Self-Care by Brad Krause
I have an interesting read for you all today. Brad Krause, a writer and self-care consultant, approached me to publish a piece via my platform. Brad’s story is quite interesting — he left a comfortable corporate job to follow his personal calling: promoting the notion of self-care to others. You can visit Brad’s website here.
I can’t say how timely his post came to me. Lately, things have been increasingly challenging as I figure out the next chapter of my life. Change is always uncomfortable, they say. But when life is really testing us- are we able to put our physical and emotional needs above whatever we’re currently facing? Brad reminds us that self-care is ALWAYS of utmost importance. Here’s what he has to say:
5 Long-Overdue Acts of Self-Care for the Practiced People Pleaser
A lot of us are people pleasers who constantly put the care of others above our own. You may not immediately identify as such, but think about it: Most of us value the well-being of our friends and family more than our own. Although done with the best of intentions, it’s not the noble cause it appears to be. If you don’t practice self-care, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice — you’re depriving those you love of a truly happy, healthy you.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
What is the big deal about self-care? All it really means is taking a deliberate action to improve your own mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Why is it so important to focus on self-care every single day? For one, it’s our biggest defense against stress — something that can infect so many other aspects of our lives and make us unhappy and unhealthy. It allows us to recharge our bodies and minds, making us more effective in our job, hobbies, and relationships. It prevents the wear and tear of everyday life that leave us feeling tired and worn out. Self-care, at its core, is both preventative and palliative medicine for the soul.
Your Five Acts
Here are some acts of self-care you should do as soon as possible to boost your well-being:
Eat right. Your brain can’t function on bad fuel. Feed it something good as your first act of self-care. This is often easier said than done, so look for options to make healthy eating more feasible. Try a meal delivery service and opt for a low-calorie option, as staying fit is also an aspect of good self-care.
Exercise. You deserve to take at least 30 minutes per day to get your body moving. The benefits of daily exercise are not just physical. Exercise improves your mood, increases blood flow within the brain, and helps prevent and alleviate depression and anxiety.
Get more sleep. The quantity and quality of your sleep affect your overall well-being. Give yourself the gift of a full seven to nine hours per night. Don’t shave off hours at night or early in the morning in order “get stuff done.” It’s counterproductive. If need be, de-clutter and spruce up your bedroom, which might include investing in a new mattress.
Treat yourself. Whether this comes in the form of ice cream at the end of the week, a new article of clothing or accessory, or simply giving yourself the time to go for a hike after work — it’s vital you give yourself gifts every week.
Insert mindfulness into your routine. Practicing mindfulness, or being completely encased in the now, lets you shed the worries or the future and the problems of the past. It’s also vital for mental health. Mindfulness can come in the form of exercises like yoga, or simple acts like meditation or relaxation breathing techniques. Even something like drawing or journaling can create a sense of mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness with even more minute daily affirmations, such as simply turning your thoughts toward gratitude and optimism. It doesn’t sound like much, but it truly helps in the daily battle to preserve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Self-care isn’t hard. Practicing proper self-care boils down to putting yourself first every so often and doing things that make you feel better — both physically and mentally. Often, self-care makes us feel guilty or selfish, but once you’re able to cross that imaginary hurdle, you’ll find that it benefits not just you but everyone around you.