Why Self Care is the Key to Happiness and Well Being

When I was younger, I (embarrassingly) didn’t feel that dressing well and styling my hair daily were particularly important. To me it was your attitude and your heart that really mattered, and the rest was just frivolous excess. To some extent, I had a point. Our hearts and intentions are what actually matter in the grand scheme of things.

But I was missing a key point.

Taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally is a sign of self respect. Without self respect, your attitude and your happiness suffer. In that way, maintaining good self care is critical to becoming the best person we can be.

Self care is well being. A person who takes good care of themselves shines, and attracts others to him or her. This attraction (and I don’t mean that only in the romantic sense of the word) benefits us in so many ways. Bright, happy, well groomed people are the ones we all want to be around. They are the people we want to help, to spend time with, to invest in, to date, and to talk to. That person inspires us to be better ourselves, and that feeling draws us to their presence.

Eight Simple Tips for Practicing Self Care without Spending Excess Money or Time

Dress well. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money out shopping. A few classic staples can go a long way in your wardrobe, and can be paired with different accessories to give you a unique look each day. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask a stylish friend for help or search around on Pinterest for looks that feel like you. Then, throw out anything that is the wrong size, old, torn, faded, stretched, stained, or outdated.

Wear Makeup You Love. If you’re someone who prefers to go au naturel, that is perfectly fine too. A strong skin care regimen will keep your skin glowing and bright. If you do wear makeup, make sure to style it in a way that feels like you, that you love, and that gives you confidence. My thing is lipstick. I wear it almost everyday, because I love it and it makes me happy. Find what works for you. Then make sure to throw out your old makeup every couple of months!

Get Your Hair Cut Regularly. I still struggle in this department, but I’m working on it (slowly). Look around until you find a stylist whose work you really love. If you aren’t sure about the best cut for you, ask for their advice. After your cut, make sure to schedule  your next appointment so you don’t go too long between cuts.

Meditate for Calm and Clarity. Meditation is so important in our busy lives, and it really isn’t that hard. To meditate, just sit quietly and practice letting go of all the racing thoughts going through your mind. Even 5 minutes will improve your happiness and productivity, and will get you in the right mindset to be intentional throughout the rest of your day.

Get Some Exercise in A Way that You Love. Don’t run if you hate running, and don’t go to the gym if the commute stresses you out. Find a way to spend 20-30 minutes a day being active in a way you enjoy. Even though we tend to think of exercise as something that provides physical benefits, the mental benefits of endorphins are extraordinary. Happiness truly depends on it.

Get Enough Sleep No Matter What. Sleep is critical to every function in our bodies and brains. It is almost impossible to feel truly well when we are under slept. On the other hand, a well rested person is motivated, energetic, and ready to take on their day. So do whatever it takes- put the kids to bed early, turn off the screens a couple hours before bed, and climb in well before you actually need to be asleep.

Learn to say no. As a bit of a people pleaser, this one is particularly hard for me. Learning to say no is another sign of self respect, however. It shows that you respect your time, your previous commitments, and your priorities. By all means, if it is a reasonable request then say yes! But if the person on the other end is asking something that isn’t reasonable for you, it is best to politely decline. Remember: another person’s lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part.

Practice Gratitude. Time and time again, research has shown that the happiest and most well rounded people practice being grateful for what they have every single day. This doesn’t have to take long. While you are standing in line at the post office or the grocery store, think about the five things you are most grateful for in your life today. Your mind will thank you for it.

How do you practice self care each day? Share your tips in the comments below!

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