Now more than ever before many of us find ourselves juggling so much that we barely find the time to take care of ourselves. We have great intentions to create a healthier routine but we keep pushing those changes off until tomorrow. In reality, finding a self-care routine can be very simple and isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Why Do I Need A Self-Care Routine?
Our brains are hardwired to react when we experience stress. Science has proven that the same instinct we had to protect ourselves from the mountain lion lurking behind a rock is activated when we experience stress. Each experience in our day that causes us to feel stressed initiates a response in the brain and body that leaves us feeling tired, foggy, unmotivated, and even sad or anxious.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is something that will look different for different people. Perhaps you find that deep breathing exercises make you feel fantastic. However, for me doing a body scan for pain or discomfort is best. You might find that having a toolkit of various tools and techniques is best.
What’s important to know about self-care is that there are simple things you can do throughout your day to help stop that stress reaction from taking over your mind and body.
Some of these simple acts might be taking a deep breath, calming your body when you feel stress, listening to a favorite song while relaxing, taking a bath or shower, getting outside and just sitting, anything that promotes your feeling of well being and calm. You can find what fits you best.
By including these into your day you can initiate a different response to stress that brings about a calm and more soothed mind and body. Just a few minutes of self-care a day can leave you feeling calmer and less stressed.
If you’re finding it challenging to set aside time for self-care, simply taking a moment to ask yourself how you are feeling emotionally and physically which gives you the ability to stop the stress reaction in its tracks.
How Do I Implement Self-Care In My Routine?
This all sounds great in theory, but how do you get started> With so many options and techniques, how do you find what’s right for you?
At the beginning of trying to start a self-care routine, the key is to start small. Choose one time during the day that is convenient for you and stop what you are doing to think about how you feel in your mind and body. That’s it. Just do a quick check-in and then get back to your day. Do this for a few days and then try twice a day. After a week or so try doing this check-in and then try taking a few deep breaths, stretch your body or sit quietly for a few minutes.
You can eventually try developing new skills to expand your repertoire. You can use self-care books, apps, or any other method of learning new methods.
The Importance Of Self-Care
The reality is that self-care is an important way to boost many aspects of your emotional wellness. Everything from your mood to your ability to focus can be improved by this simple routine addition.
With all of this information, ask yourself if you are doing enough to care for yourself each day?
About The Author
Kristen Fescoe is the Clinical Program Manager at Resility Health, a digital healthcare company that offers virtual training programs and related products for families to build resilience and teach positive coping skills in the face of stress and adversity. Kristen earned her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University. Upon graduation, she worked in the prison system of Philadelphia working with inmates diagnosed with PTSD and conducting research investigating treatments for various anxiety disorders. She continues to work as a writer, researcher, and psychologist.