• Stephanie Yewdell

Guest Post, Brad Krause: Practical Advice for Adding Self-Care to Your Life

Practicing self-care in your daily life comes with a slew of benefits for your overall well-being. Self-care not only refers to fostering your physical health, but it also means doing anything that promotes mental health and well-being. Those who work it into their everyday lives often experience better self-esteem and self-awareness, reduced stress and anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, and healthier relationships, among many other benefits.

If you want to add self-care into your daily routine but are not sure where to start, here are some practical tips to help you:

Tweak your finances.

As Business Insider explains, money is one of the leading causes of stress for adults—both at an individual and relational level. By evaluating your finances and being willing to make adjustments, you can put yourself in a better financial position and reduce the stress in your life. This makes practicing better money habits a form of self-care. Start by looking at your budget and seeing how your income stacks up against your monthly expenses. Then, consider any debt you are under, and see where you can cut costs and tackle debt.

If you need to free up some cash, refinancing your home is a great way to do that. By decreasing your home equity, you might be able to get a new, lower mortgage payment. Another way to save money is to cancel your cable subscription if you have one, instead opting for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. Moreover, dining out can take up a significant portion of your monthly expenses. By finding delicious, healthy recipes, you can save a ton of money by cooking at home.

Change what you eat.

Speaking of cooking at home, your diet has a lot to do with your physical and mental health. This is because your body and mind can’t function at full potential without the proper nutrients. In general, eating more clean foods and fewer processed and sugary foods is a good strategy for health. And you can even add foods to your diet that specifically reduce depression symptoms, such as beets, carrots, avocados, chia seeds, and dark berries.

Work it on the reg.

Exercise is also key to fostering your physical and mental health. Not only are feel-good chemicals (endorphins) released in your brain during your workouts, but per Mayo Clinic, there are many lasting effects that come from working out, such as better self-confidence, healthier coping, and sharper concentration. To experience long-term benefits, find activities that you enjoy, and do them for 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week.

Sleep it off.

Sleep is another critical part of living healthy and well, and it’s also one of the most overlooked in Western society. Similar to nutrition, getting enough sleep is necessary for your body and mind to function at full capacity. So if you’re not getting the sleep you need each night, figure out how to change your bedtime routine. Here are some ideas to try:

● Establishing a bedtime and wake time (the same times each day)

● Limiting your consumption of caffeine and acidic foods

● Doing light yoga or other types of stretching

● Taking a warm bath

● Listening to soothing music

● Reading a physical book

● Giving yourself an at-home spa treatment

Practicing self-care simply means taking care of yourself in practical ways, and all of us need it in our routines to live our best lives. You can start boosting your practice today by adjusting your finances, improving your diet, exercising regularly, and getting more sleep. Once you begin fostering your physical and mental health on a daily basis, chances are you will start to realize the benefits in no time!

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