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Why You Need A Self-Care Routine

What Is Self-Care?

and how to prioritize it

Self-care has become a buzzword in recent years – from celebrities to bloggers, and friends and family, everyone is starting to realize the importance of self-care. Knowing that it’s important and putting it into practice, however, are two different battles.

First, you need to establish what self-care is. It’s more than just “eating right and exercising.” You can eat healthy foods and exercise and still not take care of your mental and emotional health. If you’re exercising every day but don’t have enough time to relax between hitting the gym and going to work, for example, something needs to give. Recovery needs to be a part of a good plan.

Over-exercising can injure high-impact joints such as knees and hips as well, putting you further behind on your journey towards full-body wellness. Stress is never good and sometimes it may be that you just need a rest.

At times then perhaps take it easy, and make sure you have a window of time between exercising and your other daily tasks to recharge. Make this time special – use a facemask right before you shower, read a chapter of a book while drinking your morning coffee, or simply meditate and do yoga to cool down after a run or a visit to the gym. Mental calmness as achieved by meditation and mindfulness has been proven to help with brain health, physical well-being and your ability to handle daily events.

Daily tasks like cleaning and doing laundry can be forms of self-care too – for example, if you enjoy waking up to a clean kitchen as this gives a sense of calm, make sure to do the dishes every night until it becomes a habit. If you drink coffee, wash out the pot at the end of each day and set up your coffee maker each evening to automatically brew tomorrow morning’s cup. Perhaps wake up a little bit earlier and do a few sun salutations, a common yoga routine you can find Youtube video tutorials for, to allow your body to limber up for the work ahead.

A good rule of thumb to follow to make sure what you’re doing is a good form of self-care is to check in with yourself and make sure you get a sense of gratification from it. Another example: If you dislike doing laundry, but it gives you a sense of accomplishment to have everything folded and put away, be sure to make a habit of folding towels straight from the dryer instead of leaving them heaped on the couch. Putting everything away in one fell swoop will help you feel accomplished, and will leave your living space cleaner and less stressful to live in.

How To Start A Self-Care Routine

use these 3 steps

First, gain an understanding of what brings you joy. Carry a journal with you throughout the day for a week, and write down the moments that brought you the most joy and/or satisfaction. It can be small things, like taking your dog for a walk, or special occasions, like buying flowers for your dining table from a farmer’s market. Some find the best times to be when gardening. Being with nature and working with your hands in the earth is amazingly therapeutic. When you write down these things and review them later, you’ll have a better understanding of what daily practices bring you the most joy – and you’ll get ideas for new things to try as well.

Figure out how to incorporate these things into your daily life, and do so over the course of another week while taking notes in your journal. You probably can’t go to the spa every day, and that’s okay! Try to bring the spa home in a small self-care ritual. Get an essential oil diffuser, light a few candles, and bring the feel of a spa day home with you.

Read More: Essential Oils And How To Use Them

If you enjoyed taking your dog to the dog park, commit to doing so once or twice every week. If you enjoy reading in the evenings, set a goal to read a book every week or two weeks. Borrowing from the library is helpful, both because those books are free and because the due date will give you an incentive to read a chapter or two every night. Note: If you use a Kindle or a similar device, make sure to wear blue-light blocking glasses during use; this will reduce the stress to your retina and help preserve vision.

Review how your new self-care habits made you feel. Once your week of self-care is done, review what you did and what you’d like to change. Maybe your job has become too demanding for you to take an extended lunch break every day, and you have to adapt your routines. It’s important to not get frustrated when changes need to occur, and to stay open-minded as you let go of some self-care habits while adopting new ones. As we say in the Air Force, ‘Flexibility is the Key to Air Power’; the same is true in your power to achieve wellbeing.

Ultimately, the goal of self-care is to make you a better person – emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually. We recommend keeping a journal of your self-care journey so you can see how your mindset and overall well-being changes over time. Maintain grace and be thankful at all times; this too has been proven to be the most healthy of mindsets.

For more tips on how to live well, keep reading our blog!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

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