Self-care is essential for women in their 40’s. We have so much going on by this point in life that it’s easy to let everything go and stop doing things to take care of ourselves. However, focusing on ourselves is sometimes easier said than done.
HERE ARE 3 BENEFITS FOR PRACTICING SELF-CARE
Increased productivity. It’s hard to be productive and accomplish all those goals you’ve being thinking about for years if you’re consumed with the daily stress and world wind of life. When I mention increased productivity—I’m not referring to increased productivity at work, I am talking about increased productivity for the things you have been wanting to do in life. Maybe it’s a hobby you can’t seem to find time for, or maybe you’ve been wanting to spend more quality time with your partner or family. I’m sure you have a list of things. You can’t begin any of those things if you are not your best self. Practicing self-care frees up space in your life because you begin to focus on the things that are the most meaningful to you. You would be surprised how much of your time is dominated with things that do not serve you well. So how can you figure out what is sucking up your time? Grab a piece of paper and write out your schedule for the next 2 weeks. If you’re feeling ambitious, write it out for the entire month. Write down all your to-do’s, appointments, obligations, commitments, and anything that you have scheduled. List every little thing. Now review your schedule and go through each item and ask yourself if it’s something that you have to do/need to do (i.e. doctor’s appointment, drop the kids off at school, complete a project for work, etc.) or if it is something that you said yes to even though you didn’t really want to do it in the first place. Often, we can over commit ourselves simply because we are used to saying “Yes” all the time. Reviewing this list will help you to see the things you’ve committed to that may not serve you well and take time away from the things you really want to be doing in life. This also frees up time for you to take care of yourself!
Better sleep. Sleeping allows your body to recover and restore itself. This is an area that I’ve been struggling with for the last year and a half. It’s not that I go to bed really late, it’s just that I don’t sleep well. For example, it may take me a long time to fall asleep, or I can fall asleep but I wake up and then I’m unable to fall back to sleep again. Other times I sleep just fine. For a while I was trying to address my sleep issues but I’ve been so busy with writing my dissertation that I haven’t been intentional about correcting my sleep habits. The problem is that bad sleep snowballs and creates other issues. If your body doesn’t have an opportunity to restore itself overnight then you end up being drowsy all day, you get brain fog, fatigue, and suffer from a lack of focus. I recently read an article that said when we are tired we snack more and as a result gain weight. I definitely do not want that. I work out too hard each week to sabotage my progress! Here are 3 things you can do to get better sleep:
Eliminate screen time on computers, mobile devices, and the TV (This is the hardest one for me!)
Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning
Create a to-do list at the end of the day so you don’t start worrying about all the things you need to do the next day.
Taking care of yourself improves sleep habits. When you are well rested you can accomplish anything. I’m committed to improving in this area. I’ll keep you posted on how things go!
Increased peace of mind. The third benefit to self-care is peace of mind. There is nothing worse than being stressed and worried and having a restless mind. We go to the doctor to get health checkups, the dentist for oral care, but rarely do people address the mind. For a lot of people, focusing on our mental health is taboo. There is such a negative association with getting a mental checkup because society automatically associates this with being crazy or having mental issues. It’s an area of our health that we shouldn’t neglect. Whether you practice mindfulness, meditate, pray, or go to therapy, it’s important to achieve peace of mind because if our mind is not clear then everything else in our life is going to be out of wack. For me, I believe in going to therapy and visit my therapist as needed. I’ll get into more about why I think therapy is important for women in their 40’s and my experience in an upcoming blog post. I also pray. I think you should do what works for you. Self-care is not limited to just taking care of the body—You can’t accomplish any of your goals if your mind is not clear and at peace.
I’ve shared just 3 benefits of practicing self-care. What benefits of self-care have you experienced? Post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!