Self-care refers to activities and practices that can help you to reduce your stress and enhance your overall well-being: essentially, proactively taking care of yourself. Self-care is essential in order to be successful inside and outside.
Self-care is more than an occasional treat, but a way of living each day that incorporates practices and behaviors that help you feel refreshed, re-energized, and rested. Self-care helps you deal with the daily stresses in your life—from work, career, famly, motherhood, interpersonal relationships, to future plans, and others. Everyone deals with stress differently, and everyone’s preference for practicing self-care is different as well.
There are many reasons that self-care is important. Research shows that self-care helps to keep you healthy, helps you recharge and helps to improve your overall well-being.
There are lots of ways to practice self-care. What works for you may not work for someone else. The important thing is to make self-care a priority in your schedule. This could mean blocking off time to workout or spending some time unplugged from technology once in awhile. Here are some ideas for self-care:
Sleep: Sleep is essential to overall health and is closely linked to academic success.
Napping: Napping throughout the day can improve energy levels.
Exercise: Research shows that exercise can relieve stress, improve your mood, and help you sleep better.
Do something you love: Carve out time for your passions and hobbies, whether that’s hiking, crafting, dancing, reading for fun, etc. Hobbies can provide you an outlet for managing stress and can increase happiness levels.
Hang out with friends and family: Research shows that spending time with loved ones is the number one determinant of happiness. Take time to connect with a friend or a family member.
Practice self-compassion: Self-compassion is treating yourself like you would treat your best friend. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you care about; replace self-critical thoughts with compassionate thoughts.
Practice mindfulness: Being in the present moment can help to reduce stress. Practice mindfulness by noticing your five senses; what do you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell right now?
Practice gratitude: One simple way to practice gratitude is by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for everyday. Remembering to find things, experiences and people in your life that you’re grateful can have powerful effects on your mood.
Unplug from technology: Sometimes the best way to recharge is to take a break from technology. Research shows that downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.
Practice deep breathing: Take five minutes to practice deep breathing. In just those few minutes you can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, thus lowering the physical affects of stress.
Journaling: Journaling can have a lot of benefits. Writing can help you process your feelings, ignite creativity centers in the brain, and help you be in the present moment. Take a few minutes each day to journal.
Practice meditation: Taking a few minutes to clear your mind of various stressors can be a great way to practice self-care. Research shows that meditation can improve your focus, immunity, and overall mental well-being.
Practice yoga: Yoga has pronounced effects on your emotional well-being and can help lower anxiety and stress.
Spend time in nature: Research shows that spending time in nature can have remarkable benefits to human health.