Self Care Is Vital To Reduce Stress

Life in the twenty-first century is demanding and complicated.

People have demands coming from many places at the same time. Work demands, family demands, financial demands, social demands only to name a few.

Many of us have been taught and rightly believe that hard work pays off. As true as that is, if there is no balance and hard work dominates our time extreme stress is almost guaranteed.

In these situations where work runs the show of your life (whether that is paid work, or taking care of a loved one, or even volunteer work)) often self care falls by the wayside. How many times have you driven thru a fast food restaurant to grab “dinner” and eat while driving because you feel you can’t take time to cook a meal and sit down and enjoy that time to yourself?

We tell ourselves if we just keep pushing a little longer we will get enough done that we can then slow down a bit and take care of ourselves. The truth is far different. Here is a look at why self care is so important and how it helps fight stress. 

It’s easy to neglect taking care of ourselves because when we’re busy and overwhelmed, even a small reprieve feels like a luxury. So actually taking time to eat lunch, exercise, and hang out with friends? That just feels like slacking.

That mindset backfires, though. Self care actually helps you make progress faster for a few reasons:

Self care prevents “overload burnout”: We’ve all been there: you push yourself to the point that you can’t take anymore so you just give up. Self care helps you avoid getting to that point.

Self care reduces the negative effects of stress: A small amount of stress can serve a purpose, but after a while, it just breaks down your mind and body. Taking care of yourself means keeping your stress from taking over so you can function at full capacity.

Self care helps you refocus: When I was stuck on a complicated math problem in school, my teacher would suggest walking away and coming back—taking a break, basically. Breaks are the epitome of self care, and studies show they’re great for helping you perform better.

Sometimes I treat self care as a reward. I’m so hungry I can barely think, but I’ll force myself to finish a batch of work before I eat lunch. What I’m really doing is making my job more difficult by allowing myself to run on fumes.

In other words, self care is not a reward. It’s part of the process. Sometimes we get so used to “rewarding ourselves” with lunch or even a trip to the bathroom, though, that we forget exactly what it means to take care of ourselves.
– via Lifehacker

Simple Self Care To Lift The Load

Taking time to give yourself some special treatment beyond just daily hygiene can be very soothing for your body, mind, and emotions. It doesn’t have to take a great deal of time, but the time you invest in your own recharge will pay big dividends.

Your mind, body, and emotions need down time, time to rest and relax. Your own personal spa time can give you just that and not cost a dime! Here are a few simple steps to reviving yourself and reducing stress.

Once you’ve decided it’s time to start nurturing yourself and your body, be sure to block off some time for this.  Try to schedule a block where you won’t be interrupted. You need only to have a bathroom to give yourself a home-spa experience; you can put on some soothing music, and try some or all of the following suggestions:

  • Take a Bath: Get out the bubbles, oils, and scented soaps, and soak until you’re wrinkled.
  • Deep-Condition Your Hair: While you’re in the tub, put on a deep-conditioning treatment for your hair, and let it work as you relax.
  • Deep-Clean Your Pores: With a nice clay masque, you can draw impurities out of your skin and stress out of your system.
  • Care For Your Feet: After you soak your feet to soften calloused skin, use a pumice stone to slough off dead skin, and finish with a rich foot cream, and perhaps polish.
  • Nourish Your Skin: Rich, luxurious creams smell wonderful and feel smooth, especially if you exfoliate your skin in the tub before putting them on.
  • Tend to Your Nails: Correct the beating your nails probably take from your busy life (especially for those of you who bite your nails!) by filing and buffing. A coat of polish on can make you feel like a princess for days afterward. (This is probably more for my female readers.)
  • Get a Massage: This one can be especially nice. If your budget doesn’t allow for regular massages with a professional, see if you can trade with a friend or your spouse, or use an electronic massager.

In addition to pampering yourself, more substantial forms of self-care involving healthy lifestyle choices are important, too. Consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and being sure you get enough sleep are all important for long-term health and stress management as well.
– via Verywell

Have you ever tried being deliberate with your self care to reduce stress?