The term “self-care” is used a lot these days. It is especially prevalent on social media—often accompanied by a selfie of someone wearing comfy clothes and holding a glass of wine.
Self-care isn’t just about taking a night off for yourself. It also isn’t about using alcohol to relax, since alcohol can actually increase anxiety, disrupt sleep, and raise blood pressure.
Real self-care means making healthy choices on a daily basis so you can feel your best physically and emotionally.
It isn’t always fun or selfie-worthy, but the rewards can be tremendous. Good self-care may help you have better physical health, improved productivity at work, an easier time coping with stress, and a longer, happier life.
Key aspects of self-care
Follow these guidelines consistently for good self-care:
- Stay physically active. More and more research shows that exercise is key for good mental and physical health. Find a form of exercise you don’t mind doing, and work it into your schedule several times per week.
- Eat and drink well. Eat mostly vegetables and fruit and only minimal (if any) processed food. Drink lots of water, and limit soda and alcohol.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep affects health and vice versa. Getting enough sleep can give you more energy, help you focus, and make you feel happier.
- Make social connections. Humans are social beings. In today’s screen-intensive world, it is more important than ever to focus on building and maintaining connections with other people.
Prioritize your self-care
It is easy to put our own wellbeing behind jobs, family, friends, and other responsibilities. But by practicing real self-care consistently, you will be better equipped to be your best—for yourself and everyone else in your life.