A Guide to Self-Care and Stress
Self-care is necessary to live a healthy, happy life. While the word might be somewhat new, humans have been practicing self-care for as long as we’ve been around. After all, if we don’t care for ourselves, how can we expect to function well in day-to-day life?
Despite its importance, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself with all the demands of our modern world. With bills to pay and dishes to wash, it is almost effortless to miss a meal or stay up far later than you should.
However, self-care has a positive effect on our mental health. Not only can it help you cope with everyday stress, but also it can even make you more creative and productive. Taking a moment to take care of yourself might mean you have less time to work, but it will ensure that the time you do work is fruitful.
Furthermore, self-care can also prevent you from accumulating long-term problems such as substance abuse, depression, and other mental diseases. If you don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, you are more likely to turn to unhealthy habits. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, it is important to try self-care techniques.
This doesn’t mean that you need to plan hour-long bubble baths or spend a full day at the spa, though. There are a few things you can do every day that provide the benefits of self-care.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial self-care skills to learn is saying “no.” We tend to take on too many responsibilities. Between work, family, and friends, we can be over-schedules quite easily.
It is common to feel that you must accept whatever responsibilities someone offers to you, whether it’s the president seat of the PTA or a new project at work. It is important to realize, though, that it is helpful to say “no” when you plate is too full.
If you can’t devote the proper resources to a responsibility without causing unnecessary stress, you should turn it down. Your health is not worth it.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is necessary, but it is also easy to forget. Whether you’re behind at work or up with a sick child, you’re likely to lose the adequate amount of hours for a restful sleep.
However, this can cause severe consequences for both your mental and physical health. Dream Essentials explains that our ability to efficiently perform tasks while awake depends a lot on getting enough quality sleep.
While scientists don’t know why exactly sleep is essential, we do know that without it, you can experience a sharp decline in your reasoning skills, increased irritability, and depressed mood.
Very Well Health points out that sleep deprivation can cause paranoia, hallucinations and even death. Sleep is not just a way to rest our body; it is necessary for our health.
We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but did you know that it is a precious tool to improve your mental health as well?
The Huffington Post reports that exercise can directly reduce your stress by counteracting certain stress-inducing chemicals in the brain while also boosting chemicals that make you happy. This effect can quickly lead to an overall better mood and outlook. If you have a stressful day at the office, exercise might be what you need.
You don’t need to spend hours exercising to get the benefits, either. A simple 15-minute walk is all that is required to get your muscles pumping and your stress lowering.
Self-care is often overlooked, but is vital for a healthy life. You can’t expect to be able to respond appropriately to outside stressors and fulfill your responsibilities if you aren’t running at 100 percent.