Guest Blog: Four Self-Care Tips to Help You Be the Best Version of Yourself
By Brad Krause
The term “self-care” is often misunderstood as being synonymous with selfishness. Many hardworking people who are no stranger to self-sacrifice find it hard to see where they could fit self-care into their lives while they’re trying to provide for others. But the truth is, not taking the time to take care of ourselves can lead to exhaustion and high amounts of stress, and it can strain our relationships. In other words, taking care of yourself helps you take care of others. Here are four self-care tips that will help you be the best version of yourself—both for yourself and for others.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for healthy brain function. It’s during sleep that new pathways are formed, which help with learning and retaining information. Along with learning, sleep improves your problem-solving skills, attention span, decision-making, and creativity. Getting good sleep not only protects your mental health, it’s vital for your overall health and well-being. Sadly, too many people are living with some level of sleep deprivation because sleep is often the first sacrifice we make when our lives get busy. It’s a serious problem because persistent sleep deprivation can lead to chronic health problems, depression, and anxiety, as well as instant injuries and tragic accidents.
Make yourself relax!
I know what you’re thinking: making yourself relax sounds a little counterintuitive. But here’s what I mean: intentionally taking the time to relax and decompress will do wonders for your mind, and it will help you keep a balanced life and healthy perspective. There are many things you can do to relax and reduce stress in your life, such as spending some alone time, reorganizing your surroundings, creating a zen zone, sipping herbal tea, meditating, reading a book, doing breathing exercises, and the list goes on. Just find something you enjoy and set aside a small portion of your day for relaxation.
Just say “no”
Saying “no” can be so hard sometimes. No one likes to disappoint people, and sometimes that makes us feel like we have to say “yes” to everyone and everything. But there’s not enough time in the day for us to make endless commitments. The more people we try to please, the less room we leave for the ones closest to us, and the more stress we bring on ourselves. So don’t be afraid to say “no.” Sometimes it means saying “no” to friends, and sometimes it’s saying it to work. Sometimes it even means canceling plans to take care of yourself. The point isn’t to say “no” to everyone and everything, but it’s good to evaluate your life commitments and adjust them so that you can be the best version of yourself.
Get a hobby
Finding a hobby—one that’s unrelated to your occupation—is another great way to practice self-care. Hobbies help you step away from your everyday problems for a moment and de-stress after a long day. They can also serve as a creative outlet, and learning something new can add to your quality of life. For instance, learning to play a musical instrument can benefit your mental health in several ways. It’s known to improve comprehension and math skills, coordination, and memory. Furthermore, both sides of the brain are used when playing an instrument, which grows your capacity to learn. There are particularly great benefits to playing a woodwind instrument, such as stronger breathing and core muscles, better posture, and confidence under pressure. So do your research and learn how to rent or buy the right clarinet, saxophone, flute, etc.
Self-care is a critical part of improving your overall well-being. Getting enough sleep and taking time to relax are vital in protecting your mental health. Knowing when to say “no” will keep you from overcommitting, and finding a hobby will reduce stress and open up new opportunities. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish; it just helps you be the best you for yourself and others.
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