Self care is definitely underrated. A lot of people don’t think it’s necessary to give themselves continuous self care but it’s one of the most important things your can do to keep you happy and healthy. In today’s society, it’s all about the hustle, the gains, the wins, etc. All those things are great, but is it at the expense of your well-being? Are you still taking care of yourself?
I was never taught self care when I was growing up, it just wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t until about a year ago, I found out how truly important it was to take care of myself and carve out time to put myself first. You always hear that saying, “in a plane, you put your own mask on first before you help someone else”, it’s 100% the same for everyday life. You cannot help others if you cannot help yourself first. It’s very easy to feel guilty for taking time away from your family or work to take care of yourself, but as another saying puts it perfectly, you cannot pour from an empty glass.
My strategy for self care is called N.E.S.T.S. It’s a great starting point to gage what you’re doing already or where improvement is needed. Re-assessing every quarter on how well you are doing in each category is definitely a good start to creating a great self care regime.
All 5 categories are EXTREMELY important, there is not one that is less or more important than the others. The key is to create balance with all the elements to follow a well thought-out self care regime.
Fuelling your body with nourishing foods. Make sure you’re creating healthy meals for yourself to fuel your body in the most optimal way. Nutrition is a huge aspect of our lives.
Getting enough exercise has so many benefits to your mental and physical health. It increases confidence, alertness, and reduces stress. Exercise also helps with weight loss, toning muscle, and reduces many health risks!
I wrote about sleep a couple weeks ago. Sleep is not noticed as a self care regime that often but it’s super important to keep track of. Make sure you’re sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night. The benefits of sleeping well trickles into every aspect of your life. Having a good night sleep increases your focus and gives your body the physical rest that it needs. A great first step to understanding how important sleep is for you is to watch/listen to this Podcast with Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist that will go over the amazing benefits of sleep and the dangers of lack of sleep.
This one is a biggie. Giving yourself TIME. It’s not time to spend the whole afternoon watching Netflix or scrolling instagram, it’s time spent doing something you LOVE to do. If you have a hobby that you love but just don’t seem to have the time – make the time. Look at your schedule and figure out how you can implement some time to go towards doing things you love. If you don’t think you have a hobby or something you love, an easy first start is just doing self-care activities. Go on a walk, go for a pedicure with a friend, a massage, read a book that’s been on your list, go see a movie, etc!
Another category that sometimes isn’t seen as important is support. Support from the people around you 100% affect how you take care of yourself. Also, just knowing who supports you is huge. Write a list of people you know support and love you and write what they support you with. They can be your family, friends, co-workers, even babysitters! Writing the list out makes it easy to find the support you need when you need it. If you’re feeling like you need a support buddy for working out, refer to the list and give them a call. If you need some time alone with your significant other, call up that babysitter that you have on the list!
After you have gone through every category, figure out what is lacking and what is going pretty well. Then you can focus your time on improving a certain category and keep track easily. I recommend sitting down as many times as you need throughout the year to re-asses and refocus if need be to keep your self care on the front burner 🙂