10 Signs You Need More "You" Time

Contrary to popular opinion, self-care isn’t all about lavish gifts to yourself (although this is certainly a good way to go about it!) It’s about maintaining your physical, emotional and mental health. Many of our daily lives are so busy that we don’t feel like we have the time to take care of our own needs. However, there are consequences for neglecting the needs of your body and mind. Self-care is of is of utmost importance for keeping you feeling your best and functioning optimally. This means it’s important for completing all your homework, going to classes and, for a lot of us, grinding it out at part time jobs. 

Here are 10 signs that you might be forgetting self-care. Many of these seem like no-brainers; however, no matter how obvious they seem, a lot of us tend to overlook them with so many obligations crowding our thoughts. We all need reminders sometimes!

Note: Recognizing any of these signs in yourself may mean that you are dealing with a bigger health issue. In this case, it is super important to meet with a professional healthcare provider in your area of concern, whether it be a physical or mental specialist. These are just basic guidelines that I put together from my own experience and are not intended to replace the advice of a doctor!

  1. 1. Unintended weight loss or weight gain

    Losing weight and haven’t been going to the gym? If this is not the cause of a medical condition, it may mean that you need to make sure you are not skipping meals. Although it may be tempting to skip lunch on a busy day, your body needs nutrition to keep up with demands. Likewise, gaining weight without having a medical condition could mean you are not getting enough exercise or overeating.

  2. 2. Hygiene not up to par

    Besides making yourself presentable to others, taking regular showers and the like enable productivity. Although occasionally not brushing your teeth at night won’t kill you, it is important to keep on top of your routines because they not only give your days structure, but they help to improve your self-esteem. I personally love feeling clean. It helps me unwind after a long day and it helps to kick start my day.

  3. 3. Sluggishness

    Body feeling heavy and tired all of the time? This could mean that you are not getting enough sleep, not getting proper nutrition, or that you are not getting enough physical activity. 

  4. 4. Mental fatigue

    Mental exhaustion, much like physical sluggishness, has a lot to do with sleep and nutrition habits. Some may also be a little surprised to see the difference regular exercise makes in mental energy. Exercise helps oxygen flow to the brain better, giving it more fuel.

  5. 5. Self-criticism 

    Although it is good to assess your flaws as well as your strengths, it is very easy to overdo it. Being too hard on yourself only decreases your self-esteem and puts more stress on yourself. You then have less energy. Thoughts such as “I’m not good enough,” or “I should be as good as (insert name) at (insert activity)” are not conducive to improving yourself or your performance!

  6. 6. Too many worries

    Some of us are prone to overthinking. Yes, you may have a lot on your schedule, but having all of your concerns float around in your head all the time will only promote restlessness. Try writing down all of your events and anxieties in a planner or notebook that you can consult whenever you need to. Also, keep worries about past and future events to a minimum. These thoughts are not helpful because they cannot change the past and they cannot control the future! Some thinking-ahead is constructive, but not to the point of obsessiveness. 

  7. 7. Lack of emotional awareness

    Being able to identify your emotions is a vital skill because emotions tell you what action (or inaction) you need to take. You may be unable to act in the appropriate way, leading to the emotions getting clogged up in your body. For example, if you fail to recognize your frustration at incoming due dates, you might not be able to realize that you should try to talk to your professor about getting an extension. If you do not realize your sadness toward a close friend moving away, you will remain in a perpetual sad state until you can (appropriately) grieve or come to terms with it. Meditation helps develop emotional intelligence.

  8. 8. Feeling emotions related to the past or future

    In order to function properly, you have to vent your emotions as they arise. Feeling emotions, specifically negative ones, related to past events means that you are constantly revisiting that negative experience. You cannot change the past. Revisiting prior experiences is futile and will only lead to more stress. It is also a sign that you have to come to terms with the past. Likewise, thinking negative about the future will set yourself up to attract a negative future. 

  9. 9. More sensitive than usual

    Some of us are more sensitive to our environment than others, and that’s OK! It only becomes a problem when you are more reactive than you usually are. Emotional hyperactivity may be a result of increased stress on your mind or your body. It is up to you to be self-aware enough to determine where the stress is coming from so that you can cope with it accordingly. 

  10. 10. Not getting enough alone time or not spending enough time with people

    The amount of time needed and alone versus spent socializing varies from person to person. If you are more introverted, you may need more alone time than someone someone who is more extroverted to regain your energy, and that is OK! 

These symptoms do not stand in isolation the majority of the time. A lack in one category leads to detriments in all of the others! For example, being overwhelmed with thoughts and worries can lead you to become emotionally hypersensitive to your environment and to things that wouldn’t usually trigger you. 

Self-care is about taking the time to balance these aspects of yourself. Again, if you are struggling to do so, you should consult a health professional who can give you one-on-one advice and treatment of you state of being.