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Take Care: Self-Care Awareness
Self-care is not treating yourself to a chocolate fudge brownie sundae or spending the whole weekend watching rom coms. Self-care is anything that helps you take good care of your body, mind, and spirit – whether that’s a solitary walk in the woods, a bubble bath, or a healthful meal. The key question to ask yourself is this: Will this activity bring me long-term happiness and support my overall well-being, or is it a quick fix that will ultimately leave me feeling even worse than before? Self-care is choosing what’s right for future you.
Why Self-Care Is Important
Many people – myself included – find it hard to take time for regular self-care practices. Sometimes it can seem that your responsibilities to your job, your spouse, or your kids don’t leave you any time for yourself. But taking care of yourself gives you the energy and resilience to tackle the challenges in your life. And if you have kids, seeing you take care of yourself sets a good example for them and helps them establish healthy habits of their own. But aside from all that, you deserve it, just for you!
Levels of Self-Care
Jane Taylor of Habits for Well-being breaks self-care into 8 different levels:
1. Physical Self-Care
Taking care of yourself physically is the most basic level of self-care. That means getting enough sleep, movement, and healthy nutrition.
2. Psychological Self-Care
The level of psychological self-care is where you learn new things, practice mindfulness, and explore your creativity.
3. Emotional Self-Care
On the emotional level, you take steps to manage your stress, while developing compassion for yourself and others.
4. Social Self-Care
Part of caring for yourself is maintaining social relationships, even if it’s just one or two really good friends – people that you can trust and confide in.
5. Financial Self-Care
You may not think of monitoring your spending as “self-care,” but taking care not to live outside your means is actually one of the best ways you can take care of yourself!
6. Spiritual Self-Care
Call it “spirituality,” call it “religion,” call it “faith.” Whatever you call it, this is the level where you connect with something greater than yourself.
7. Environmental Self-Care
Your immediate environment has a big impact on how you feel. When you practice environmental self-care, you rid your home and office of clutter, so it creates a feeling of peace.
8. Professional Self-Care
This is the level where you share your strengths and gifts with the world. It’s about living your purpose.
Hopefully thinking of self-care in these broad terms will help you to see that even when you’re doing mundane things, like picking up around the house or balancing your checkbook, you’re actually practicing self-care! Of course, you also want to throw some truly enjoyable things in there, like losing yourself in a good book or going for a hike. Just remember, there’s no pressure to master all eight of these levels at once! At Juice Plus+, we’re all about One Simple Change.
7 Tips for Self-Care
So how do you get started taking better care of yourself? Here are 7 of my favorite ways, culled from this article by Psychology Today:
1. Get enough sleep. Sleep affects not just your physical body, but your emotional well-being too. Prioritize it.
2. Move. Same goes for exercise: its benefits go beyond the physical to helping reduce anxiety and boost mood.
3. Learn to say no. It’s okay not to take on more projects when you’re close to burnout. It takes practice, but you can learn to say no to others and yes to self-care.
4. Get outside. Nature heals -- get into it.
5. Spend some time organizing. A little less clutter goes a long way toward freeing up your mental space.
6. Schedule a date with yourself. If you wait until everyone else’s needs are met, you’ll never have time to meet your own. Schedule your self-care time, and be fierce about guarding it.
7. Eat right. Your food is your fuel, and may be the number one contributor to whether you age well or poorly.
About That Last One…
According to Dr. Tina Jones of Emory Adventist Hospital in Smyrna, Georgia, many of us are not focusing on getting the quality of nutrition we need consistently. Luckily, Juice Plus+ can help.
“Juice Plus+ helps correct the American diet,” she says. “The things you can get from taking Juice Plus+ you may not necessarily see or feel but the research shows us what it does in the human body and that is very, very comforting.” You can check out the Juice Plus research here.
One of the things that happens when people take Juice Plus+, as we’ve learned through our Family Health Survey, is that a small commitment inspires bigger steps, like eating more fruits and vegetables, consuming less fast food, and drinking more water and fewer sugary beverages.
Self-Care for Kids
Kids need self-care, too. That could mean some downtime every day, away from electronic devices, to read, climb a tree, or daydream. It could also mean spending some bonding time with you, by helping you cook dinner or playing a card game together. What helps a kid feel calm and happy will differ for every child, but try to build space and time into your little one’s day for whatever that is.
What are your biggest self-care challenges? Which level do you feel you need to work on most?
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