone away around half an hour before you go to bed, to allow your brain to switch off. Night-time drinks such as Horlicks can also help aid a better night’s sleep.
2. Keep yourself and the house organised (and ask for help!)
Organisation is the key to a calm and peaceful mind. We’ve all been there – feeling like you’re juggling a million and one different things, fearing you’ll forget something important and, in general, feeling bogged down by it all. Hey, it happens. But there are steps you can take to stay organised and keep your mind at ease. Firstly, a tidy home will help you to relax more when you have some free time. Once a week, take an hour or so to tidy the house – getting your kids and other half to help is an added bonus. Once tidy, share the household jobs between you and your family. Someone can be in charge of vacuuming carpets or mopping vinyl flooring, whilst another dusts surfaces or tackles pesky stains. Before long, your routine will keep the house tidy. Plus, your family get involved, take some of the weight from you, and you have one less thing weighing on your mind!
3. Keep active
The positive effect exercise can have on your body is astounding. And it isn’t just the physical changes that are worth noting. In fact, it’s beaten by the positive effect it has mentally. When you exercise, especially on a regular basis, you’ll enjoy improved moods. This is due to increased serotonin levels that physical activity creates. Regular exercise will also help you in your mission to get more sleep, as well as reduce your risk of disease and give you more confidence. If you’re new to exercising, a good place to start is by going for walks. If you have a dog, this is the perfect excuse to take yourself out for 20-30 minutes each day. Depending on your confidence level, you could consider joining a gym and attending exercise classes. Not only will they keep you fit, classes are a great way of meeting new people. Start off small and allow your confidence to increase, and before long you’ll no doubt see positive results and want to continue!
4. Don’t forget to take a little ‘me’ time
By taking time for yourself, you can put things into perspective and escape the bubble of day-to-day routine. Whilst you might have a lot of thing you need to do, taking some ‘me’ time is just as important as the rest. Without it, you’ll find that days before more difficult. Everyone needs a break sometimes. Whether it’s time spent reading a book by your favourite author, time in front of the telly with your favourite box set, or time catching up with friends over coffee. Sometimes taking a step back and detaching yourself from the seemingly endless to-do list will give you a much-needed boost. Take a break, unwind and make sure you do this at least a couple of times a week. It might not sound like a lot, but have you actually thought about the last time you had time that was solely focused around what you want to do? If you can’t quickly recall three or four times recently, you need to spend more ‘me’ time!
What do you do to make sure you’re taking care of yourself?