Even when you know how important self care is to your wellbeing, it isn’t always easy to incorporate it into your daily routine.
We’re sharing 5 signs to look out for and what you can do it about it.
Self care is often seen as a luxury, but did you know good self care can lead to a longer, happier life? Without self-care, you’re likely to end up feeling stressed, tired, and generally unhappy.
5 Signs You Need Self Care
If you’re struggling to make healthier changes in your life, it could be that you’re not convinced a change is needed. Many of us are great at avoiding change. It tends to be something we dread, rather than look forward to.
However, if you want to live your best life, it’s imperative you recognise when a change is needed.
How exactly can you recognise that change is needed in your life? Below, you’ll discover five common signs to look out for.
1. You feel lost or stuck in life
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you have lost your purpose? This is a sure sign that a change is needed. Everyone has a purpose, but it isn’t always easy to identify it. Also, your purpose can change as you get older and go through life’s experiences.
If you feel like your life isn’t your own anymore, it’s time to make a change.
2. Your mood is consistently flat
Another sign change is needed is if you find your mood is constantly flat. That is, you don’t really enjoy anything anymore. You don’t have to feel depressed to make a change, simply feeling constantly flat is another indicator your life isn’t satisfying.
Think about the things that used to make you feel good. It could be that you once enjoyed your career. If you now don’t like your job, it’s a sign you need to make a change to get back to feeling that initial excitement.
3. You’re suffering with poor self esteem
Low self-esteem can develop for a lot of different reasons. However, it tends to be more prevalent in people who don’t take care of themselves. If you lack self-care, you may criticise yourself more or feel like you aren’t worth much.
Over time, poor self-esteem can lead you to feel like you don’t deserve good things in life. This in turn can cause you to give up trying to be happy.
If you suffer with poor self-esteem, it is a good sign you need a change.
4. You have very little energy
Having little energy throughout the day could be a sign of poor sleep. However, it can also relate to a deeper issue if you are constantly tired. It may mean that you have lost your passion and interest in life. When you spend a lot of time doing things that don’t inspire you, it can zap your energy quickly.
So, if you wake up feeling tired and drained consistently, take it as a sign.
When you are taking care of yourself, you’ll feel energized and ready to take on anything.
5. You’re experiencing physical symptoms that have no determined cause
Holistically, all areas of the pillars of wellbeing have an effect on each other. So if one is off-kilter it will have an effect on other areas. If you’re not taking care of yourself, symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, headaches, and fainting spells.
Self-care can really help to improve self-esteem, give you a sense of purpose and help to make you feel happier and more energised.
If you want to make a change, recognise where your current issues lie and use self-care to eliminate them.
If you’re not convinced a lack of self-care can lead to you being unhappy, here are some more signs.
Feeling stressed and exhausted
When you aren’t taking care of yourself, you’ll often feel stressed and exhausted. This in turn can lead to burnout and a feeling of resentment. For example, it could be that you are exhausted from taking care of everyone else’s needs. Over time, if you don’t factor in self-care, you could end up resenting your loved ones.
When you are constantly exhausted and stressed out, it’s impossible to maintain a positive outlook. Self-care helps to combat stress and it also boosts your energy levels.
Personal hygiene suffers
A side effect of not following a self-care routine is that your personal hygiene could suffer. This is especially true for those experiencing depression. When you are depressed or low, caring for yourself is the last thing on your mind. In severe cases, you could spend days in bed, failing to do even basic tasks such as taking a shower or brushing your teeth.
The trouble is, failing to take care of yourself leads you to feel even worse. So, maintaining self-care is crucial for your mental health and personal hygiene.
Seeking unhealthy enjoyment
Another thing that tends to happen is you’ll seek unhealthy enjoyment. It could be overindulging in junk food because it makes you feel better. Or you could turn to alcohol or drugs to escape.
When you start turning to unhealthy habits for comfort, it’s going to lead to additional issues. You’ll also feel unhappier, particularly if you drink in excess. Alcohol is a depressant which can leave you feeling a lot worse than you started.
Many people who don’t take care of themselves, experience some level of weight gain. The more weight you gain, the unhappier you are going to be. It can be difficult to lose weight, so focus on self-care to help you to avoid this potential challenge.
You never feel good enough
Self-care is something you do because you are worth it. Therefore, if you fail to take care of yourself, you can end up feeling like you are never good enough. As you are constantly tired and juggling life’s responsibilities, you may feel like you are a failure, or you simply don’t measure up to others.
If you’re looking to lead a happier life, now is the time to start focusing on your needs and making this a priority.
Why do people fail at taking care of themselves?
Being aware of why people generally fail will give you the knowledge to succeed.
Self care is often perceived as selfish
One of the main reasons people fail to take care of themselves is because they feel it is selfish. It could be that you feel guilty when you take time to focus on you. Or, you may worry what other people think, or that you are a terrible parent for not focusing solely on your children’s needs.
If you need validation to take some time for yourself, joining in self care Sunday might be the perfect answer for you.
It is a total myth that self care is selfish. In fact, it can help you to be a better parent, friend, spouse and relative.
Self care Tips: The more you take care of yourself, the easier you’ll find it to take care of others. You’ll also show your children the importance of looking after themselves. Teaching them to take care of their own needs is a crucial life skill that’s going to help them to grow up to be happier adults.
It requires effort
There is no getting away from the fact that self-care does take some level of effort in the beginning.
