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10 Ways to Practice Self-Care and Look After Yourself

Lifestyle | Love

When I was doing my yoga teacher training while working full time, there have been a few times I had to slow down and ensure that I look after myself. There is nothing more important than making sure you stay healthy—physically, emotionally, and mentally.

If you noticed that you easily get exhausted and feel run down very quickly, I strongly suggest you take some time to look after yourself and have much-needed "me time." Here are some of the things that have helped me in the past to get myself out of a rut and cope with exhaustion.

1. Drink a Lot of Water

I'm not very good at drinking a lot of water, especially not when it's in a glass. That's why I bought a bottle that I carry around with me all the time. It helps me drink more water and keeps me hydrated. When my energy levels go down and I'm starting to feel exhausted, my body automatically craves more water.

2. Cut Out Sugar.

This is a fairly obvious one. Not too long ago, I used to live on a lot of sugar and the majority was added sugar. Cutting out sugar is one of the things that people always mention when talking about ways to practice self care, and it really does work!

I go through phases where I don't eat any added sugar, to the point where I made my own snacks at home. I know for a lot of you that might not be possible/feasible, so why not just try and cut back on as much added sugar as possible and cook more fresh food, rather than buy ready meals.

3. Eat Healthy.

Also a very obvious one, but we all know this is the ONE thing that a lot of people still, or continuously, struggle with. Personally, this is one that I tend to neglect first, which doesn't really help me when I feel down and out.

Not eating healthy and properly makes me feel even more exhausted and run down. I really love smoothies as they give me a boost, taste great, and give me some well-needed nutrients. There are times when I skip meals or just have a little snack as a meal, but that never cuts it. So don't trade your meals for snacks; always go for a proper, healthy meal.

4. Cut Back on Caffeine

Now, most people will say that you should cut out caffeine completely, but I love my coffee in the mornings! So when I start to feel run down, I start to cut back on coffee and substitute it with herbal teas, green tea, and/or water.

5. Practice Yoga

You might feel too exhausted to do yoga, but believe me, even just 10 minutes will make a difference. I know the feeling where you just sit on the sofa because you are so exhausted and can't do anything, but you will feel a lot better after you've spent some time on the mat.

So roll out your mat, do a 10-minute free flow or go onto YouTube and search for a quick video. There are a lot to choose from.

6. Meditate

I started to meditate daily a little while ago and it really helps me cope with everything that the day throws at me. Meditating is a nice way of looking after yourself as you take some time just for you to relax.

There are so many different ways to meditate, so rest assured there is one that'll suit you. For me, the majority of the time I use guided meditations, but you should do whatever works for you.

7. Lose Yourself in a Book

…Or whatever else helps you relax at the end of the day. It is important to ensure that you take out some time to relax and just be. For a lot of people, reading is relaxing. But if you don't feel like it, then don't. There's also value in not doing anything and just letting yourself be.

8. Spend Time With Friends and Family

When you feel emotionally and/or physically drained, sometimes all you need is an energy or mood boost from people in your life that you like and love. Surround yourself with people with whom you can just be yourself, no need to pretend you're someone else or that everything is peachy. They will give you that boost you need.

9. Sleep Well and Enough

This is one that I personally struggle with constantly. I do go to bed at a reasonable hour, but the quality of my sleep isn't that great. I've got a FitBit so I can track my sleeping patterns, and even though I think I get enough sleep, I'm lucky if I get more than 4 hours.

The majority of the night I'm just tossing and turning, which I'm working on by limiting my screen time. Just make sure that you have a lay-in every now and then to bring your energy levels back up.

10. Listen to Your Body

At the end of the day, your body is still (and will always be) the best indicator of how you are feeling, so make sure that you listen to it. Listen and acknowledge how you feel before your feelings of exhaustion get worse and your body forces you to stop and take a time out. (Trust me, I've been there.)

There are lots of ways to practice self-care and look after yourself, these are just some of them. I hope these points will help you when you're feeling run down, just like how they've helped me.

Image credit: Stephanie Birch

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