September is National Self-Care Awareness Month and a great time to be reminded that we should be taking good care of ourselves.
Maybe you have the basics covered when it comes to self-care. With upcoming holidays and the stress they bring, along with the winter blues, self-care should not go on the back burner.
It’s important to take care of yourself, especially during stressful times. So here are some ways to know you’ve put yourself last.
1. You aren’t drinking enough water. Almost 60% of your body is made of water, which is why hydration plays a crucial role in your well-being. In order for your body to function properly, your body needs water, so keep a reusable water bottle handy, or even better, get a water bottle that challenges you to drink more like this one.
2. You aren’t getting proper amounts of sleep. This is probably the most common sign because we tend to stay awake wrestling with thoughts and worries. Try getting a new pillow or taking a soothing bath right before bedtime. Buy yourself a sound machine—they aren’t just for babies anymore! This one is an affordable option. There are also teas that help you sleep, like Sleepy-Time Tea or Bedtime Tea.
3. Your meals tend to be pre-made or fast food. Often when we find ourselves out of time when it comes to eating, it’s because we have said Yes to too many things and placed our needs last. Nutrition affects your mood, your sleep, and your mental clarity. Sign up for a meal kit service or commit to meal-prepping on the weekends so that during the week, when you may be in a rush, you can still fill your body with fuel. Your body will thank you!
4. You have been isolating yourself. If you find yourself pulling away from friendships and relationships with a general lack of desire to be around others this may be a sign that you need to take better care of yourself.
5. You can’t remember the last time you went to the doctor. Checkups are important, and seeing a doctor will help you get ahead of any health problems that you may be dealing with. Members of Impact have access to online physicians 24/7 at no extra cost, so when in doubt, make an appointment to chat with a professional.
6. You are dependant on caffeine. Most people love coffee, but when you are drinking four cups or more a day, it can disrupt your sleep and even cause you anxiety and poor concentration. So, keep that java at three cups or less daily.
7. You are always irritable. Everyone has days that they are grumpy but if you find yourself easily frustrated, especially at small things, then you just may be burned out. We get annoyed when we ignore self-care, and taking time to rejuvenate will help you feel better.
Do not neglect your needs. It will only cause more stress and can lead to illness. If you feel you are too busy for self-care, think about what would happen if you stopped doing maintenance on your car and ignored those oil changes. It would break down and be no good to anyone!
Your family and friends love you and want you around for a long time, so don’t ignore the signs. Schedule time for yourself, and don’t cancel. You deserve to be healthy and strong physically, mentally, and spiritually. Go for a walk, schedule a massage, or spend the day doing something that you enjoy.
If anxiety has been an issue for you, then check out these helpful coping skills. Don’t think you have to stay silent about how you are feeling. Share concerns with someone you trust.
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” - Lucille Ball