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Practicing proper self-care is the foundation of living a happy, balanced, and stress-resilient life. The truth is, however, that most women either do not have time for self-care and de-stress activities, or simply do not believe they need it. If you’re not practicing a regular routine of self-care, it’s time to start. You’ll be amazed by how much happier and balanced you feel.
Here are eleven easy techniques you can start using today!
- Time to yourself. Even if you are the most extroverted woman on the planet, taking time to yourself, without the influences or needs of other people, is critical to self-care. Constantly being around people is kind of like constantly listening to loud music—eventually you have to shut that music off and give yourself time to think alone and in quiet. Time for myself is at the very very top of my list of de-stress activities.
- Eat healthy. While it might feel more self-indulgent to eat junk and fast food, if you want a happy body and mind, you have to eat a healthy diet with the right balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Find a diet that works for you and remember that “diet” doesn’t equal starvation or deprivation. The rare piece of chocolate cake won’t hurt you, as long as it is balanced with nourishing, healthy foods that your body craves.
- Exercise. There just aren’t enough ways to emphasize how important it is to get up and get moving. If you ever read the biography of a famous writer, you’ll see that the vast majority are up and on the move for at least an hour a day. This doesn’t mean that you have to start running every morning, just that you need some exercise on a daily basis. Walking is a great option. Click here to discover more about the benefits of walking.
- Sufficient rest. We all need to stop sacrificing sleep for another hour of work, another episode of that TV show, or another chapter in a book. Sleep is integral to a healthy life. It’s one of the important de-stress activities you need to make a TOP priority in your life. Depriving yourself of sleep will only boost your stress levels.
- Get a hobby. It’s not just something sitcom characters say to each other when the other has too much time on his hands. Do you have an activity in your life that is purely just for pleasure? Do you have any activities in your life that satisfy your need to create and have fun? If not, it’s time to start trying some de-stress activities. Try out different things and you’re bound to find something that you truly enjoy.
- Schedule a massage. Especially if you’ve never had a massage before, it’s time to spring for one. Can you think of any de-stress activities that could be more enjoyable? Pampering yourself occasionally is one of the most essential parts of self-care. There is nothing more indulgent AND de-stressing than a massage. Not only is this a great way to fight stress, it is the perfect way to do something that is just for yourself, that benefits no one except you—and that’s okay!
- Get your hair and nails done. When was the last time you actually had your hair done? Not just cut—but done? There is something uniquely relaxing and rejuvenating about getting your hair cut, colored, and styled by a professional. What about a mani-pedi session? For some women, this is a weekly event. For you, a weekly trip to the salon may be out of your pay grade. And for others ( like me) it just takes up too much time in my schedule to do it every week. But, even just planning a day every month to pamper yourself and your hair is a good idea. Plus, there’s nothing like the self-esteem boost you get with a new hairdo or with some new pretty nailwork done.
Simple Things You Can Do
- Spend time with your girlfriends. For most women, there is nothing more soothing than being in the presence of other supportive, fun-loving women. If it’s been a while since you last spent some time with your closest friend(s), here are 3 options. 1) Work a movie night into your schedule. 2) Plan a brunch/lunch date. 3) Bust out the nail polish collection and treat yo’selves to a manicure, tea ( or wine) and cookies!
- Ask for help. If you feel like you are just keeping your head above water, you are not alone. You may feel like you are paddling as hard as you can, but you’re still drowning. If that’s how you feel all the time, it’s time to ask for help. You probably also know what it feels like to be approaching that “drowning” stage—this is also an excellent time to ask for help. Feel free to seek out help from loved ones or get professional help! There’s nothing wrong with finding someone to share your burdens.
- Say no to things that don’t serve your life. Stop trying to take on everyone else’s problems, in addition to your own. This is a problem most women have—we’re fixers. There comes a time, however, when people will just dump their problems on you and expect a fix, even if you don’t have one. Learn to say no to those people.
- Join a support group. There’s nothing more empowering than joining a support group. You need to realize first, that you are not alone, and second, that there are people who want desperately to help you. Find one online or in your local area.