When you aren’t used to making self-care a priority, you’re going to need to make quite a few changes to your routine.
Coming up with a self-care plan can feel like a chore, making it easy to put it off. However, there are ways to reduce the effort.
Focusing on one thing you want to improve at a time can really help.
Perhaps you’d like to start working out more? Scheduling time to exercise as soon as you wake up for example, can be a great start. Or, if you’re looking to drink more water, focus on that goal first.
Self Care Tips: If you break down your self-care tasks, it makes them much easier, reducing a lot of the effort involved.
Different approaches work for different people
Every one of us is different, which means we enjoy and dislike different things. When you look at examples of self-care, you’ll find a lot of them relate to things like reading a book or taking a hot bubble bath. These types of activities aren’t for everyone so you might feel this really isn’t for you.
Self-care isn’t just bubble baths, yoga, and meditation. It is anything that relaxes and takes care of you. So, if you find going for a run is a more effective way of feeling good, that would be classed as self-care.
Self care Tips: If you find one approach isn’t working, try something else. Self-care should be personal to your own needs.
It can be difficult overcoming the initial barriers to self-care. However, once you fully understand what and how important it is, you’ll find it much easier to stick to a routine.
Common Blind Spots
When it comes to working on self-care, all of us have different blind spots. These are basically aspects of our ourselves that we aren’t fully aware of. It could be personality traits, feelings, or actions.
These blind spots can really hamper our efforts. That is why it is so important to become fully aware of them.
What are your blind spots?
You avoid conflict
A lot of people hate conflict, but sometimes it is needed to resolve situations.
If you tend to avoid conflict, it means you’ll often do or say things you don’t necessarily agree with. This is a common blind spot that can really derail your self-care efforts.
The trouble is, when you give in to others just to avoid conflict, it reduces your credibility. You’ll also find you are frequently miserable due to not standing firm in your own beliefs and values.
Self Care Tips: If your blind spot is avoiding conflict, it’s important to address it.
Not letting toxic people go
Do you have toxic people in your life you just can’t seem to let go of? Whether it is a friend, partner, or family member, associating with toxic people is going to really hurt your self-development.
If you learn to let toxic people go, it’s going to significantly improve your life. You’ll be happier and much more able to make positive changes in your life.
It’s hard to remain positive in life when you are surrounded by negativity.
Self care Tips: Assess the relationships in your life and if there is a toxic person around you, work on distancing yourself and instead surround yourself with positive role models.
You are continually late
Frequently running late might not sound like a problematic blind spot in self-care. However, it could be negatively impacting various aspects of your life.
When you are known for being late, it lowers your trustworthiness. This can negatively impact your personal relationships, as well as lead to issues at work.
In terms of self-care, this trait can make it harder to stick to certain changes you make. For example, you may find it more difficult to stick to a schedule you set yourself.
If you tend to be an impatient person, you may find self-care more challenging. This is because you won’t necessarily see any results overnight.
It takes time to adopt new habits and see the benefits. So, if you’re impatient, you might give up before you’ve experienced the benefits of your hard work.
When you are impatient, it makes you frustrated when you don’t see instant results. So, working on becoming more patient as you start your self-care journey is essential if you want to keep it up.
Identifying your blind spots will help you to reduce the challenges and make you much more likely to succeed with any changes you make.
If you’re looking to lead a happier life, now is the time to start focusing on your needs and making self-care a priority.
How to Balance Practicing Self Care with a Busy Life
One of the most difficult challenges a lot of people face is finding the time to fit it in. When you live a busy lifestyle, it can seem almost impossible to find extra time to look after you.
How can you balance practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle? Here, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.
Schedule it in
A good tip you can follow to ensure you can fit self-care into your busy routine, is to schedule it in. Think about it, you schedule in everything else, so why not self-care?
When you set a time to focus on yourself, you are much more likely to stick to it. No matter how busy you think you are, there will always be time somewhere in your schedule.
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Establish a morning routine
If you are struggling to find the best time of day to practice self-care, you might find it easier in the morning. If you’re a busy parent, you might disagree here but think about it. In the morning, you could get up just 30 minutes earlier, or 15 minutes if you want. This can be the perfect opportunity to practice self-care.
Alternatively, if you are a parent you could focus on self-care in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed. It doesn’t take long to practice self-care so you should always be able to squeeze it in somewhere.
Look at automating daily tasks
There are all kinds of tools and gadgets that can automate various aspects of our lives. If you are constantly busy, you’ll find automating certain tasks can be a game changer.
For example, you could switch from going to the supermarket, to ordering your food shopping online. If you have items you frequently purchase, these can be added to your favorites list, making it easier to add them to your order next time. Doing your food shopping online can free up a lot of free time during the week.
You don’t have to start by completely overhauling your lifestyle. Instead, you can start small.
Begin by taking just 10 minutes out of each day to focus on an activity. Focus on developing one positive self-care habit at a time. Once you have mastered that, you can move on to the next task.
By starting small, it makes it easier to fit self-care into your busy life. Many people mistakenly think they need to begin with at least 30 minutes a day. The truth is, however much time you can free up is enough. Once you get started, you’ll find it easier to start focusing more on self-care due to the benefits you experience.
Overall, balancing practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle isn’t easy. However, the tips above can really help. You’ll find a lot of tips online too from busy people just like you.
Self care is essential to your health and wellbeing. Make it a priority NOW.