Parenting during a pandemic, creating an office space in the home, and dealing with unstable economic conditions are just some of the things we've dealt with for almost two years. With such shifts in our daily lives, it's no wonder we're more stressed than ever before.
Luckily, self-care is becoming a household concept to help us better deal with the unexpected things that come our way. The self-care movement has brought to light that taking care of yourself isn't just meant for New Year's resolutions or vacations, but rather that it should be an ongoing part of our lives.
What Does Self-Care Look Like?
Self-care means cultivating wellness within yourself and your community, but it's not always easy to get started. Taking care of yourself isn't a one size fits all solution; it’s something that changes from person to person. Sometimes self-care can even mean admitting you need help or reaching out to others, while at other times it might look like spending more time alone.
Although taking care of yourself looks different for everyone, certain practices work well for the majority of us. The bottom line, it's about finding what works best for you and giving yourself a break from anything that may cause unnecessary stress.
So, now that we've recognized what self-care is, let's take a look at the best wellness tips, so that you can take care of yourself and your mental health in 2022 and beyond.
Plus, read on to find out how the new giveaway hosted by iCASH will benefit your self-care routine. Hint: it's all about eating well and incorporating healthy meals into your day-to-day life.
For some people being self-aware might mean pausing during busy days or weeks to take a step back and understand how you're feeling. For others, it might mean finding out what your body needs and setting up a daily routine that works for you.
Some ways you can practice self-awareness are:
- Stopping to take three slow, deep breaths throughout the day.
- Creating a morning routine that will allow you to start each day feeling refreshed and prepared for whatever comes your way.
- Spending time in silence or meditating.
Cultivate Body Positivity
We are all our own harshest critics, but it's important to cultivate self-love and body positivity. Whether it's taking selfies or putting on your best outfit, being positive about the way you look can mean feeling good in your skin, no matter what.
Get Enough Sleep
The amount of sleep you get every night is essential to taking care of yourself. While everyone requires different amounts, adults typically need 6 - 8 hours of sleep per night to function properly.
If you find yourself having a hard time getting enough sleep at night, you can start to rearrange your daily routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help you adjust to a new (and improved) sleep schedule.
Regular exercise has been found to relieve stress, improve energy levels, and increase your sense of well-being. Keeping a regular fitness routine also boosts the production of endorphins, which are natural mood stabilizers that help you feel good.
There are many different forms of exercise, so feel free to try out different types until you find one that works best for you. Whether that means spending 45 minutes lifting weights at the gym, taking a group fitness class, or going on a bike ride with friends, the perfect workout is waiting for you.
Proper nutrition is vital to a healthy lifestyle and a big part of self-care. There are many easy ways to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, grains, and other nutritious foods into your diet, and doing so will make a big impact on your health.
If you want to get started eating healthier, but aren't sure where to begin, here are some great tips:
- Cut out sugary snacks and drinks. Replace them with fruits and other healthy snacks that will give you energy throughout the day.
- Eat your colors! Eating a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits will provide unique nutrients and keep things interesting.
- Never skip breakfast. Starting your morning off right by having a healthy, filling breakfast can do wonders for your mood and energy levels throughout the day.Cook meals at home. Not only does cooking at home allow you to know the ingredients being used, but it's also often much healthier than eating processed or takeout food.
iCASH Healthy Eating & Mindfulness Giveaway
Speaking of cooking at home, iCASH is currently hosting a new giveaway on Instagram and Facebook, where one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card for GoodFood - Canada’s #1 meal kit delivery service. If you've ever wanted to start making healthier meals at home, now is your chance to get started!
Drink More Water
One of the best ways to take care of yourself is by drinking enough water throughout the day. Water helps your body stay hydrated, which prevents headaches, fatigue, and low energy levels.
If drinking plain water isn't your thing, try infusing it with fruits or vegetables for some added flavor. This will help you drink enough water without feeling bored or sick of drinking it.
Create Healthy Money Habits
It's difficult to feel your best when you have heavy financial burdens weighing you down. However, when you get your money right and start making smart financial decisions, life will start to feel easier — and you’ll start to feel better!
Being smart with your money is all about creating healthy money habits and routines — and while it might seem challenging at first, once these habits become second nature, your whole life will change for the better.
Take Time for Yourself
Self-care often means spending your time with yourself, and it's important to do the things that will fill up your happiness tank. Read a good book, take a walk in the park, watch a funny movie — the possibilities are endless. You can even turn self-care into a fun challenge by trying out new recipes or picking up a new hobby.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
Just like spending time with yourself is important, so too is spending time with your friends and family. Although we all get wrapped up in our own lives and schedules, friends and family are there to catch you when you're down.
Whether it's simply catching up over the phone or having a movie night in, being social is an important part of your self-care routine. By investing in relationships with others, you'll feel happier on a deeper level.
Don't Be Afraid to Say No
While it is important to not always put your own needs first, it's also important to know when you need a break. Whether that means taking a day off from work or spending a day on the couch, your mental health comes first.
Of course, it's also important to be careful when setting boundaries. You can't expect everyone in your life to read your mind, and asking for what you need is not a burden on those around you. So, feel empowered to say no when you need some time alone and yes when you're up for spending time with others.
Unplug After Dinner
Finally, try to unplug from technology and screens after dinner each day. Yes, it's important to check your phone and stay connected with those around you, but too much screen time can be harmful to both your physical and mental health.
Additionally, the blue light emitted by devices like phones and laptops has been linked to sleep problems — so it's important to give your eyes a break by not staring at screens after the sun goes down.
Why Self-Care is Important for You
When all is said and done, self-care is about taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Recognizing what you need to do for yourself — whether that means getting more sleep, exercising regularly or making yourself a personal budget — can help keep those stress levels down and those feel good endorphins up.
After all, your mental and physical health is your most important asset — so don't be afraid to put yourself first. And if you need a little extra support, remember that there are resources available to help you through those times when you're stuck.