Self-care, an often neglected practice, is the care that is provided by you, for you. It can take on many forms, but at its core is a commitment to invest in your own health and well-being. As women, we give to many people around us. If we fail to give back to ourselves, we will eventually run out of resources to pour into others. That’s when burnout, frustration, and stress start to manifest in our lives.
Millenial females at risk
Stress is higher among women than men, and Millenials experience the highest stress among the generations. This leaves female millennials at risk. High levels of stress can lead to health ailments, psychological problems, and relationship struggles. Left unmanaged, stress can be fatal. Taking time to invest in a healthier lifestyle can reduce the amount of stress and improve overall well-being.
Self-care is not selfish
If we don’t care for ourselves, every other relationship we have will suffer and we as women, put great value in our relationships. Self-care will look different for each person. I don’t really enjoy shopping, so that type of activity doesn’t energize me, but for someone else, a trip to the mall might be just what they need to recharge. Take time to know yourself and listen to that inner voice telling you what she needs.
Get sufficient sleep – Sleep deprivation is a leading source of stress, so be sure to get enough sleep every night. Power naps are great for reducing stress too.
Healthy eating – Nutrient dense foods help your body fight against disease and strengthen it against the effects of stress.
Physical fitness – Working out helps to produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy.
Prayer/meditation – Prayer and meditation can be a source of comfort and help to change one’s perspective.
Reading – A good book can be more than an escape. Reading is said to relax the body and calm the mind.
Spend time with friends – Studies have shown that spending time with friends can help people to fight disease and cope with stressful situations.
Take a long bath – Some of the benefits of warm baths are pain relief, lower blood pressure and overall relaxation.
Unplug from gadgets – Technostress (the stress that comes from working with computers and other gadgets) is a relatively new form of stress. It can cause headaches, anxiety and physical problems (carpal tunnel, back pain). Unplug from your gadgets every so often to help your body reset itself.
Go for a walk at lunch – Too many of us work through our lunches and don’t take the break that we’re entitled to. Even a short 15-minute walk over lunch can significantly increase productivity.
Get a pet – Not only are pets lots of fun, they help to reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones and lowering heart rate.
Go shopping – Buy those shoes you’ve been looking at for weeks. Treating yourself to a well-deserved gift is a sure-fire way to reduce stress.
Being intentional and strategic about taking care of yourself is essential to your well-being. Start treating this practice as a necessity, rather than a luxury and start enjoying the benefits.