Make Self-Care Your Priority in 2016

We have reached that pinnacle moment in the year. The time when New Year’s resolutions are in full bloom. Folks everywhere are deciding how they plan to better their lives over the course of the new year.

Personally, I try to come up with some form of goal or aspiration at the end of every year since opportunity for a fresh start is right around the corner. Being the TED talk addict that I am, I often times search for answers through the other’s experiences and ideas share in these inspiring speeches.

An excellent TED talk titled Igniting a Self-Care Revolution highlights the importance of basic self-care. Speaker Lori Moffett states that:

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of doctors visits are stress related.”

One of the easiest ways to eliminate stress is to account for basic self care. Meditate when you feel overwhelmed. Give yourself a proper break when you’re over exerting yourself. And actually take a minute to breathe when you are extremely stressed out.

Furthermore, a resource titled Social Work and Self Care created by Case Western University gives a clear cut definition of self-care:

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”

This explanation is spot on and evergreen.

When addressing your own self-care needs there are many questions you should ask, and the answers are usually logical. The answers to these are not complex; however, taking the time to reflect on your life and ask yourself these questions can be difficult. Make the time for yourself. Your needs are a top priority, and addressing them is a gateway to happiness. Keep in mind, everyone needs self-care, even counselors and social workers!

If you think you are selling your self-care needs short, ask yourself the following questions:

Are all of my basic needs addressed?
If not, simply address them! Take a warm shower if you need to, or put on sufficient clothing even if you don’t plan on leaving your house.

Am I thirsty? Am I hungry?
Get a drink of water, eat if it’s been over three hours since your last meal or snack.

What exact emotions are keeping me from self-help? Is it depression, anxiety, or something else?
Pinpoint your unhappiness and take it upon yourself to make progress. While changes don’t take place overnight, persistence and dedicating yourself to your own happiness will equate to positive changes.

Would exercising today make me feel better?
Sometimes a rush of endorphins is all you need to feel better!

Did I make enough time for myself over the course of my work week?
It’s okay to say no to hanging out with your friends if you need some time for yourself. They won’t take it personally if they truly care about you. Watch your favorite movie, finish that book you started three months ago, or just catch up on sleep if you are feeling deprived.

What can I do to feel more secure?
Make sure you feel safe. If you aren’t in a safe environment and are experiencing hostile behaviors, get to a safe zone. Do not feel ashamed of asking for help from someone close to you.

Am I worried about money? If so, what can I do?
If you have to ask for help, once again, there’s no shame in asking for assistance from someone you trust.

Does my life lack structure? What can I do to feel more organized?
Try making a list. Come up with a plan, long or short term, to better your life in some way.

Do I have an optimistic view on my life? How can I show myself the glass is half full?
Think about the positives, even if they are as simple as: I have a job, or a comfy place to live, etc.

When did you last feel excited?
If it’s hard to remember, pursue your favorite hobby or try something new and entertaining.

Do you feel unattractive?
If so, put on your favorite outfit, get a new haircut, or simply take a selfie and let your friends comment and remind you how beautiful you are.

Are you missing someone?
Call them, let them know you care. Odds are they have been waiting to hear from you.

When you are critiquing yourself this new year, like many people do, don’t sell yourself short. You are in charge of your own happiness, and you hold the key to bettering your life through self-care!

1/14/2016 7:00:00 AM
Robert Parmer
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Robert Parmer is a health and fitness enthusiast, a freelance web writer, a student of Boise State University and a chef. Outside of writing and reading adamantly, he enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. He considers himself both a health foods and non-s...
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