When we think of self-care, we often jump to picturing the most elaborate and expensive forms of indulgences out there. However, celebs getting vampire facials isn’t exactly an attainable image of self-care for most of us. Moreover, the types of self care that are accessible for nearly everyone are far more effective and long-lasting than any big fad.
My Unbounded Life is dedicated to helping millennials value themselves the way they deserve. To that end, we’ve come up with this list of self-care techniques you might be neglecting — as well as reasons you should start giving them (and yourself) priority:
Taking Time Off
Did you know a 2018 study by Sleep Junkie showed that nearly 70% of millennials have unused vacation days at the end of the year? Moreover, 47% of those who did take vacation reported feeling guilty for relaxing while they did. We’re not just avoiding taking breaks — we’re beating ourselves up when we do.
It’s easy to convince yourself that this type of always-on mentality is keeping you productive, but the opposite is probably true. We need time off from our regular routines to recharge our batteries and give our brains a break. If we continuously skip it, we’re likely to experience burnout at work and stress and unhappiness in our personal lives.
If you skip vacations, resolve to take them from now on. You don’t even necessarily have to go anywhere — you can book a vacation rental here in LA and enjoy a glamorous staycation, no luggage charge required. The important part is not where you go or what you do; it’s that you take some time away from all that obligation.
Prioritizing Your Diet
We all tend to turn to junk food when we’re stressed, but much like skipping vacation doesn’t actually make you a better worker, junk food doesn’t make you more relaxed. All the excess salt and sugar you get from those kinds of foods can leave your moods out of whack, make you break out, and leave you with wildly unpredictable energy levels.
Making it worse, some of us try to compensate for stress snacking by skipping meals. This only sets you up for more stress, more snacking, and more sadness. When it comes to food, your body needs proper nutrition, and it needs consistency.
Want a no-stress, no-fuss food plan? Commit to eating three meals and at least two snacks a day, and make sure those meals include all your macronutrients, plus a fruit or veggie. Take this self-care technique further by developing a mindful eating practice, learning your body’s hunger signals, and discovering which foods taste great and make you feel good.
Moving Your Body
If you work an office job, odds are you spend the vast majority of your day sitting down. Pair that with Netflix binging and social media scrolling, and plenty of us barely get a fraction of the movement our bodies need to thrive. Exercise is an absolute must for physical and mental health. It builds strength, improves heart health, regulates hormones, decreases injury risk, boosts digestion — the list goes on and on.
If you don’t exercise, odds are good you haven’t found a workout that you really enjoy. Try to connect with your inner child and think about what kind of physical activities you enjoyed as a kid. Roller skating, jump rope, hula hooping — tons of playground games are just as good for you now as they were back then. You can even literally go to a park and hit the monkey bars and climb up and down the equipment: Go early enough in the day, and you don’t even have to share with any kids.
Self-care techniques need to be effective and sustainable in order to truly make a difference. We hope this article helps you discover the self-care routine that works for you.
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