Is it selfish to want to take a 3 week vacation if I’ve never taken one? Or is it Self Care to take intermittent vacations to avoid burnout from never taken one? I know, both are trick questions! It would certainly depend on the responsibilities one would be leaving behind and how long are these intermittent vacations and again, what responsibilities will you be neglecting if you chose to do so. You see, with everything we need to take in a certain amount of moderation. We can’t overindulge in eating and then go on a fast, neither should we restrict ourselves completely from a long period of and then gorge. The best way to go about self care is to not allow yourself to get to the point where you are overly stressed.
So how do I know if I’m overly stressed?
Stress shows up in our lives in many forms. It has become part of life that we have learned to manage. Unfortunately, life can get waay outta control and we sometimes reach a point where our responsibilities become overwhelming. Here are a few types and symptoms of stress:
- Muscular tension
- Twitching eyelid
- Teeth grinding
- Digestive disorders
- Frequent crying
- Short concentration
- Low productivity
- Yelling at others
- Low sex drive
- Withdrawn from social activities and social engagements
If at any point you experience any of these , symptoms you’re definitely not getting enough self care.
What is self-care anyway?
Recently, self-care has been trending all over social media and the mainstream news, and we understand why. People are beginning to realize the many benefits that come with simply taking care of yourself. Practicing self-care has been known to positively impact your mental and physical health and is an essential step to truly living a healthy, balanced life.
Just like nutrition self care is not a one size fits all. What self care is to you may not be enough for someone else.
Here are my top 10 ways you can reduce stress through self care.
1. Learn to say NO. Don’t over commit. Delegate work at home and on the job. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help when needed and you should not be shamed for dong so. In doing so, this will help you better time manage. With that said…
2. Keep a daily planner. Prioritize your tasks. Make a realistic timetable and check off tasks as they are completed. Doing so puts you in control and reduces stress and anxiety. You should not only keep a planner to manage tasks, you should also…
3. Keep a journal. Either a visualization or thoughts and emotions or both if necessary! Visualization brings about focus and clarity to your life. Similar to meditating it will help you relax, define your goals and help put things into perspective.
4. Yup, you guessed it, start practicing meditation. Meditation doesn’t need to be an hour long ordeal. Just take 3 min per day to focus on your breathing and relaxing your mind by eliminating thoughts. Meditation positively affects physical health and can even promote healing, increases mental productivity by clearing away the clutter and allowing a clearer thought process and allows you to be aware of what is going on within your mind, body and emotions.Trust me this takes a lot of practice, but doing a few minutes a day will help relieve a lot of stress and anxiety.
5. Too err is human. Don’t treat a mistake as a catastrophe. As Marie Forleo so eloquently states, “Everything is figure-out-able”. Learn from your mistake and take action on resolving the problem. It could always be worse.
6. As self care and reducing stress goes, this is a pretty important one… Be physically active. Activating those muscle group relieves tension and lowers blood pressure. If you already workout at least 3x per week, find an additional fun or recreational activity that challenges you and keeps you motivated to continue training in the gym. If you’re not regularly active try doing this in the reverse. Find an activity that you enjoy, like tennis, or bike riding and improve your fitness by training in the gym. If the gym is just not your jam, try Yoga or Pilates. You’ll definitely get a workout with those two, while focusing on your breathing techniques.
7. Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. Eat clean, with more leafy greens. Leafy greens, especially dark leafy greens, are jam-packed with nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. They are especially good for reducing stress, balancing blood sugar, improving sleep, boosting your immune system, balancing your mood, controlling your weight and so much more.
Here’s a delicious Green Smoothie recipe to try today:
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup spinach or kale
- ½ avocado
- ¾ cup frozen mango, pineapple or banana
- Filtered water
- Ice (optional)
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
8. This tip is very near and dear to me and one I take VERY seriously. Sleep. Even the smallest problem can seem overwhelming when you don’t get enough rest. While you are sleep this is when the body does it’s best work. Repairs and rebuilds. The best way to reduce stress, and lose weight is by diligently incorporating this important self care tip into practice. Download my free guide to Living a Circadian Lifestyle, Guide to Better Sleep. I provide you with effective tips on how to sleep well. Click here to learn more on the importance of sleep.
9. Accept yourself. Appreciate your talents and your limitations. Everyone has them.
10. Practicing self-care isn’t always about writing in a journal, mani/pedi’s, giving yourself facials, or even aromatherapy. Practicing self-care can also be igniting your creativity. Everyone has some creative abilities, you don’t need to be an artistic genius to be creative. Creativity encourages self-expression and activating the areas of the brain you don’t typically use. How you chose to be creative is totally up to you, again it’s the expression of self and the world from your point of view.
So there you have it, my top 10 tips on the best ways to reduce stress through self care. That’s not all! Join in on these upcoming exclusive programs that I offer to only my clients. Within the next few weeks I’ll be launching my 12 Weeks to Better Sleep and 28 Days of Meditation and Mindfulness. Sign up now to receive 10% off these programs when you register.
Want more ideas on implementing self care into your daily life? Subscribe to my email educational series on Self Care. I’ll provide you with not only additional ways to take care of self, but offers and discounts to products that are sure to motivate you.
Until then… Live, Feel and Be Well.