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Redefining Self-Care

We all know about stress. Stress increases cortisol levels which blocks our natural immunity, causes pain, tension headaches, loss of sleep, erratic eating (less or more), and can even lead to distraction.

What we don’t know is how to routinely reduce stress. So, we get stressed. Then we stress about being stressed. We don’t have time to fix it. If we don’t keep moving forward, we’ll just end up with more stress. Or, we simply shut down to avoid stress altogether. However, that plan often leads to more stress down the road, loss of production, and sometimes even loss of self-esteem or confidence.

Stress/Production Bell Curve

In order to reduce your stress systematically, I recommend learning some self-care. Self-care is anything that gives you time for you.  It can be  a hobby, exercise, a long bath, art, music,  sports, playing with the dog, or anything that lets you clear your mind or be in the moment. Schedule in this time along with all those other obligations weighing you down. Keep this appointment with yourself just as you would any other important obligation.

Designating self-care time allows you to rejuvenate yourself. This time away from production can at first seem selfish or foolhardy- after all, it is time away from you completing all of those crucial tasks on your plate. However, the research shows that countries that provide more vacation days actually see more production from there workers because of reduced burnout. On smaller scales, this still appears to work. Studies also show that people who take a few mental health breaks through the day accomplish more during work and after, with more efficiency and accuracy.

The reason is that breaks and self-care reduce the burden on your brain. Logic tells us that if you work more efficiently, you’ll accomplish more, even if allotted less time. The key to that same efficiency often lies in not overtaxing your mind. If you never care for yourself, eventually you will give out. No one would expect a car to keep going without any maintenance or even filling up the gas tank, and it’s just as useless to expect that from yourself.

The added bonus to taking time for self-care is that you will begin to see yourself as someone deserving of care. In addition to feeling good about your production, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself in general. You’ll feel more emotionally stable, more driven, and possibly more organized.

Some suggested self-care activities, but this is by no means exhaustive:

Listening to music

Playing (any) musical instruments

Drawing/Painting

Sculpting

Cooking

Knitting/Cross-stitch/Latch-hook/Crochet, etc.

Blogging

Playing a sport

Following a sports team

Playing with your kids, your friends, your pets

A long bath or shower

Swimming/Running/Walking/Jogging/Rollerblading/Biking

Going to the gym

Yoga

Learning something new

Going to the spa/getting a manicure/getting a massage

Writing or journaling

Meditation

If you have a self-care technique you’d like to share, please comment below!

Carrie

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One Response

  1. It is important that we have time alone to do things we enjoy. Maintenance Care Wholesale

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