Self-care has become an increasingly popular method to cope with stress, bad days and difficulties with mental health. And in a world when so many daily activities demand your precious time and energy, self-care can be an effective way to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health.
There are a million and one ways to practice self-care and it may look different for each individual. But how much self-care is too much, and at what point does it get in the way of accomplishing necessary tasks?
For some people, self-care simply doesn’t work as a way of coping with stress, and may actually make you feel worse. As nice as self-care can be, you have to get up, deal with your stressors and set yourself up for success. You have to do more to properly cope with stress; you have to deal with it head-on, or you will find yourself in an endless cycle of stress and self-care.
Try to find the motivation to spend time working now so you don’t have to work harder later. If you find yourself ordering pizza after every stressful day at work, set aside some time on your day off to prep some easy, healthy meals for the week. It costs less than eating out, is healthier for you and will keep you full for the evening.
If binging Netflix is your form of self-care, at some point, turn off the TV and go to sleep earlier than usual. You will feel more rested and be better prepared the following morning.
If you’ve been procrastinating on cleaning the house, get up and do it. A study from the Personality and Psychology Bulletin found that household clutter causes stress, depression and fatigue. Though cleaning can be overwhelming and unpleasant, you’ll spend less time tidying up than you will performing self-care because of the mess.
Everyone needs tough love every once in a while and that’s exactly what taking care of yourself is. Maybe meal prepping isn’t as fun as ordering pizza, but it is better for your mental and physical health. You may not enjoy showing yourself tough love, but it is a necessary component of living a healthy life.
Reducing stress is vital to long-term health, and self-care and tough love can be effective strategies to do so. However, you can use both care techniques to your advantage when trying to relieve stress.
Practice self-care until you feel relaxed enough to tackle any anxiety-inducing tasks. If you need to make an important but nerve-wracking phone call, take a bath, meditate or go for a walk first — whatever your preferred form of self-care is. Make yourself feel as calm and relaxed as possible, then tackle the world with confidence, whether real or fake.
Try to find the right balance for yourself. You’ll wear yourself thin by practicing too much tough love and may struggle to get things done if you practice too much self-care. To live your best life, improve your habits for de-stressing and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way.