Self-care is an idea that the media tosses around a lot today. Even though many people have a vague idea of its importance, it often becomes something they tell themselves they’ll do only to forget about it later.
But often, there comes a time when self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Here are some sure signs it’s time to incorporate self-care into your life.
You’re Experiencing Burnout
Anytime you keep going at any task without enough time to rest, even if it’s a task you love, you’re bound to feel burned out. Many people associate burnout, or stress-related exhaustion, with one’s job. However, you can experience burnout from other tasks, like being a parent or caretaker.
A few signs you’re experiencing burnout include:
- Prolonged fatigue
- Changes in sleep habits
- Loss of motivation and focus
- Decreased sense of satisfaction
- Increased procrastination
- Tendency to self-isolate
The bottom line is things that you used to do become harder. It’s easy to take these symptoms as a sign that you need to give up on your job or relationship. But more often, it means you need to stop and take care of yourself.
You Have Physical Symptoms
When you have physical needs, your body has a way of letting you know. Prolonged anxiety or stress can often manifest in symptoms that mirror illness. For example, some experience stomach aches, headaches, and shortness of breath. Some even experience heart palpitations.
Stress can also suppress immune system function, leaving you more open to illness. So if you find yourself getting sick more often, it may be a sign you need to practice more self-care.
Your Emotions Are Overwhelming
Even if you don’t have physical symptoms, you may notice that your emotions are behaving in a way you’re not used to. Many people in need of self-care notice that they feel more anxious or depressed than normal and have increasingly negative self-talk.
Sometimes your emotions react in less obvious ways. For example, you may find yourself less patient, more easily irritated, or less focused. You may even feel that others don’t care about you. It’s good to be aware of changes in emotion and do self-reflection to find the root of these emotions.
Ways To Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Life
A lot of people think of self-care as face masks and bath bombs. But depending on your lifestyle and how much time you have for self-care, it may look a little different for you.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate self-care into your life:
- Take breaks throughout the day
- Improve your skin-care routine
- Take time for prayer or meditation
- Remind yourself of things you’re grateful for or like about yourself
- Carve out time to pursue hobbies and activities you love
It takes effort to create space for self-care. Try having a day where you don’t schedule meetings or big tasks. Or design a wellness room in your house to give yourself a place to take care of yourself.