5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself

We probably all acknowledge that we need to look after ourselves and know the consequences of NOT doing so - poor physical and mental or emotional health, damaged relationships and generally a low quality of life. But somehow the combination of work, families, friends, and responsibilities can mean it is very tough to actually DO it.

Many people find they have to ‘look after’ others, children, ill or aging relatives and suddenly your needs can end up bottom of the pile. The other reason of course is the sometimes people don’t actually think they are deserving - they feel guilty whenever they try to make time to take care of themselves or put their needs above the needs of others. This is often because of some of their sub-conscious beliefs about their own self-worth. Even if you have the responsibility of caring for others it is still vital, possibly even more so that you take care of yourself, so here’s some ways to start.

Learn to say NO

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Self Confidence

It can be tough because there is a part of all of us that likes to please others but sometimes we just have to say ‘no’. Whether it is to staying late at work again, helping out a mate (which we will all do sometimes but there are times when it is ok not to) or simply doing something you don’t want to do- maybe an outing you don’t fancy or a family get together that you just don’t want to attend. Clearly it wouldn’t be healthy for us to say NO to everything all the time but sometimes it is the best answer you can give and it might be the only way to look after yourself.

Basics First

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Ways To A Peaceful Mind

Taking care of ourselves involves certain ‘universals’. We all need to get enough sleep, have a balanced diet rich in nutrients and make sure we all need some exercise. If you are too busy to fit these in on a regular basis then you are too busy and if you are to take care of yourself something has to change. Skipping lunch the odd day or eating fast food occasionally won’t do too much harm neither will the odd very late night or spell of no exercise but if that becomes the pattern then life is lacking balance and there will be consequences for your health and well-being.

Fulfilling Relationships

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Long Distance Relationship

Humans are social creatures and we all need some relationships with others, friends, family, partners etc. But they need to be good. If relationships drain you or pour negativity and criticism into your life then time spent with those people needs to be limited for your own good. You may not be able, or want to end the relationships completely BUT you can put in some boundaries - and you need to for your own good.

Gratitude

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Positive Affirmations for Health

Sometimes we can take a lot for granted and when we literally count our blessings it seems to have a good impact on our own sense of well-being. Of course it is all about our attitude and when we start to focus on the positive and not all the things that aren’t right it can change how we feel and that is good for our mental and emotional health, which in turn helps us to maintain good physical health.

Time for YOU

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 Keep Going Like it Does

The phrase ‘me time’ is perhaps over used but although it might be a luxury, many of our ancestors may have had to work so hard for survival there probably wasn’t much time for ‘me time’- it is something that is good for us. If you want to take care of yourself make sure you build in some ‘me time’ into your schedule. It may a short time each day, curling up with your favourite TV show or book, meeting a friend for a drink and chat, enjoying a long luxurious bath, going for a walk or indulging in a hobby. Or it maybe something longer but less often, an away day, spa or holiday. Ideally some regular short times and some more occasional longer times would be good -times when you can relax but also some times when you might be active doing things you want to do. The essential thing is that you do get some time just for you.

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury if you want to maintain health it is essential so make sure you plan how you intend to take care of yourself and then make sure you do.

BySheila Mulvenney

After initially training as a nurse then teacher, I worked in care and education settings and then with local authorities and independent organisations for many years. In 2013 I trained as a therapist and started my own business, Attuned Education, offering tuition, training, therapy, coaching and consultancy. My first book ‘Ready to Learn’ aims to help teachers address the emotional needs of troubled children and young people and is due to be published By Worth Publishers in the next few months. My partner and I have three grown up children and onegrandson, and we share a love of music, travel, food and fun.

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