Has anyone ever said something like that to you?
They don't know the half of it, do they?
Caring for elderly relatives, running around after the grandkids, too much to do now that you're retired, too little to do now that you're retired, loneliness, your health not as good as it used to be, aches and pains where you never used to have them, money worries, watching your family dealing with their own money worries and not being able to help...
Self care is vitally important not just for stress relief but also for overall mental health. It can do everything from helping you get over a bad day to improving your self confidence. It also doesn’t take a lot to take proper care of yourself. Here are some different ways to practice self care every day...
Keep a Journal
A really excellent way to start practicing self care every day is to keep a journal. This is something you can easily keep with you no matter where you are, whether you put it in your handbag or pocket, or you have a digital journal on your computer. It's good to have something to write in even when your laptop is out of charge, so keep a journal and pen handy and get writing! With journaling, you're able to write in it whenever you feel stressed or just to mull over what happened each day. It can be very cathartic.
Have Some Alone Time Every Day
If you're busy, busy, busy and always surrounded by people and noise, make sure you have at least a few minutes each day all to yourself. This can be a 30-minute walk that you go on after dinner, a fun 15-minute dance party to your favourite oldies radio station, or just 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up while you enjoy your cup of coffee. It can seem so simple and minimal, but these little stretches of time where you're alone and just doing something for yourself can make all the difference.
And if you have a bit too much alone time and not seeing enough people is becoming a problem for you, check out our 10-Step Checklist for Making and Keeping New Friends or, if you live in the UK, visit the DO IT website and punch in your postcode to see all the volunteering opportunities in your area.
Get More Exercise
Sometimes helping your physical health is also important, so don’t forget about exercise. This will make you feel better about yourself and raise your self confidence, which also helps your mental state. Plus, exercise is really good for helping to relieve your stress and the endorphins you get from it can be tremendous for improving your mood. You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour every day either. Something as simple as an afternoon walk or doing a bit of weight lifting in the morning before your shower is perfect. You can also take advantage of other activities that also include exercise, like taking your dog for longer walks or taking the grandkids hiking over the weekend so everybody is exercising more.
In addition to exercise, you should also be focusing on proper diet by drinking more water and eating healthier. This is all part of taking better care of yourself. But you know this already! Just stick to it and if you fall off the wagon and have the odd cheat day or two, get back on it a.s.a.p. and don't beat yourself up too much.