Self-care is often misunderstood.
It is typically understood as “treating ourselves.” This isn’t the kind of self-care that is most impactful to our overall mental, emotional and physical health.
The self-care I like to focus on with my clients is the small acts of kindness and renewal that we can fit into our days in doable doses.
Consistent self-care habits increase well-being, vitality, and longevity over our lifetime.
We don’t need to take a vacation, go to the spa, or spend a night out for the kind of self-care that is most important. We don’t need to make ourselves wait for these special occasions to feel more balanced and at peace. Of course, we want to treat ourselves in these ways sometimes, but this alone, will not sustain us if we have a good dose of a stressful lifestyle going on.
The self-care I am talking about are things like getting enough sleep, enough nutrition, enough exercise, and enough renewing activities and experiences daily. We need to stop putting this on the back burner of our lives.
You can know that these practices are important, but only you can bestow the gift of self-care onto yourself. But before you can begin bestowing, you’ve got to first recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself as you do others.
How do you do this?
By noticing the ways in which you are currently not taking very good care of yourself.
Here are 5 signs you aren’t practicing self-care. If any seem familiar, it is time to make more time for yourself:
1. You Get Sick More Often
When we don’t take proper care of ourselves, our health takes a big hit. Lack of proper sleep and nutrition can lead to a taxed immune system, which in turn makes you vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems.
2. Increased Moodiness
What happens when a child does not get the care and attention they deserve? They begin to act out in order to get any attention. In much the same way, a lack of self-care and feeling of unimportance can lead to increased irritability. Leaving this unchecked can result in personal and professional relationships being negatively affected.
3. Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
What can start out as unpleasant (and even scary) physical symptoms, can be a sign of poor self-care. Symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, headaches, and fainting spells. All of these symptoms should be checked out by your healthcare provider immediately.
4. A Feeling of Isolation
When you feel you don’t deserve to care for yourself, you naturally feel unworthy of enjoying other aspects of life, like socializing and a true connection to friends and family. This can lead to a detachment of others and a sense of isolation.
5. Anxiety & Depression
Feelings of worthlessness and anxiety can snowball into feelings of hopelessness and depression. If you have noticed yourself slipping farther and farther into a depression, it may be time to start working with someone who can help you increase meaning and value in your life.
If you or a loved one is experiencing anxiety, depression or would simply like some help practicing self-care, please be in touch with me. I would be more than happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.