Self-care is not the same as being selfish. We all tend to lead busy and hectic lives, and sometimes; when you are so wrapped up in taking care of everyone else, be it your significant other, children, aging parents, high pressure job etc. we forget about ourselves. It’s important to remember that if we don’t take care of ourselves, eventually something will go wrong, and we won’t be able to care for the ones around us. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s important to be consistent with whatever works for you. There are a number of resources available on the internet and it’s always important to consult your family physician if you are planning on trying any new complementary and alternative form of medicine. There are a few basics to keep in mind and this article aims to help point you in the right direction and get started.
We can all get caught up in the daily grind and sometimes fail to stop to take note of what we are doing to care for ourselves. Self-care is often what is missing in most people's lives who feel overly stressed and/or leads a busy life. It’s really all about taking some time to pay attention to yourself. This isn’t narcissistic or selfish, but is more of a daily practice that ensures you are taking proper the proper steps to care for yourself. With consistent practice and integration into your daily life, it will lead you to an overall sense of well-being. It will also help prevent burnout and other adverse health effects. What can you do to get started? First off, it doesn’t have to be overly elaborate. We’ll go over some basics in this article. It’s really all about figuring out what works well for you and owing it to yourself to stick with it. In doing this, you’ll notice a nice boost in your well-being that will last as long as you keep up with the positive habits. In addition, you can add to your basic self-care routine over time if and when you feel confident you can take it on in order to build a healthier lifestyle!
Different Ways You Can Begin To Engage In Self-Care
A list of basics in self-care can include the following:
Being aware of yourself and your limits: Most of us tend to take on too much or bite off more than we can chew. Doing this consistently will lead to burnout. It’s important to take a moment and self-assess what you are capable of taking on and setting realistic goals.
Getting the sleep you need: Sleep is a big part of this and practicing good sleep “hygiene” over the long run will add years to your life and reduce your risk of developing other serious health issues. Your body likes routine and rhythm. A few things to keep in mind is keeping a consistent bedtime/wake-up and making sure your getting 7-9 hours in a night. It’s also important to keep your bedroom dark and free of any screens, lights, distractions and may disturb your sleep.
Go for a brief walk: This is a simple way to make exercise part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it can be different if it works better for you! Take the stairs at work, ride your bike, talk the dog out, whatever it is just make movement a part of your everyday. Your body will thank you for it.
Be mindful of what you choose to eat / making sure you’re well nourished: getting your nutrients in and drinking enough water during the day is something that most of us miss out on! Being mindful of how much water your actually drinking is very important. It’s the basis of all cellular life! Keep a water bottle with you or a tall glass at your desk. Be mindful to take small sips throughout the day and get a few glasses/bottles in. Sipping it slowly will reduce the frequency of bathroom trips. Making sure you’re eating a balanced diet doesn’t have to be hard either. Canada’s food guide is a great place to start! It was recently updated and reflects current research on what you should be eating to maintain a healthy nutritious diet.
Finding healthy ways to decompress: this is very personal and can vary greatly from person to person. The general idea here is to take some “you” time during the day, everyday. It can range from reading a book quietly before bed, taking sometime to connect and talk with a loved one, spending some time to meditate etc. Basically, a healthy simple way to distract your mind and thoughts from the daily grind.
How Hypnosis & Self-Hypnosis Can Help You Along
There is a mounting body of scientific evidence that is showing the efficacy of using hypnosis to manage your stress and overall sense of well-being. Using various visualization techniques while in this state can help you significantly reduce your stress and how to choose to respond to stress in future. Furthermore, practicing self-hypnosis regularly at home will help with maintenance and reinforcement which may lead to lasting results down the road. The good news is, when you start getting good at it, it will only take anywhere between 10-15 minutes of your day.
Incorporating this into your self-care routine could be a great evidence-based alternative.
Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy & Self-Hypnosis are very empowering and offer you invaluable tools to help you along in your daily life. If you are interested in learning more about the process please reach out and I’d be happy to help out.
If you have any questions, interested in trying out a session, or getting a personalized self-hypnosis recording made, please reach out and feel free to send me an e-mail.
Written By: Sebastian Di Cesare PhD, RHt - a research scientist & practicing Registered Hypnotherapist based in Vancouver, Canada.