• Susanne Birgersdotter

Self-care is a daily pursuit. It is a commitment we have to promise ourselves. It is not a New Year resolution that quickly fizzles out, plans for future endeavors, or half-hearted attempts to salve our tired minds. Self-care is important to our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The daily grind of working, running a business, dealing with people, and living day to day slowly wears us down. This is why we have to take steps to preserve our overall well-being.

Self-care doesn’t have to be a hassle, difficult, or time-consuming. Little things like enjoying your morning cup of coffee in peace, cooking meals for your family, or talking to a loved one can be part of your self-care habit. You just need to have the right mindset and know the basics of a consistent and effective self-care routine. Practice self-care and your future self will thank you for it.

Here are some easy hacks to help you practice self-care daily:

Keep moving. To stay young and healthy, our body needs to move, work, grind, and to be active. Physical health is the foundation of self-care, it is also the easiest to start on. Having a fit and healthy body leads to a more positive outlook and a happier disposition. On the contrary, a sickly and sluggish body could easily drive one to a downhill slide – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Start your physical self-care by changing a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. You don’t have to run a marathon or go rock-climbing, just choose fun and engaging activities that you can also enjoy. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking three blocks for your lunch, cleaning the house, taking dance lessons, and gardening are just some physically invigorating activities for everyone.

Eat healthy. Understand the dynamics between food and your body. The body needs healthy food for it to function, while our minds need great-tasting food to satisfy our cravings. While your mind tells you to choose fruits and vegetables, your heart is set on a burger and a milkshake. The key to eating healthy is moderation, healthier options, and the right eating habits. Do not deprive yourself of the things you enjoy, that includes rich and sumptuous meals, just take things in moderation. A daily pizza dinner is certainly bad for your health, but one slice a week will not create havoc on your system and will satisfy any cravings. To start making transitioning to a healthier diet, make it a commitment to eat one healthy meal a day. Remember, eat to live, not live to eat. Preparing your own food will a go long way – you will enjoy and appreciate food better, you know exactly what you’re eating, and you’re moving a lot while cooking!

Be positive. You will always have total control over how you see things. You can choose to see the gloom of rainy days or appreciate the rain. You can take failure as a total loss or see it as an invaluable learning experience. Constantly dwelling on the negative will eventually take its toll on you – your outlook, personality, and attitude to life. Seeing life as a cup half full will give you positive energy, hope, and confidence. To help fill your days with positive thoughts, start your day by counting five gifts you have in the morning, banish negative thoughts with happy ones, and end your day by recalling good things that happened during the day. Be grateful. Gratitude is the foundation of happiness. Count your blessings and be happy with what you have.

Say no. Do not sacrifice yourself for the sake of others. Do not be afraid to walk away from people or situations that are making you miserable. Being nice and helpful are great traits, but they should also have limitations. Before you can help others, you must first help yourself. More than being kind to others, you must be kind to yourself. Make yourself your priority. Say no to others when you feel you need to focus on yourself. Do not agree to do things that you do not approve of or is happy with. Say no to work or business if you’re sacrificing your downtime. Allow your mind and body to relax and refresh.

Establish a routine. The culprit to us failing at self-care is not having enough time to finish our tasks and do everything we need to do in a day. We often sacrifice sleep, rush through our meals, and multi-task in order to accomplish everything. And yet, it still is not enough. An established daily routine makes things simpler and bring order to the chaos. It anchors your day and keeps you steady amidst the many activities, events, decisions, and surprises. When you have your day set, there is less time lost for indecision, more tasks are done in less time, and you are better able to manage your day. Thus, you earn enough time to indulge in activities you love.