Ever feel like you’re not fully living? You repeat the same routine day after day – you blow off sleep, multitask nonstop and make sure every other person’s needs are met… at the expense of your own. You know the importance of self-care, but you still leave it on the back burner (…and even feel a bit guilty if you don’t). Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Here’s why you need to prioritize you time and 7 tips to help you get started.
Why you time is important
Better stress management
Stress is inevitable. Some of us go through great lengths to avoid it while some of us claim to thrive on it. But regardless of your tolerance for stress – long-term, near constant stress can have negative effects on your health. Think: high blood pressure, anxious thoughts, poor sleep and low energy.
If you’re not taking breaks or scheduling in some time for self-care, you’re less likely to handle everyday stressors and more likely to start feeling its negative effects. (Ever been so stressed that you find yourself worked up over the tiniest inconveniences?) Taking time for yourself allows you to slow down, rest and rejuvenate so you’re better equipped and energized to deal with the stressors at hand.
Encourages a positive relationship with yourself
Not to go all live, laugh, love on you… but one of the most important relationships you’ll have is with yourself. And wait. This isn’t just a quote to burn into some beechwood and proudly display in your mudroom. This is science! Research tells us that people with more self-respect have better relationships and greater life satisfaction and physical health.
An ultimate act of self-respect? Self-care! Prioritizing time for yourself is a delicate reminder (both to yourself and to others) that your needs are important. Plus, it encourages a healthy relationship with yourself: it permits time to process your thoughts, express your emotions and care for your body.
While self-care or you time, appears different for everyone – taking time for yourself helps boost your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.
Promotes a healthy balance in life
With packed calendars and endless tasks at work – it’s easy to fall into the workaholic routine. We get it… there’s deadlines that need to be met and bills that need to be paid, but if you’re not carving out some you time, eventually you’re going to experience burnout.
Stepping away for an hour or two for yourself to fully relax or do something you enjoy can actually make you more productive during work hours. It helps reduce stress, promotes mental clarity and allows your body to rest and recover, leading to better work performance. Our current OOO message: Feet up, facemask on. I’ll be back when I’m back.
Common signs you’re neglecting self-care
- Can lead to burnout
- Reduced energy
- Increased feelings of stress
- Increased feelings of irritability
- Reduced patience
- Poor sleep
- Less motivation for things you enjoy
7 things you can do for you time
1. Keep a journal
Journaling is an effective method to manage stress: it helps clear your mind and takes the load off your chest. Don’t worry. You don’t have to write a full dear diary blog length entry to get the benefits of journaling.
Start by jotting down some positive memories from the day, like your accomplishments or moments you felt gratitude. This practice not only helps you to slow down from a busy schedule, it also allows you to have a place to write down your needs and process your thoughts.
2. Set a time to workout
Self-care isn’t just about your mental health, but your physical health too. Regular exercise not only helps clear your mind, but it can also give you a quick energy or mood boost.
If you’ve ever seen Legally Blonde you already know that exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins are those feel-good hormones that help elevate your mood, boost energy and relieve stress.
And remember: You don’t have to do anything that makes you feel more stressed – find an activity you enjoy like walking, dancing, yoga, rock climbing… whatever makes your soul smile.
3. Go to the movies
Whether you’re into comedy, sci-fi, action or thrillers – watching a movie on the big screen is a fun and great way to treat yourself. Go with friends, family or even indulge in a true me time and enjoy it by yourself – either way it’s a great way to spend a few hours taking a break and getting lost in a great story.
4. Take an art class
Art is a great way to express yourself. It helps soothe your mind and can lessen stress. Exercising your right brain and pushing your creativity can help process your emotions and help life to feel less blah. Art can look different for each person – whether it’s drawing, writing, dancing or music, find something that calms and relieves your mind.
5. Nourish your body
Here’s the thing: food is tasty fuel for your body. Healthy eating isn’t about forcing yourself to eat only greens and tofu. Think of healthy eating more holistically: eat regular, balanced meals that include a variety of different foods.
Take time to meal prep and cook yourself your favorite meal. If cooking stresses you out – treat yourself to your favorite restaurant (and don’t forget to order dessert!).
6. Pamper yourself
Whether it’s a warm bath, face mask, getting a massage at the spa or all of the above – there’s nothing that feels more like me time than pampering yourself. Spending some time at the end of a long day or a full weekend at the spa is a great way to treat yourself to true relaxation.
7. Find meaningful connections
While it’s not necessarily just you time, it’s a form of self-care. Gathering with friends and family can help soothe your soul. Whether you’re feeling stressed and need to vent or simply wanting to just catch up, connect with people that make you laugh and feel energized.
Self-care can be different for everyone. A dance class that your BFF loves might not mirror your ideal me time, so find something that works best for you. If you’re struggling to find time to start – set a reminder on your phone or even block an hour or two on your calendar…and be sure to follow it.
Want more self-care tips? Read: 4 tips for a night routine to help you unwind.
Gabby is a Nutritionist with a master’s degree in strategic communications. She loves using her nutrition-fluency with storytelling to encourage positive change. Before Persona, she worked at a mental health clinic helping clients manage stress, anxiety and other mental health issues through diet.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.