The Smart Girl's Guide to Self-Care
Maybe you’re trying to please everyone all the time, putting others’ needs before your own. Or perhaps you feel like there’s so much to do, all the time, that you can’t catch your breath. According to the World Health Organization, burnout is now a legitimate diagnosis caused by “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Symptoms include exhaustion, feelings of negativity toward your job, mental distance from your work, and lack of productivity.
“These are all signs your self-care regimen is deficient in some way,” writes Shahida Arabi in “The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self-Care,” a book aimed at teaching people to nurture themselves so they can flourish.
While it’s not always easy, here are six ways to initiate positive changes in your life to create a self-care routine.
1. Learn From Your Biggest Breakdown
Author J.K. Rowling was on welfare, divorced and depressed when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life,” she told an audience at Harvard University. Feeling lost and hitting low points don’t seem great in the moment, but if you can be mindful, meditate and find some self-acceptance, these moments can serve as breakthroughs.
2. Be Your Own Best Friend
Obviously, self-care starts with yourself. Consider what makes you feel comforted and cared for: a warm blanket, an afternoon nap, a good cry or a hard yoga class? “Tending to the self means not relying on the outside world to make you happy, but using its resources as instruments to aid and heal you,” Arabi writes. If you can learn to enjoy your own company, focus on yourself, engage in creativity, or work on a new skill, you are taking the first step in self-care.
3. Validate Yourself
If you’re always trying to please others, you can’t please you. “When you embrace and validate your own thoughts, feelings, values, boundaries, past experiences and future goals without having to please people, you come that much closer to simply being you and living a life that accurately reflects what you want, need and deserve,” Arabi explains. Establish boundaries in relationships, and stick to them.
4. Ditch the Bully in Your Head
We try to be nice to other people, but we should be as nice to ourselves. If you constantly doubt and criticize yourself, you might have a hard time achieving your goals. “Think of each new day as a new beginning and free yourself from the burdens and baggage that hold you back,” Arabi writes. Focus on the good things that happened yesterday, the silver linings learned from failures and be grateful for the present. “Make a choice to believe in happiness.”
5. Remove the Clutter from Your Life
Sure, everyone’s really into getting rid of the physical stuff in our lives, but
it may be time to get through the emotional baggage too. If you’re holding on to grudges or past disappointments, see if you can let them go. If relationships are not serving you, sever them too.
6. Sleep. Sleep. Quality Sleep.
Sleep is the center of well-being – it renews your mind, body and soul. The more well-rested you are, the more balanced, empathetic and kinder you will be. Quality sleep also prepares you for the trials and tribulations of life, it helps you effectively lean into adversity and respond to difficult situations. With higher quality of sleep, the world will be kinder and more productive.
Sleep Number CEO, Shelly Ibach says, “Society has started to realize sleep is important to their overall well-being. The next step is to have people understand that the quality of your sleep matters. We need to move to this next stage of the sleep revolution, from awareness to action. At Sleep Number, we believe this starts with what you sleep on. Having the right comfort and support for your individual body results in higher quality of sleep. We have proven this with our SleepIQ technology inside our Sleep Number 360 smart beds, and feel strongly about using technology to accomplish more with less effort. We also need to change incentives. It used to be a badge of honor to be loud and proud about how little you sleep. Now, be loud and proud about how well you sleep.”
Arabi adds, “Remember, quality beats quantity when it comes to self-care, so invest only in relationships and friendships that make you happier, pursue only the goals that are true to your deepest desires and save your energy and talent for those worthy of you.”
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal well-being and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number®setting for your best possible night’s sleep.