better self-care

In life, things have to change if we want to grow and be our best. But change is scary, and you can’t do it without taking care of yourself first. Here are some tips for better self-care that can push you to grow.

Defining Better Self-Care

It’s not always easy to know what, exactly, self-care is. You can think about it this way: self-care is anything you do for yourself that makes you healthier and happier. According to psychologist Dr. Jody Kircher, a lack of self-care can leave you moody, sick, isolated, and depressed. Each of these is a hindrance to personal growth.

Small Changes, Big Results

If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Many people are intimidated at the thought of actively practicing self-care. You don’t have to be fearful, and there are plenty of ways to get started without changing your entire lifestyle. These include things like updating your diet, getting more sleep, and simply surround yourself with the right people.

Eating well means eliminating unhealthy foods, such as drive-through French fries and cakes, from your everyday meal plan. You can indulge in a treat occasionally, but the majority of your food should be in its healthiest form. The University of Minnesota explains that food, rather the nutrients in food, are what tell our body how to function. If you eat blueberries, for example, your body receives antioxidants, which help fight cancer. But if you eat blueberry-flavored products, like a fruit rollup, your body doesn’t know what to do with it. You will likely gain weight, which can lead to a host of diseases, including obesity.

Sleeping is something many of us take for granted. While we know we have to get some sleep at night, we often stay so busy during the day that it’s hard to wind down at lights out. But, you have to get enough sleep so that your body can heal from the day before. Strive for at least seven hours during the week, and eight to nine hours each night on the weekends.

When it comes to the people you’re around, positivity is key. When you are trying to grow as a person, the positive influences in your life will help you by encouraging you to keep going when you’re ready to give up. You’ll also be surrounded by positive thoughts, which can help you be a happier and more grateful person overall.

Major Transitions

Sometimes, self-care might look like a major life transition, such as buying a new home. If you’re planning to start a home-based business, for example, you might need to move out of your small apartment or into an area that allows commercial transactions to take place in a residential zone. But these types of actions can cause stress if you don’t spend time to research and prepare ahead of time. When you’re buying a home, look online to decide what you can afford in your preferred area. Look at housing trends as well as coach requirements in your next ZIP code if you are moving for a specific purpose. The more you know, the better you’ll be equipped to face challenges.

Moving may be one of the hardest decisions that you’ll ever make, but it can open you up to new opportunities and give you a fresh start, which is especially beneficial if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or starting over after divorce.

If your current job has you feeling unfulfilled and exhausted, it may be time for a career change. If you’re passionate about starting a business, becoming a teacher or nurse, or working in a tech field, going back to school and earning an online degree could put you in line for a more rewarding career. Online programs are ideal for busy professionals and parents. Their flexible schedule will allow you to handle work and family responsibilities while you learn.

Schedule Matters

When you think about self-care, you probably don’t think about your daily schedule. But, you should. To make room for all of the growth that’s about to take place, you need to reorganize your days so that you work when you are most efficient and rest when you are not. The Brighton The Day blog points out that doing your hardest or most undesirable tasks first thing in the morning helps you get more done. This is because you begin to wear out as the day goes on, and you may have decision fatigue by the end of the day. Plus, doing the hard stuff early makes everything else seem like a breeze. This will result in a less stressed you that has more done at the close of each day.

When you organize your day, you may find that you have more time available to focus on other life changes, such as going back to school or strengthening the romantic relationship you have with your partner. While no one can give you more than 24 hours in any day, how you spend them matters.

Better Self-Care Based on Your Personality

If you’re still not sure what type of self-care measures to take, take a look at your personality. Everyone falls into a personality type – there are nine on The Enneagram human psyche model – and this can guide you toward what might fuel your soul in the best way. For example, Type 8 people, which are known as assertive and protective, may benefit from a winding down routine, such as a warm bath. Type 2 personalities may get the most out of self-reflection.

Getting to know your personality type can also help you see your strengths and your weaknesses. For example, a Type 5, which is known to isolate in an unhealthy way, may achieve their greatest self by establishing a self-care routine that helps them be more confident and energetic. An example might be to travel more or establish relationships with people that get them out of their comfort zone.

Self-care is intimate and personal. But, we all need it. Regardless of where you are on your road toward being your best self, the things you do will help or hinder your journey. You give yourself the tools you need to feel your best, you will be your best. Remember, growth only comes to those who change, and taking care of yourself may be the best change you will ever make.

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