Self-care is one thing they don’t teach you in school but is nonetheless a critical skill you need to learn.
Unfortunately, it’s common for many people to neglect caring for themselves, which can have both short- and long-term effects on physical and mental health. To improve your wellbeing, try to stop these common behaviors.
1. Stop Treating Sleep as an Afterthought
Getting poor sleep has an all-encompassing negative effect on your physical and mental health. Without a healthy sleep pattern, you increase your risk of developing a variety of illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and psychiatric disorders. Your life expectancy even suffers.
It is thus vital to your wellbeing that you practice good sleep habits. Sleep needs vary from person to person, with some people requiring nine hours of sleep to feel rested and others only need seven. The eight-hour rule is pretty much a myth, as eight hours may be too much or too little for you, and you shouldn’t force yourself to get eight hours if it doesn’t feel right to you.
Getting good-quality sleep begins with having proper sleep hygiene. This means doing things that help your sleep, such as having a consistent sleep schedule, and not doing things that hinder your sleep, such as drinking alcohol before bed.
2. Stop Neglecting Exercise
If you have a mostly sedentary lifestyle, you’re not doing your health any favors. Neglecting your body’s need for exercise causes a variety of issues, such as weakening your muscles and bones and upping your risk of heart problems. According to several studies, there is a strong link between exercise and health.
Ideally, you should exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to maximize its benefits. However, even a little exercise is preferable to having none at all. If you can’t fit in five days per week, just getting in a brief workout during the weekends can be beneficial.
Exercising isn’t just for your physical health. It can also boost your mood and self-esteem and help to ease
depression and anxiety by promoting the production of four feel-good brain chemicals: epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. This is why exercise is so commonly recommended by healthcare professionals of all kinds, from general practitioners to mental health workers.
3. Stop Burning Yourself Out
Job burnout is all too common. One survey found that 23% of workers felt burnt out more than half the time and 44% did at least some of the time. When you’re burnt out, you may feel exhausted physically and emotionally while lacking the motivation to do your best work.
There are many ways to deal with job burnout, all of which are tied to good self-care. Socializing with someone to whom you’re close, refraining from alcohol and caffeine, or talking to your employer can all help manage burnout. There are also local resources from NAMI-UW that may be able to help.
If you’re a business owner, a virtual assistant can help ease your workload by scheduling appointments, performing personal errands, or managing events, for example. There are multitude of job boards that compare virtual assistants and their rates and experience levels and offer reviews.
If you want to improve your personal life, proper self-care allows you to keep yourself at your best. With just a little know-how and a few lifestyle adjustments, you can begin to change some of your bad habits today and start to feel happier and healthier.
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