Self-care: care for oneself.

Self-care is a necessity to keep yourself sane, healthy, and balanced.  I’ve chosen four self-care activities that are really worth performing on a consistent basis.

1) Guided meditation

I have found that guided meditation is far and away the most effective self-care tool that I use on a regular basis.  I have encouraged my friends, family, and clients to incorporate guided meditation into their daily routines.  Guided meditation, or sometimes called guided imagery, is an inviting and gentle way to ease into meditation.  Guided meditation is a process by which an individual is guided by a practitioner, in person or by a sound recording that consists of verbal instruction and sounds.  Guided meditations can be found on YouTube, apps (like Insight Timer), and downloaded from your local library.

2) Never sacrifice your sleep

Sleep is the foundation to health and well-being.  Most people do not function well when they are sleep deprived.  No matter how busy life gets, make sure to prioritize a sleep schedule.  Preferably, all hours of sleeping should take place at night but if that is unrealistic based on your schedule, try to schedule naps.  It is recommended adults get eight hours of sleep a night.  However, some people need a little more and some a little less.  I have worked with several individuals who need ten hours of sleep to function.

Sleep is essential to self-care

3) Provide your body with nutrition

Stress affects our appetite.  Some people have a tendency to overeat and some under eat.  It is important to think about filling your body with nutrition on a regular basis.  Our bodies and minds crave vitamins and minerals that will help us heal.  Our bodies are not able to heal without the proper nutrition.  Yes, that means avoiding junk food and eating vegetables.  Your energy, sleep, mood, and bowel movements will all improve.

4) Find your person to vent to

Studies show that individuals who receive emotional support live longer lives.  We all need at least one person to vent to who will listen and support us throughout our struggles.  Many people avoid sharing about their struggles with their friends because they don’t want to burden them.  Hint: Most people are thinking this.  They are your friends for a reason, they want to help.  It is beneficial to reach out to your friend and ask, “I really need to vent right now.  Can you please provide me with support and not try to fix my problems for now?”  Most people are happy to know what to do to help.

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