Why It's Important to Take Care of Yourself

Friday, March 25, 2016

The world that we live in today is chaotic to say the least. For some, it's an organized chaos. But for others, that might not be the case. Expectations are rising, everyone is racing against time to get more done, and in the meantime spending less and less time taking care of themselves.

Today I wanted to talk about why I believe it's worth taking the time to slow down and spend some alone time with yourself. Now I understand that every person is built & functions differently, so I don't expect everyone to agree with what I'm about to share, but it's worth thinking about nevertheless.
I think there's a lot of pressure put on us to always be doing something with our lives and our time. Sometimes other people put this pressure on us, sometimes it's social media, and sometimes we may be putting that pressure on ourselves. I have been subject to all of these instances and it started to burn me out. Since I'm and introvert and have an INFJ personality, this affects me more directly and maybe more quickly then people with another personality type. However, regardless of what your personality type is, we all need to take time to ourselves every once in a while to recharge our batteries. If we're tired and stressed out, we get grouchy, get irritated more quickly, and at some point start taking it out on the people we love the most. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't really take care of others, and eventually our relationships with others suffer tremendously.

It's okay to not spend one weekend going to parties or engaging in multiple social activities. Once in a while, spend a night in by yourself doing the things YOU really enjoy, where you don't have to entertain anyone or take care of someone else. Want to watch 3 hours of your favorite show on Netflix? Go for it. Don't feel like cooking dinner today? Order out and have a little feast for yourself. Slowing down gives us the chance to do what we ENJOY instead of doing something that's required of us. Some people think it's selfish to do this, but self-care is crucial. While it's important to be there for our families and make sure we're taking care of them, it's also important for you to be there for yourself. Lastly, it's just as important to let our significant other or family members take a night for themselves too.

What I Like To Do (in no particular order):

1) Put away my electronics: I really don't like to have my phone on me when I'm home alone spending some quality time with myself. I put it in the other room and walk away from it. There's only one exception to this rule, which I will talk about next.

2) Call my favorite person: Sometimes, taking care of your self consists of talking to the person that makes you laugh, comforts you, and speaks to your soul. Often times we find these qualities in multiple people. The only time I have my phone on me during alone time is if I'm talking to one of my close friends.

3) Cook my favorite food:  I enjoy cooking as a hobby, so this isn't a big chore for me. There's nothing better than to eat your comfort food and please your tastebuds on your night off.

4) Watch Netflix: I don't think I really need to explain this one ;)

5) Take a bubble bath: It's so relaxing and comforting to soak in a tub and let go of all my worries. It's also great for sore muscles and an easy way to pamper your body.

6) Clean: Yes, I said clean. I'm one of those weirdos who actually enjoys cleaning and finds comfort in it. Having a clean space to live in somehow soothes me, go figure.

Here are a few things you can do on your night in

1) Get into your pajamas super early
2) Go for a walk
3) Read a book
4) Write in your journal
5) Give yourself a mani/pedi
6) Watch your favorite shows/movies
7) Spend some time outside
8) Take a nap
9) Paint or do a DIY project
10) Try out a new recipe
11) Meditate
12) Go to the gym
13) Get a coloring book and color! (Trust me, it feels great to channel your inner child & color again)
14) Turn off all electronics
15) Have a dance party (Go crazy! No one's watching)
16) Clean your room (Or am I the only one who finds cleaning soothing?)
17) Pour yourself a glass of wine
18) Write down the things you're grateful for
19) Go swimming
20) Sleep!

I've found through experience that setting some time apart for myself lifts my spirits and I'm more at peace with myself and those around me. If I've taken the time to slow down and enjoy the present for a few hours, I feel stronger, more optimistic, and better prepared to face challenges. Slowing down to appreciate life and what we have been blessed with makes us feel joyous. When we feel that way, we pass that happiness on to others through our smiles, our gestures, our patience, and our kindness towards them. So take a break from your busy life today, turn off your electronics for an hour, or simply say no to making plans for one night and treat yourself. Enjoy your own company and allow yourself to feel the joy. 

How often do you take out time for yourself? What do you like to do during your night in?

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