When you think of self-care you probably picture hot bubble baths, a day in bed, some gentle exercise, and giving yourself permission to indulge inhabits you usually avoid. These are all great ideas – everyone needs time off – but the other side of self-care is often overlooked: doing what is beneficial for you even if it is uncomfortable or difficult.
A lot of people find boundaries difficult to navigate – a lot of people don’t even know what boundaries are! Boundaries can apply to your relationships, as well as your own actions. If you’re a people-pleaser who struggles to say no, then take a look at why. Stop volunteering to take part in things because you think it’s expected of you: be realistic about what you can manage without reaching burnout. Boundaries can apply to all aspects of a relationship and sticking to them results in healthier interactions and a life where you feel respected and secure.
Exercise your mind
While hot baths and sleeping in can give you much-needed rest, your brain also needs stimulation – with something unrelated to work. You might realize that it’s been months since you sat down to read; now is the perfect time to restart that habit. You only need to set aside fifteen minutes a day if that’s all you have time for. Sure, watching series makes for great escapism, but books work just as well and exercise your mind in a more effective way.
Make space for real conversation
It’s a common sight to see people glued to their phones – at work, at home when playing at https://www.grandrush.com/, on their commute and even while falling asleep. Chatting on WhatsApp has become the norm when interacting with friends, leaving face-to-face conversations as a rare occurrence. This is especially true in the present with lockdowns preventing people from meeting in person. If it is safe to do so, make a point of meeting up with a friend regularly so that you can talk and actually pay attention to one another, rather than chatting in between chores or work tasks.
Ask for help and accept it
People burn out when they take on too much responsibility and white-knuckle their way through situations that are ultimately too difficult to deal with on their own. Being exhausted has become glamourized; admitting that you need help and asking for it is uncomfortable, but 100% necessary. If you avoid being vulnerable then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Grow as a person
Sometimes self-care can entail switching off and taking a mental vacation, but it’s just as beneficial to get involved in something that will help you cultivate a better life. This could be taking a course in something you’ve always wanted to do, furthering your education, or volunteer for a cause that means a lot to you.
Personal growth, although sometimes uncomfortable, is in fact the ultimate form of looking after yourself. While a day in front of the TV will give you 24 hours of relaxation, building your ideal life will bring you lasting fulfillment.