Self-care is of utmost importance to the human race no matter who you are. Finding a healthy balance between long work hours and a fast-paced home life can prove to be overwhelming; we all need a moment to enjoy some stress-free “me” time. Many forms of self-care exist, and there is no wrong way to relax and provide yourself with that much needed brief escape from reality.
I chose to touch on the few ways I love to unwind after an extremely hectic week; especially for those who travel a lot, I thought this piece would serve as something resourceful.
1. Bath Bombs – Bath bombs are a relatively new, but popular trend that has made an appearance during the past few years. I love bath bombs; they have become a personal top favorite method. In my world, I crave solitude as I natural introvert and I have found that the best way to achieve that is by soaking in a hot tub full of bubbles and a bath bomb full of aromatic pleasure.
2. Exercise – I love my treadmill, and believe it or not, exercise does, in fact, serve a positive purpose in terms of relaxation; physical activity exhausts the mind and calms you by releasing endorphins that are needed to maintain optimal mental health functionality. As someone who deals with depression and anxiety issues, walking on my treadmill while jamming out to some great music has for a fact benefited me both mentally and physically. I haven’t gotten to use it as much lately, and I can tell a huge difference in how I feel; the bottom line is, everyone needs exercise.
3. A Creative Outlet – An outlet of creative expression of some sort is crucial for everyone; we all need a way to express ourselves: our thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions. The freedom of expression is especially vital for decompressing after a long day or week. One outlet for myself that I know I have not spent enough of my time and energy on recently is writing. Writing is truly my therapy. I have tried going to psychologists in the past, and nothing has worked better than these three things: my faith, a good sized notebook, and my pen. Everyone is different; some meditate, some find joy in playing an instrument, and others read (one relaxation outlet I also love!). There is no correct way to express yourself. Find your outlet and live your truth. Be who you are. The world needs expression and individuality. If you choose to see a psychologist and it works for you, then that’s wonderful; I just never saw the point and therefore it never worked for me; to each their own. You have to commit to anything that’s done in life for it to take full effect. What truly saved my life was my creative outlet in addition to medication; I get so much joy from sharing my life with the world through the written word.
4. Proper Nutrition – I’m from West Virginia, which means that I eat A LOT of country cooking. Everyone needs food sources from all of the food groups to survive; we eat a lot of meat, potatoes, beans, and local vegetables and fruits. Pan fried green tomatoes are a common food item here in the summer, and honestly, there is nothing better than a fresh homegrown tomato. My all-time favorite snack is what you ask? West Virginia’s pepperoni rolls. Yum! I am also guilty of having a killer sweet tooth! Of course, eat fun foods in moderation and be sure to get a well-balanced diet. I love fruit and oatmeal as my go-to healthy breakfast. One cannot survive on junk food, hamburgers, and processed chicken nuggets. Eat healthily, but be sure to enjoy fun foods of your choice every now and then!
5. Know Your Limitations – Most importantly, realize your limitations, accept them, and listen to your body when it tells you to slow down. I write these words as a hypocrite, as I so often ignore the signals my body gives me. I overdo life and as a result, I pay dearly for it. Don’t shy away from utilizing the word “no”. Recovery time afterward is so much more difficult when you have more drive and ambition than you have common sense. Work until your body says “Hey, I need a break”. Take a thirty-minute nap or relax in that time and then get back to whatever task you were doing. Don’t keep moving until you are thoroughly exhausted or what you’re doing causes you to become ill. Take all medications you need no matter what time it is or what time zone you’re in. Take care of you.
Remember, self-care is a necessity! The listed activities above are unique to my life, and to my circumstances, but I hope they help someone. I think the most I learned from writing this is that the word “no” is one of power; for it is one word that can offset preventable health consequences. Live your truth, know who you are and what you’re capable of, and lastly, take care of you.
Featured image via WeHeartIt.