The Secret to Self-Care Is to Do Something Just for You


If the idea of self-care seems like little more than a dream, you are not alone. Millions of us struggle to take care of our own needs while spending time and money managing those of others. However,
it is time to stop and, more importantly, to shift the focus to ourselves. You do not have to drain your bank account to engage in a bit of self-care. It starts with doing something just for yourself each day and then building on positive habits.

Image via Pexels

Time is valuable

Your most valuable asset is time. Make a point of using it wisely. If you have vacation time at work, for example, use it before you lose it. This does not mean that you have to roam around the country
or bask on the beach for weeks. You can put your time to good use by sticking close to home. What’s important is that you break your routine to give your mind time to rest and reset. Chicago is the third-largest city in the US and, as such, has more than enough activities and events to hold your interest while you enjoy a much-needed break. As Turnkey points out, Chicago offers plenty of music,
comedy, and fine dining, as well as an assortment of museums.

A few ideas are to:
  • Splurge on a weekend vacation rental in another part of town.
  • Take an architectural boat tour.
  • Window shop down the Magnificent Mile.
  • Get an Uber to drop you off at the Lincoln Park Zoo,
    which has free admission and probably will not be crowded with tourists midweek.

Check your plate

If you love to eat, you already know that Chicago is one of the best places on the map to enjoy a variety of dishes. However, eating out is ridiculously expensive, not to mention bad for your health. Instead of relying on Giordano’s for dinner every night, learn to cook for yourself. SheKnows.com notes that there are many online cooking classes you can take, whether you want to learn how to bake or make your favorite Asian dishes. If you have special dietary needs, there are plenty of options for that as well.


To jumpstart your healthy-eating efforts, make sure to consume the following every day:
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Milk or low-fat dairy
  • Lean proteins, such as chicken, eggs, and beans
  • Half your body weight in ounces of water


When sleeping is your favorite thing

Everybody loves to sleep, but it seems no one has the time to devote to this crucial human function. The US Department of Health and Human Services stresses, however, that adults need a solid seven hours of sleep every night. Getting enough rest can help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your mood levels high, and give you the emotional energy you need to make good decisions. Help
yourself settle down by:

  • Setting a reminder to get into bed at the same time each night
  • Making sure your bed is comfortable – you may need to change mattresses or find an inexpensive topper to meet your specific sleep style
  • Block outside sounds with earplugs or a white noise machine
  • Avoid spicy, greasy, or heavy foods along with a computer, tablet, or phone screens and intense exercise in the few hours before bed

Do something you love

Everybody has to take a break from work, eat right, and get enough sleep. Of course, your self-care regimen should also include things that are unique to you. When you begin to feel like you are
living on autopilot, it’s time to shake things up with something a wee bit selfish. Do something you love, and put everything else on the back burner, if only for a single afternoon. This might be as simple as a few hours with a pole in the water or lacing up your favorite sneakers for a quick walk around the block. Whatever activity you choose, remember that the time and money you spend on it will be returned tenfold in happiness.

Self-care is not something that should hide in the shadows. You have to take care of yourself, after all, if you want to be the best at what you do. So, take a break, focus on the things your mind and
body need, and learn to enjoy life and all of its little moments.


ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER:  Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.

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