Carving intentional time for self-care
Often-ignored but totally necessary, self-care is any action or behavior that helps us avoid triggering health problems (like increasing our risk for heart problems due to excess stress, for example) and benefits us by improving our mental and physical health through better self-esteem, less stress, and overall wellbeing. These behaviors help provide balance in an increasingly over-stimulating world. Self-care makes up an essential part of a healthy lifestyle that keeps us healthy, happy, and more in-tune with our minds and bodies.
It is often said that many self-care items are free or low cost. However, you do in fact have to negotiate cost benefits of the time you spend. Unfortunately, it is often the cost of time that stops many people no to intentionally practice self-care. There are many things you can do that are free or affordable. Your time is worth it!
Because people who are able to meet their own physical and emotional needs are typically better equipped to care for others, it may be especially important for parents of children with behavioral challenges or other special needs to maintain a self-care routine. Fatigue, stress, anxiety, and worry may have a significant effect on well-being, but attending to physical and emotional needs may help prevent or reduce the effects of these issues, foster self-compassion, and leave parents better able to meet the needs of their child.
Effective Self-Care Strategies
- Eat healthy foods
- Get between 6 – 8 hours of sleep per night
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Maintainsocial support
- Keep your mind active andsharp
- Reframe life circumstances in more positive, yet realistic, ways
- Regulateyour emotions and learn how to process them
- Practice regular moments of mindful awareness
- Take time out to reflect on how you are living your values
See next week’s article on the benefits of practicing self-care.