How-to-Self-Care

Sometimes developing habits to care for yourself can be hard and seem almost impossible, especially if you have a busy schedule and a hundred responsibilities that demand your attention during the day. Nevertheless, if you are reading this then you may be coming to terms with the reality that YOU are one of those responsibilities. Trust me, I understand where you are coming from and so, I’m going to try and help… Here are some of my self-care habits that may seem obvious but are very much needed, and in my experience, require practice and compromise:

  1. Recognize when you need a day off. Now, this might sound controversial because your homework seems to be screaming at you from your laptop but let me ask you... Are you doing your homework the way it should be done? Or are you mistakenly leaving important details and getting bad reviews from your professors? You won’t be able to give classes or job your 100% if you aren’t rested and that is why it is so important to recognize when you just need a break.

  2. Drink lots of water and take your vitamins. Daily vitamins will give you a surge of energy that you never thought possible. Also, you are 60-80% of water… and if you aren’t sure how much water you need here is a site that calculates that according to your weight, height and exercise routine: https://international.camelbak.com/en/hydrated/hydration-calculator

  3. Sleep. If you don’t know how many hours of sleep you actually need here is a cool experiment. First, pick a night of the week when you DON’T have to wake up early the next day. During the night, do not use your phone, laptop or tv… maybe read a book. Prepare your bedroom by using blinds (so the morning sun won’t bother you) and turn off your phone as well as anything that might disturb your sleep. As soon as you feel tired, go to sleep and check the time. Then when you instantly wake up in the morning, check the time and count. That will be approximate of how many hours of sleep your body requires. To develop sleep hygiene as a habit, you can visit: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene

  4. Eat your three meals a day: have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, try and minimize fast food… this has been the hardest self-care initiative for me. For me, dieting is the worst and not eating fatty foods is harder than doing exercise... I have never been one to “eat the greens” but I’m trying my best to incorporate at least one type of veggie in my daily meals and I know you can try your best too. Here is a good link for the development of your healthy eating habit: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm/

  5. And last but not least… be mindful. Developing mindfulness skills has helped me immensely in my self-care habits. Waking up to peaceful music (I prefer piano songs) and using guided meditations to go to sleep has made major improvements in how I feel during my day. Being mindful of how your body’s reactions, especially if it has been an agitated day, and practicing mindfulness techniques to ease the negative effects of that stress in your body. Some techniques worth practicing are diaphragmatic breathing, body scanning, mindful eating, and “awareness”. Here is a link, if you want to know more and want to develop mindfulness as a habit: https://www.pocketmindfulness.com/6-mindfulness-exercises-you-can-try-today/

Hope it helps!