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“Self-care” is a buzzy term that encapsulates all the things we do to maintain optimal mental and physical health. If you’ve been through a tough time in your life, it may help to step back and evaluate your self-care routine and amp it up a bit so you can recover. When you’re starting over, it helps to do so with the basics.
Clean It Out
Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a professional, nothing says “fresh start” quite like a clean and uncluttered home. When you get rid of belongings that you don’t need, you let go of the emotional weight they carry — and that’s holding you down. When it comes to successful decluttering, you don’t have to go through room by room and trash everything you own. It’s perfectly fine to start small.
- Give one thing away every day
- Set aside five minutes every day for decluttering
- Grab a trash bag and see how quickly you can fill it
- Donate any clothing you haven’t worn in the past year
- Try the 12-12-12 Challenge: Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their spot in the house
If you’re not keen on the idea of getting rid of things, but you really want that minimalist and decluttered look in the home, consider storing them. Storage facilities can be surprisingly affordable. For instance, over the past 180 days the average price of a self-storage unit in Miami, Florida, has been approximately $104.
When you’ve gone through a tough time, the anxiety can have a negative impact on your health. When you make relaxation a priority you give yourself the time you need in order to heal. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or two hours, pencil in some time for relaxing activities. Disconnect from the things that stress you out — turn off your computer, your phone, the television and anything that can make unwanted noise. If it’s nice out, enjoy some time outdoors. If you like to exercise, break a sweat for some stress-busting endorphins. Or, consider joining a yoga class to increase your flexibility, improve posture and lower your blood pressure (more benefits here). And don’t stress about the price: yoga classes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, plus you can find great deals through Groupon (up to 70% off!).
If you’re more of an introvert, reading a book, taking a warm bath and meditating are all soothing activities that you can do from the comfort of home. Many people also find it relaxing to spend time with their loved ones. If you have room enough in your schedule, why not do some combination of all these activities? It’s a healthy way to treat yourself to some loving self-care.
Good sleep hygiene is an essential part of self-care. When you rest well, you wake up the next day prepared to take on whatever life throws at you. People with good sleep hygiene are more productive and enjoy an overall improved quality of life. Consistency is a big part of a healthy sleep routine. Your body picks up habits fairly easily. If you go to bed and wake up at the same times day after day, you will fall asleep quickly at night and feel more rested when you wake up in the morning.
Cut out stimulants after 2 p.m. to prevent restlessness. Also be sure to turn off any light-emitting electronics that can disrupt your brain’s melatonin production. Create a pre-bed ritual with relaxing activities that help you unwind from the day: Take a warm shower, drink herbal tea, read a book or do whatever it is you like to do as a way to signal to your body that it is time to rest.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is go back to square one and start with the basics. Decluttering your home as an act of self-care helps you let go of the emotional weight that comes with material things. Prioritize relaxation in your life to recover from the damage anxiety can do to your mental and physical health. Finally, practice good sleep hygiene consistently to stay on the right self-care track.