An Easy To Follow Self-Care Guide
By: Sarah Fader
Updated January 14, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
Good self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about trying to find ways to make yourself feel good, rested, or energized. This article is a guide to self-care. When you take care of yourself, you nurture your physical health, including monitoring your blood pressure and reducing stress and anxiety. It’s essential to care for yourself so that you can stay healthy. It’s not just about ways to reduce stress but instead spending extra time taking care of yourself. For example, setting boundaries is a form of self-care. Taking care of your body can be self-care. Taking time to follow a dream or engage in the arts can be self-care. Turning off the news or reading a book for fun could be self-care. The options are endless and very personal to each individual. When you engage in self-care exercises, it’s a path to personal growth. Here is a guide to self-care that isn’t complicated. You’ll use these techniques to care for yourself and model for young ones in your life in the long run.
Short Term Self Care Goals
When you imagine self-care, you might think of long term goals, such as reducing stress or anxiety or finding ways to preserve your physical and emotional health. These might seem daunting tasks, but it’s important to remember that you can break a job down into smaller, more manageable steps. Good self-care isn’t necessarily always long term. You can focus on the area of your life that you want to improve. One thing to remember is don’t let people tell you what the specifics of self-care look like or even one aspect of an area at a time. For each person, you will look at and approach self-care differently. If you view nurturing yourself as a form of personal growth, it can be an enriching experience.
Ways that you can take care of yourself in the short term could include finding a time during the week to dedicate to self-care, whether that’s taking a walk, reading a book, talking to a friend on the phone, journaling, going to bed earlier, or whatever activity evokes self-care for you. These are forms of self-care that you can engage in during the week as short term goals, and then you will monitor your own objectives to see how they’re working and adjust accordingly. When you practice short term self-care goals, you will see an improvement in your emotional health. Another way to practice short term goals, as opposed to long term ones, is to work on your physical health. Self-care can help you relax, lower your blood pressure, and learn ways to nurture your physical well being. For example, it might help not think about losing weight in the long term or building muscle or whatever your health goals might include, but rather to imagine the simple act of taking a walk, even if it’s just around the block. Perhaps you will make the decision to eat one healthy thing a day or get up from your desk to stretch for 5 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how a simple change of environment can make a difference in your life quality in the short term.
Guilt And Self-Care
When you start practicing short term self-care goals, people in your life may notice, and they may see how it’s positively affecting your emotional health. Sometimes other individuals are not so good at taking care of themselves, and they might become jealous of your progress. Don’t let people guilt you into not caring for yourself just because they might not be good at it themselves. Self-care isn’t about others, it’s about you, and even good friends can engage in guilt trips, sometimes without realizing they are doing it. In these instances, it is essential to try to remember to set boundaries. Setting boundaries is a form of self-care, so make sure that you don’t let others guilt you into letting go of your limits; focus on yourself. You can also join a support group where you focus on healthy living and self-care.
Parenting And Taking Care Of Yourself
It can be challenging to be a parent and also engage in self-care. But remember, the more you take care of yourself, the better parent you could be. There are types of therapy that you can engage in as a parent or caregiver to focus on your emotional health and talk about raising children. Treatment can be a form of self-care for parents to spend extra time processing events and talking about themselves. This is because often, as a parent, you’re so focused on your little ones and or bigger kids that it can be easy to forget about your own needs. It’s important to make sure that you engage in practicing self-care in a dedicated, safe space. Parents can be self-sacrificial, but that can create stress and anxiety in your life and relationships and be a detriment to your own physical health. It’s crucial as a parent to practice self-care and keep in mind: self-care isn’t selfish. Remember that it’s necessary to care for yourself so that you can be a better parent to your children so that you will be less frustrated and irritable, or so that you can replenish your energy stores.
It can be easy to forget to engage in self-care. But, unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle when you don’t care for yourself. For example, if you’re a parent, you might neglect your social life or focus on your children rather than yourself. Even if you’re not a parent, sometimes you might put things before self-care, such as work, or maybe you sacrifice your own self-care for the needs of your family or friends. It’s crucial to give yourself reminders to care for yourself. Perhaps that includes setting alarms on your phone or reminders to take a walk or meditate or think something nice about yourself. It could also entail physical reminders. There is something called mantra rocks. You can either buy a premade one that says things such as “breathe” or “love” to remind yourself to decompress and love yourself. They are often smooth and cool to the touch and can feel comforting to hold. You can also be creative and paint these words on a rock using colors or designs meaningful to you. These short sentences or phrases can remind you how important it is to take care of yourself. One of the best self-care tips that you can get is to have a simple reminder focusing on a concrete area of your life to care for you.
Don’t Do It Right Now
It can be tempting to try to push yourself to do everything at the moment or get everything done in one day, but it’s not always realistic. There are short term and long term goals, and you can dedicate some time to doing what is possible for you during the day or whenever you are awake and then set goals for the future. Establishing and distinguishing between short term and long term goals can help you to not feel overwhelmed in your day today. If you start to feel anxiety, as a short term exercise, deep breathing can help. In the long run, it’s important to place your health at the top of your list. Here are some things that you can do to remind yourself that you don’t have to get it all done right away. There is no urgency to do something unless there is an actual deadline, but even then, you can take the time to think about how you can prioritize tasks to get things done in a way that also includes self-care as a priority. You could say to yourself, for example, that you are going to accomplish these three things during your day. One is a responsibility, the second is dedicated to you (a form of self-care), and the third could be showing gratitude for something or someone in your life or doing a good deed for someone else. These three things can create a balance in your life and make you feel like you’re not just focusing on the responsibility alone but also balancing tasks with other things that can enrich your experience or benefit your health.
The Pandemic And Self-Care
During extraordinary times like the Covid-19 Pandemic, new difficulties can arise that make it more challenging to care for oneself. The pandemic can put a strain on your family life. But there are ways to approach these concerns. That’s where a self-care routine can help. One way is to join a support group, even if that’s online. Online groups or online therapy can provide opportunities to reduce stress, engage with others in a safe space, and potentially help you to feel better or less isolated. In these support groups, you can get self-care tips so that you can stay healthy. There are different types of therapy that you can engage in online such as cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), or psychodynamic or talk therapy. These therapeutic methods are great ways to improve your emotional health. You can focus on an area of your life that needs improvement.
Creating a self-care routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Part of your plan could be counseling. Online counseling is an excellent part of a person’s self-care routine. You can see a mental health professional each week. Online therapy is a perfect place to gain support for your emotional health, and a therapist is dedicated to working with you on self-care. They can brainstorm with you, ways to improve your physical health and emotional wellbeing. They might even have a short self-care guide that you can look at and learn how to nurture yourself. Part of self-care includes eating a healthy diet and paying attention to your family life. Practicing self-care is essential whether you have children, you’re single, or you’re a young college student, etc. You don’t want to create a vicious cycle of neglect. Self-care is for everybody. Children can learn to practice self-care. Online therapy can help you determine which ways are the best to practice self-care for your specific needs and lifestyle. Make sure you have a support system with good friends and family as well as a counselor. It’s helpful to have an active social life. The therapists at BetterHelp understand the value of self-care, and they’re ready to teach you and work together with you to come up with ways to engage in it that can make you feel good about your physical health and mental well-being you can stay healthy.
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