By: Cheri Locke, MA, LPC Self-care can be complicated. Anyone can tell you to do it, but only you can give the gift of self-care to yourself. I often hear clients say that they are not exactly sure what self-care means to them. Self-care is a mindful, intentional act of paying attention to yourself. Also, […]
Self-care can be complicated. Anyone can tell you to do it, but only you can give the gift of self-care to yourself. I often hear clients say that they are not exactly sure what self-care means to them. Self-care is a mindful, intentional act of paying attention to yourself. Also, self-care looks different to every individual. First, you need to recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself as you do others.
So how do you do this? By noticing the signs that you need to be taking better care of yourself.
Here are 5 signs you need to practice more self-care.
If any seem familiar to you, it is time for you to make more time for yourself.
1. Increased Moodiness:
Do you have increased irritability? Do you feel on edge or seem to fluctuate easily between feeling sad or angry? When you are not taking care of yourself, or feel that you are unimportant, it can lead to increased irritability. Not taking the time for yourself can also leave your personal and professional relationships affected.
2. Unpleasant Physical Symptoms:
Do you get headaches, a sore or stiff neck, dizziness, shortness of breath, or abdominal pain? Sometimes physical symptoms can be a good indicator that you are not taking proper care of yourself. Although any physical symptom should be discussed with your medical provider, being aware of your body can help you be more mindful about taking better care of yourself.
Do you feel down or like you have a black cloud hanging over your head? Sometimes we feel sad; however, these feelings can snowball into feelings of worthlessness and depression. At times during depression, people report barely being able to get out of bed or brush their teeth. Yes, brushing your teeth can be a form of self-care. While self-care will not cure depression, it can help lessen some of the symptoms. If you feel like you suffer from depression, it is important to reach out to a mental health professional for help.
4. A Feeling of Isolation:
Do you feel detached from others or like socializing just takes all of your energy? When you are not caring for yourself or if you feel you do not deserve to care for yourself, isolation seems almost natural. When you feel unworthy as a person, you feel unworthy of enjoying other aspects of life. You may even completely detach from friends and family.
5. You Get Sick More Often:
Do you feel run down? Do you find that you are battling a cold regularly? We all lead busy lives and sometimes we forget to eat right or sleep enough. When we aren’t properly caring for ourselves, our immune system and health can take a hit.
How can you practice more self-care?
Basic self-care includes proper nutrition, hygiene, and sleep. But what else can you do for yourself? Self-care will be different for every individual. While some people may enjoy exercise and music, others may enjoy reading a book and a hot bath. What is important about self-care, is to be mindful about taking care of yourself and recognizing that you deserve to be taken care of.
I have many clients who have struggled to find self-care strategies that work for them. My advice is to try different things until you find something that makes you feel re-energized and at peace. If you have trouble on where to begin, ask others what they do or Amazon has self-care subscription packages that can at least help you try different things. Keep trying until you find something that feels good for you. Self-care is all about taking the time and trying!
If you are having difficulty practicing self-care in your life and would like some help, please contact The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch in Katy, TX. Our therapists would me more that happy to discuss with you how we may be able to help.
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Our counseling services include depression treatment, anxiety treatment, eating disorder treatment, trauma counseling, family therapy, counseling for kids, counseling for teens, counseling for young adults, couples counseling, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to regularly post blogs with helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and our counseling services, please reach out to the Center today!