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Six Steps to Self Care

Sometimes we care so much for others that we begin to care less for ourselves. That’s not a bad thing, so much as just a thing. Many women are socialized to put others first, and the self second, and while this is an altruistic way to live, it’s simply not feasible to ignore your own needs. Not listening to your body, mind, and emotions can lead to some serious consequences that can wreak havoc on your health and well-being—and in turn, even damage your relationships with others, and compromise your work.  Here are six ways that you can start caring about yourself, right now.

1. Take a breather. You’ve got three minutes, right? Deeply inhale and exhale for three solid minutes. By maintaining an awareness of your breath, you’ll feel more connected to your surroundings, as well as more relaxed.

2. Take some time for yourself. Whether it’s taking solo vacation time, taking yourself out for a fancy meal, or even taking a long nap, scheduling some “you” time is integral to feeling like you’re not becoming alienated.

3. Say No to Things. It’s hard. But your time is valuable. Rather than over-commit to ten thousand projects, focus on two or three, and aim to do those to the best of your ability.

4. Treat yourself to an experience or a product that you wouldn’t otherwise do. With bills to pay, and the grind of every day life, sometimes you need to pamper yourself.

5. Get your finances in order. If you haven’t already, try putting away a portion of your paycheck away every month. Or if you’re in a financial mess, try consulting with a financial planner, or a money savvy friend to think of ways to ameliorate the situation. It’s just one less thing to worry about.

6. Break up with that toxic person, or group in your life. It doesn’t matter how cool they may be, or whether you’ve known them forever. If they’re not enhancing your life, and supporting your wellbeing, sometimes you just have to cut that cord.

~ Natasha Hunt, Inhalexhale limited edition print available from AeropagitaPrints on Etsy, $20.

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