The Advice I Give My Friends That I Should Listen To: Self-Care Edition

By Katie Clancy

If you’re like me, you give great advice to the people that you care about. If you’re also like me, you don’t listen to your advice, despite how phenomenal it is! Today we are going to go through different practices of self-care that I remind my friends to use in their day-to-day lives — advice I know I should be listening to too.

Get More Sleep

It is common knowledge that we all need about seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Getting more sleep is fundamental in having a successful day. Here are some tips from the American Cancer Society that I found helpful; in case you need more convincing that sleep is essential!

1. Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.

2. Don’t take naps after 3 p.m., and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes.

3. Stay away from caffeine late in the day.

4. Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.

Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep (for example, reading or listening to music). Turn off the TV and other screens at least an hour before bedtime.

Drink More Water

Doing a quick google search and trusting WebMD, I learned that, “in general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” So someone who weighs 125 pounds would need to drink between 62.5 ounces and 125 ounces of water a day. Water will help you keep your energy all day and fuel your body.

Stretch

Stretching for 15 minutes a day twice a day can do wonders for your body. If you want your muscles to be strong, flexible, and healthy, stretching is the easiest way to achieve this. You can even throw in a reflective exercise to think about while stretching to boost muscle dexterity. You can quickly increase energy and circulation of blood throughout the body with stretches, and the best part is you can do whichever moves are most comfortable for you!

Exercise

Exercise is an effective way of reducing stress and taking care of your body. I know I need to exercise more, but it’s hard to find the motivation sometimes. Getting your heart rate up and exercising, over time, can help you develop stronger muscles. It gives immediate relief to anxiety or stress because of the quick release of serotonin. Exercise has many health benefits, including reducing one’s risk of heart disease and improving mental agility. Life is hard enough; you might as well give yourself a leg up by finding the right exercise routine for you!

Be Self-Compassionate

It is so easy to be hard on yourself and critique every small little thing you do wrong. I would argue that you are entirely deserving of self-compassion. You are a great person, but you are human. Just because you make mistakes doesn’t mean you should let the thought of them control your day. We make mistakes, try to understand where we went wrong, and move forward. Keyword, forward. It is okay not to forget, but it is not okay to hurt yourself with the thought that your mistake defines you. I say, when you fall, excuse yourself, and stand back up. You aren’t the only one making mistakes, so give yourself some leniency. Remember to be gentle with yourself.

Declutter

Having a clean space can boost productivity. Every morning I make my bed and try to tidy my bedroom, so I come back to a good environment to decompress when I come home for the day. I would recommend cleaning up at least once a day to keep your space sanitary, especially during the pandemic. I know it is easy to get lazy and let “that chair” pile up and hold all of your things, but maybe try to clean up one thing at a time. Listen to good music and get that productivity going!

Journal

I am a strong advocate for journaling. I sometimes find it difficult to talk to my people about my problems without feeling like a burden. Although they love me and will always be there for me, sometimes journaling is my happy medium. I can allow myself to be vulnerable in a private setting, get all of my feelings out, and not talk to anyone else about it. It is a very personal practice of self-care to get out the negative so I can fully embrace the positives in life.

In Conclusion

You give great advice to your friends, and they are better people because of you. You should give yourself some credit and listen to your own advice. If you want your friends to take care of themselves, you should be prepared to take care of yourself too! I wish you the best of luck in doing so. Until then — I am Katie, and I hope you have a fantastic day, week, and month of self-care and self-love. :)

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