What is Self-care and How to Approach it in 10 Simple Steps

Jun 9, 2023 | Building a Better You

Today, I want to talk to you about something that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: self-care. As a dream coach, I have seen first-hand how taking care of oneself can be the key to unlocking one’s full potential and pursuing their dreams with confidence and joy. But I have also seen how failing to care for oneself can end up in a dark and lonely place where frustration and fear simmer.

So let me share with you 10 simple steps to help you approach self-care and make it a part of your daily routine.

1. Prioritize sleep and rest

When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies and minds can suffer in numerous ways. Lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses and infections. It can also lead to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression, and can negatively impact our cognitive function, memory, and ability to concentrate. Inadequate sleep can also have physical effects on our bodies, such as causing headaches, muscle aches, and increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain. 

As you can see, getting enough sleep and rest is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Make sure you are getting enough quality sleep each night and taking breaks when you need them throughout the day.

I have had to work hard over the years to enjoy the rest sleep can give. I suffer from sleep apnea. Among the strategies I have employed over the years–create a cool, dark environment, removing electronics from the bedroom, consistent time to bed, taking supplements like magnesium to help, limiting screen time before bed, eating and drinking earlier, working out in the morning, invest in a quality bed, drink plenty of water during the day, spend time in meditation on the promises of God as I go to sleep. What strategies have you found successful?

2. Engage in regular physical activity

When we don’t move around, our bodies can suffer from stiffness, weakness, and even pain. Additionally, a lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. On the mental side, inactivity can contribute to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. 

Exercise releases endorphins, which can help to boost mood and promote feelings of well-being. By incorporating physical activity into our daily routines, we can improve our physical and mental health and ultimately live a healthier, happier life. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your routine.

3. Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Consuming too much processed food, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition, not getting enough essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals can impact our cognitive function, energy levels, and mood.

A healthy and balanced diet is crucial for our overall health. Make sure you are getting enough nutrients and eating a variety of foods.

4. Practice mindfulness or meditation

Chronic stress can lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, digestive issues, and depression. It is important to train our minds to be more present and less reactive to stressors in our lives. This can help us feel better equipped to handle challenges as they arise.

Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to calm the mind and reduce stress. Find a practice that works for you and make it a part of your daily routine.

What are your favorite meditation tools?

5. Spend time in nature

Studies have shown that being disconnected from nature can lead to increased stress levels and a decline in mental health. It’s important to make a conscious effort to connect with the earth, whether it be by going for a walk in the park or spending a weekend camping in the mountains. 

Nature has a way of grounding us and reminding us of the beauty of the world around us. Take some time each week to spend time in nature and appreciate its wonders.

6. Connect with loved ones

When we lose contact with our loved ones, we may feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected. Social support and a sense of belonging are important for our mental health, and spending time with loved ones can provide us with a sense of purpose, joy, and fulfillment. 

Even in today’s busy world, connecting with loved ones is essential for our emotional well-being. Make time for the people you care about and nurture those relationships.

7. Engage in hobbies or activities you enjoy

Not practicing hobbies or activities we like can lead to a sense of emptiness and boredom. Hobbies and activities we enjoy can bring us joy and fulfillment. Make time for the things you love and prioritize them in your schedule.

8. Practice gratitude

It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of negative thinking and focusing on what we lack rather than what we have. This can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, which can have a negative impact on our overall well-being.

Practicing gratitude can help us focus on the positive aspects of our lives and cultivate a sense of contentment. Take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for.

9. Set boundaries and say no when necessary

When we don’t set boundaries, we risk being overwhelmed and feeling like we have no control over our lives. We may find ourselves taking on too many responsibilities and saying yes to things we don’t really want to do, which can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout. 

Setting healthy boundaries can help us protect our time and energy, and allow us to focus on the things that truly matter to us. It also helps us build self-respect and self-esteem, and communicate our needs and expectations clearly to others.

10. Seek professional help if needed

I just went through a physical evaluation with a trusted and competent healthcare coach. She has actually been a guest on my old Move Forward Anyway podcast. From that evaluation, I learned so much about the importance of core strength to my overall health. I am starting a new core strengthening program TODAY as I write this.

Trying to handle everything on your own can lead to burnout and feelings of overwhelm. Seeking help from a mental health professional can provide valuable insights and strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and other issues. Remember that you don’t have to go through challenging times alone and there are resources available to support you. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can help you prioritize your mental health and well-being.

Particularly if you are struggling with mental health issues or feel like you need additional support, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Start your self-care journey today

Self-care is crucial for our overall well-being and pursuing our dreams. While being selfless is a virtue, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself should also be a priority. Self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessary step towards maintaining our physical and mental health.

Remember, you are worthy of love and care. Start implementing these 10 simple steps today and see the positive impact it can have on your life and dreams. Keep pursuing your dreams with confidence and joy.
If you’d like to develop a personalized plan to improve your self-care according to your particular situation, get in touch!

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