It's Okay to Put Yourself First!
Have you ever been on an airplane before? If you have, I'm assuming that you've heard the flight attendants tell you how important it is to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. Well, the same thing goes for self care.
It's extremely hard, if not impossible, to help other people when you're struggling to survive yourself. At this point, some of you may be thinking: "oxygen masks on an airplane seems a little more life threatening than taking a few minutes to myself each day", but let me put it into perspective for you.
Taking as little as 15 minutes every day to do something for yourself can improve your life dramatically! When you take the time to do things that you love, that make you happy, you will notice that you have more patience, you're nicer, happier, more productive and better at dealing with issues and stress. Doctors and health specialists around the world have found that stress is one of the leading causes of disease and illness today. Specifically, stress has been linked to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, strokes and more. If you forget to, or choose not to put yourself first and take care of yourself first, it's very likely that you could eventually end up ill or burnt out, which will not only cost you a lot of money, but also time. Instead of letting it get to this point, we need to find things that we can start doing every single day to take care of ourselves and put ourselves first.
So, now that we know why putting ourselves first is so important, here are a few of my favourite self care activities that I try to implement into my daily routine.
Meditation is one of my favourite self-care activities. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just a little down meditation is a sure fire way to pick yourself up.
I'm sure by now, you've heard of the plentiful benefits of meditation, and maybe you think it's just not for you. But I urge you to give it a try, start with just 5 minutes in the morning, middle of the day or before bed. The best thing about meditation is that it's free, easy and you can do it just about anywhere. There are plenty of free youtube videos and podcasts that offer guided meditations, or if that's not really your thing, just sit down comfortably for a few minutes, focus on your breathing and quiet your mind and thoughts as best you can.
Alright, I'm sure you were all expecting this answer, coming from a fitness enthusiast like myself, but the physical and mental benefits of exercise are just too good to ignore. Exercise is a great self care activity because it doesn't have to be expensive, you get your body moving and I guarantee you you'll feel amazing once you're done and those endorphins are high. Try a bunch of different things, like yoga, running, group fitness classes, and more! You are bound to find something that you love and once you do you'll be looking forward to it every day.
3. Take a Walk Outside
Getting outside in nature is another great way to take care of yourself and put yourself first. Similar to meditation and exercise, getting some fresh air has undeniable physical and mental health benefits.
If you have a dog, this is a great way to give him a walk, and take some time to yourself, get some fresh air and exercise at the same time. Don't have a dog? That's okay, call up a friend to go on a hike with you and enjoy both the nature and the friendly conversation.
4. Read a Good Book
Sitting down in a nice comfy chair and curling up with a good book will always be one of my favourite ways to unwind and take some time for myself. Reading can be a nice and necessary escape from reality, while also preserving your brain health. You can even kick this up a notch and get some fresh air by reading outside or draw yourself a nice hot bath to soak in while you read.
So there you have it, four of my favourite self care activities! Now, I know that all of this is easier said than done, but I challenge you to try implementing just one self care activity every single day and see how much better you feel in a couple weeks time. And remember, you are worth it!! It's not selfish to take care of yourself, it's necessary, and once again, it doesn't have to be something time consuming, even just 15 minutes a day to put yourself first can improve your life so much. Comment down below and let me know your favourite self care activity or if you've tried implementing anything new into your self care routine and how it's going for you! I would love to hear your thoughts and stories.