Put Yourself First: How to Make Self-Care a Priority?

You may have heard of the term self-care, a concept that is growing in popularity.

Self-care means doing activities with the aim to protect our happiness and well-being. Self-care is especially important during stressful times – helping us to manage difficult situations and to prevent burnout. All too often, people neglect self-care because they feel selfish. However, if you don’t put yourself first, you won’t be able to sufficiently help others.

Practising self-care will also help you to navigate menopause with fewer difficulties. Try the following tips to prioritise self-care in different areas of your life:

Physical self-care

Physical self-care may mean exercise. It may also mean working on better sleeping habits or eating healthily. If you feel that exercise would be a good idea for you, trysomething that you know you would enjoy. Swimming, cycling, or going to the gym are ideal if you prefer to do things on your own. Team sports can be a great way to connect with others while getting those endorphins pumping.

Try to cook meals at home most nights and opt for takeaway or meals out only on special occasions. There’s nothing wrong with indulging once in a while, but stress-eating won’t do you any favours in the long term. Physically, you’ll also feel a lot better if you eat a nutritious diet.

Emotional self-care

One of the most important parts of wellbeing is our emotional health, which is often neglected. Take the time to talk through your worries and feelings with someone close to you. Additionally, don’t be afraid to examine your negative feelings when they arise. Art or music may be outlets help you to positivelyexpress stressful feelings.

Mental self-care

Don’t fall into the trap of sticking to your routine all the time. This may leave you bored and unmotivated. It’s a great idea to explore new hobbies and interests. They’ll help you to stimulate your mind as well as give you a sense of accomplishment. For example, if you’ve recently become interested in art, take time to visit a local art gallery. You could also join a painting or sculpture class. If you’ve been watching a lot of TV, designate half an hour each evening to solving crossword puzzles or studying a language.

Social self-care

There are plenty of ways to practise self-care socially. If you’ve been feeling stressed, don’t waste your time seeing people that will further antagonise you. Try reaching out to an old friend who you haven’t seen in a while, or catching up with family members you miss. You might also like to incorporate another form of self-care into your social plans. For example, you could plan a spa day with a group of friends, or cook a meal together with the kids.

Spiritual self-care

The ways you get in touch with your spiritual side may not be the same as the next person’s. Spirituality is deeply personal, so only you know what will work for you.

If you’re not religious, or you don’t know where to start, try meditation. Practising deep breathing exercises can help to create a sense of calm. Focusing on the present will also help in mitigating stress levels. You might also like to spend time in natureor try your hand at volunteer work.

Self-care can easily be incorporated into your daily life. Try to pay attention to when you’re becoming stressed, then do something that will calm you. This will serve a positive purpose to your life, andyou’ll be able to minimise your overall stress levels.

Guest post by Harper Reid