Article by

Marjorie McMillian:    

Workaholism and busyness are often glorified in today’s society, these practices will leave you overworked, exhausted, and emotionally depleted. Too much stress and pressure can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, heart issues, gastrointestinal problems, and other health concerns.

When life gets overwhelming, take time out for self-care. If you don’t make yourself a priority, you can get run down, burned out, and often ill. Self-care isn’t selfish. You should take care of yourself with the same love and attention that you care for others. Here are a few simple ways to practice self-care that don’t take a lot of time or money.

Exercise regularly and eat well

We all know how good regular exercise is for your body physically. However, it’s essential for emotional and mental health, too. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, research shows regular exercise enhances concentration and cognitive function, reduces stress and tension, improves sleep quality and quantity, and boosts mood and overall well-being. You don’t need to join a gym to get into a healthy fitness routine. Walking or running in your neighborhood won’t cost you more than the price of a pair of shoes. When the cold weather hits, move your workouts indoors and use workout videos on YouTube or fitness apps instead. Just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five days a week along with a couple of strength training sessions can make a big impact on your health.

Of course, eating nutritious meals has a major impact on your overall health, but eating well can also boost your mood. Preparing more meals at home instead of ordering takeout can ensure that you’re eating healthier.

Smile more

Studies have shown that smiling has physical health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, pain relief, and an improved immune system. It can also lower stress and increase positivity and confidence. Find ways in your everyday life to smile more often whether you’re enjoying your favorite hobby or spending more time with close friends.

If you have crooked teeth, you may find yourself holding back your smile. Fortunately, there are aligners available that can correct the issue. If you have a more serious alignment problem, then it may be necessary to seek out in-office treatment, but for less severe issues, you can use an at-home aligner which will save you money and time you would otherwise spend making trips to the dentist. Some alignment companies like EZ Smile offer payment plans even if your credit isn’t ideal.

Use your vacation time

Many people don’t use all of their paid vacation days due to the cost of traveling. But even if an exotic getaway is out of your price range, you should be using your vacation time as part of your self-care practice. Time away from work will not only benefit your physical and mental wellbeing, but you’ll also come back to work more productive and engaged, according to Psychology Today.

Keep a journal

Sometimes the best way to get rid of negative thoughts, work out your emotions, or solve personal problems is by writing them all down. So grab a notebook and a pen (or simply open up a Word document) and start venting. Writing down all your feelings can be a very freeing experience, and seeing your words on paper can help you figure out strategies on how to handle any dilemmas. Journaling can also help organize your thoughts and spark your creativity. After you are done writing, you can tear up the paper and let the feelings go, or save all your notes to reflect on or use down the line.

Spend time alone

One of the easiest self-care strategies is to just spend time alone. It doesn’t have to be time spent thinking or reflecting about anything. (Though if you enjoy meditating, that’s a good thing, too.) It can be as simple as binge-watching shows on Netflix or Hulu, listening to soothing tunes on your headphones, or hanging out in a coffee shop and reading a book. Even an hour alone taking a nap or a hot bath without interruption can be enough to relieve stress and provide you a much-needed break. Another way to lower stress during these solo sessions is to declutter and clean messes in your home.

Whether you are struggling with parenthood, inundated at the office, stressed about finances, or just overextended by life as of late, self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. Always eat healthy meals, get enough rest, and follow the aforementioned strategies to relax your mind and body, and get yourself rejuvenated once again.

Article by - Marjorie McMillian

Photo via Pexels