How to Care for Yourself While Caring for Others

How do you care for yourself while you're caring for others? Read on to learn more about how you can nourish yourself while nourishing others.

If you’re accustomed to putting others first before themselves, you’re more susceptible to mental and emotional burnout. Sadly, many other-oriented caregivers may not even realize they’re on the verge of this burnout until they hit the wall. This phenomenon, in turn, begs the question: how do you care for yourself while you’re caring for others?

This question can be hard to answer, especially if you’re not used to thinking about your needs. However, that’s precisely what we’re here to explore today: how you can take care of yourself while simultaneously caring for your loved ones around. Read on to learn more about how you can nourish yourself while nourishing others.

Take A Timeout

Think about the last time you felt overwhelmed by the thought of caring for someone else. How did you feel? Did you feel anxious? Do you feel exhausted? Or maybe you feel frustrated? No matter what you felt, take a moment to tell yourself that these are all perfectly valid emotions and that you are not wrong or bad for feeling emotions. After that, take 20 minutes for yourself to decompress. This little break can look like a long walk, a sit on the couch, or even a quick laugh break watching some of your favorite funny videos on YouTube. These quick breaks are especially great for students, no matter whether you’re in a bachelor’s or master’s program, and they can be integral in maintaining your sanity.

mom reading to her children

Prioritize

As a natural caregiver, your inclination is most likely towards other people. While this can be a great instinct, it can quickly go haywire if you don’t prioritize your needs. The next time you feel burned out from caregiving, take a moment to consider what you need to do next. Is it something you can accomplish in ten minutes? Are the people whose help you need readily available? Will you feel more at ease if you decide to take care of this task next? Getting in touch with your priorities is imperative to ordering both yourself and your life; don’t overlook this step.

Breathe

Perhaps you want to change the world, or at the very least, you feel like you have the power to do so. While we don’t want to knock your philanthropic ambitions, keep in mind that you’re only one person! It’s an incredibly rare (and often doomed) human being who can singlehandedly change the world around them. In these moments, take a deep breath. Deep breathing can do wonders to bring you back down to a calmer, more centered baseline. A popular breathing technique is the 4-6-8 technique: breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for six and then exhale for eight. After a few rounds, you’re guaranteed to feel more at peace but more grounded in your purpose and the subsequent decisions you’ll make.

As beautiful and necessary as natural-born caregivers are, sometimes they need to take a little more time than others to care for themselves. Hopefully, if you fall in this camp, you’ve learned a few tricks to help center yourself the next time you feel overwhelmed about the amount of tender loving care the world needs.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

7 Ways To Practice Self-Care This Summer

summer-self-care

It’s important to practice self-care year-round. But we all know life happens, and keeping up on our well-being can become less of a priority.  

With fewer distractions, warmer weather, and more sunny days, summer is the best time to take a step back, break from your routine, and focus on yourself.

Here are seven ways you can relax, rejuvenate, and prioritize self-care this summer.

1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Exposure to sunlight can have a positive impact on your mood and even help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is why spending time outside is a valuable form of self-care. With warm and sunny days, the summer provides an opportunity to spend your time outdoors. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, spending as little as ten minutes in the sun can have a huge impact on your mental and emotional well-being.

Make time to catch some rays with these outdoor activities:

  • Explore your local farmer’s market
  • Start a garden
  • Host a BBQ
  • Spend time near water
  • Visit the zoo or an amusement park
  • Check out festivals and events in your area

2. Nourish Your Body

Despite being a season of cookouts and pool parties, summer can also bring out your body insecurities. However, it’s important to remember that beauty is a state of mind and not a physical state of being. When you accept and embrace your body, you develop a better sense of confidence and openness.

By catering to your body’s needs, you can mitigate anxiety related to body image and feel more comfortable in your own skin.

Consider adding these practices to your daily routine to show your body some extra love and attention:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear proper sun protection
  • Exfoliate your skin
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Eat healthy, fresh foods

Need more inspiration? The company hers frequently shares health and wellness advice for women through their social media accounts. For more tips on ways you can embrace your body, sexuality, and health, check out the hers Instagram page.

3. Get Physically Active

Many people overlook the importance of engaging in physical activity. However, regular exercise can have long-term benefits on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Self-care is all about improving yourself and feeling your best. Summer is a great time to hold yourself accountable and take advantage of the nice weather by engaging in physical activity. Even if you dread working out, research shows that even a little exercise is better than none. Plus, there are ways you can make exercising more fun. For instance, you can work out with a friend, try a new class, download a fitness app to track your progress, or participate in a charity run or walk.

Create a motivational playlist, and try any of the following activities that will help you start introducing healthy habits to your daily routine:

  • Embark on a hike or bike ride
  • Walk around your neighborhood
  • Join a summer sports league
  • Go for a swim
  • Sign up for a fitness class
summer-self-care

4. Practice Mindfulness

Your mental well-being plays an important role in the way you feel each day, which is why it’s important to practice mindfulness. Setting aside time each day to clear your mind can have positive impacts on your energy level, self-esteem, and your mental and spiritual health.

Fortunately, mindfulness is a universal quality that everyone possesses, and it can be practiced in a variety of ways. By practicing mindfulness on a regular basis, you can reduce anxiety, increase body satisfaction, and improve cognition.

If you’re not sure where to get started, try one of these mindfulness-cultivating practices to give your spiritual and mental health a boost:

  • Meditate and do yoga
  • Power down your devices
  • Read a self-help book
  • Commit to a stretching routine
  • Start a bullet journal

5. Get Out of Town

Exercising, meditating, and eating healthfully are all effective ways to practice self-care, but sometimes even these aren’t enough.

Don’t let your daily grind bog you down. Instead, plan the much-needed getaway you’ve been wanting to take. Whether you travel abroad, embark on a road trip, or simply take a personal day to relax, there are so many reasons why taking a vacation is important. It will help you break your daily-routine and provides opportunities for you to disconnect, reset, and recharge.

Traveling is an effective form of self-care because it provides an opportunity for you to physically uproot yourself and step away from all the chaos in your life. No matter where you venture, make yourself intentionally unavailable and dedicate this time to yourself. This means shutting your computer and turning off any work notifications such as emails or chats you may receive on your phone.

Whether you’re away for a week or only a few days, focus your energy on completing the following tasks:

  • Welcoming new perspectives
  • Reflecting on your emotions
  • Letting go of your stress and worries

6. Try Something New

During the warmer months, people often have more time to make plans and break away from their day-to-day routines, making the summer a perfect time for firsts.

While change and uncertainty can be unsettling, breaking out of your comfort zone can lead to new discoveries and opportunities for personal growth. Take advantage of the warm weather and make a list of activities you’ve always wanted to try. Then, make it your mission to push your boundaries and work your way through your list.

Think outside the box, and consider adding the following activities to your summer bucket list:

  • Visit a new city
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Learn a new skill

7. Treat Yourself

While a luxurious vacation may be your ideal form of practicing self-love, there are more realistic ways to treat yourself. In fact, keeping things simple (and cheaper) can actually be better. It’s the little things that make us happier, more confident, and motivated and to get through our day-to-day.

Make it a habit to indulge in activities that fit both your lifestyle and budget, such as any of the following:

  • Get a massage
  • Try aromatherapy
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go on a shopping spree
  • Dine at a fancy restaurant
  • Buy yourself flowers

It’s important to remember that practicing self-care is not selfish, but rather something we all need to prioritize. With these tips, you can ensure you keep your physical, mental, and spiritual health in check all summer long.

So, take advantage of everything this season has to offer, practice intentional self-care, and let your inner self shine through.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.