In a culture that often makes us feel guilty for taking care of ourselves, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of self-neglect. But not getting enough sleep, skipping meals, and grabbing unhealthy meals on-the-go can really take a toll on your health over time. In this article, we’ll review 10 signs you need more self-care.
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Signs You Need More Self-Care
Do any of these 10 signs look familiar?
1. You’re tired (a lot).
We all feel tired sometimes, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Moving our bodies to the point of physical exhaustion can enhance cardiovascular fitness, improve sleep quality, and reduce stress.
But feeling tired all the time, for long periods of time, can have a negative impact on your health. Lack of sleep can lead to compromised immune function, weight gain…and, well, grumpiness. (Not that I would know anything about that personally.)
Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, but that can vary depending on how active you are and how demanding your lifestyle is. If friends and colleagues are commenting regularly that you look tired, then perhaps it’s time to reexamine your sleep routine.
Self-Assessment: Are you getting enough sleep?
2. You’ve lost your mojo.
Are you a people-pleaser? Do you spend more time trying to fix other people’s problems than you do your own?
When we focus our energy on problems that aren’t ours to begin with, it’s a slippery slope. Before long, the line between what’s ours and theirs becomes blurred, and boundaries fade — along with our sense of identity and self-confidence.
Trying to be what others want us to be keeps us from living our inner truth, and that steals our joy and happiness. Identifying and living in alignment with your personal brand is the key to creating and honoring healthy boundaries.
Self-Assessment: Are you living your personal brand authentically?
3. You’re a negative Nancy.
Do your friends refer to you as a negative Nancy? If you spend more time nit-picking the negative aspects of your life than feeling thankful for the blessings, it might be time to consider investing in developing a self-care practice.
With a positive mindset, you’ll be better suited to focus on solutions rather than feeling overwhelmed by problems.
If it feels like others are distancing themselves from you, it could be an indicator that your negative spin on life is bringing them down.
Self-Assessment: Is your mindset positive most of the time?
4. You’re isolated.
Sometimes unplugging from life’s distractions can be an act of self-care, but when you disengage completely from others it can be bad for your health.
As an introvert, I value my quiet time. It’s a non-negotiable and I need it in order to feel my best. But I also know that completely isolating myself from others for long periods of time isn’t good for my mental well-being.
Just as trees nurture and support one another from beneath the soil, we have a deep need to be connected to and supported by others.
While many acts of self-care can be performed in solitude, self-care isn’t meant to be a solo gig. As much as we’d like to think so, we can’t do it all on our own. And we can’t be in service to others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
Self-Assessment: Do you have a strong, supportive inner circle to lean on?
5. Everything hurts.
Are you getting tired of hearing yourself complain about your growing list of aches and pains?
If we don’t move our bodies the way they were designed to, we can experience a host of physical changes: decreased strength and flexibility, loss of bone density, reduced muscle mass, increased weight, contracted muscle fibers, reduced range of motion, and diminished cardiovascular fitness.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, along with at least 2 days of strength training each week. (To be honest, most of us probably need more.)
Self-Assessment: Are you moving your body in a way that strengthens you?
6. You eat like sh*t.
Be honest: have you been using your body as a trash can?
Our bodies need whole, real food that supplies vital nutrients in order to function at its highest level. It’s what gives us the energy to solve problems, develop ideas, and accomplish our big, crazy goals.
When we aren’t nourishing our physical bodies well, it’s impossible to live up to our full potential.
If most of your calories come from drive-thrus, single-serving packages or supplements, it might be time to consider an eating makeover.
Self-Assessment: Are you supplying your body with whole, nourishing foods?
Do you know how much you earn and spend each month? And do you have a clear picture of what’s essential for your happiness?
Debt can be paralyzing, and if you’re ignoring a mounting stack of bills because it’s too stressful to face, then there’s little question that it’s time to take action.
When we get into the nasty habit of spending more than we earn, it causes an imbalance of our financial well-being, and the stress it creates can show up in the form of physical illness.
Self-Assessment: Are you managing your finances wisely?
8. You’re disorganized.
Are you constantly digging through piles of clutter to find what you need? Do you frequently forget appointments or lose important items? Does “frazzled” describe your usual state of being?
When we’re over-scheduled or over-committed, it’s easy to become disorganized, especially when we aren’t getting enough sleep to begin with. If your laundry basket is constantly overflowing, and you feel like you’ll never be able to get caught up, it may be time to step back and examine your life as a whole.
But when our personal spaces are well-organized and we’re able to find what we need, we can focus and think more clearly.
Self-Assessment: Do you feel organized most of the time?
9. You hate your job.
Not long ago, I overheard this very complaint from three different tables at a local coffee shop.
One man remarked that the only reason he was staying at his dreadful job was because he needed the health insurance. Another claimed that he needed the job to save enough money to put his child through college. And yet another said she’d been doing her job for so long that she didn’t know what else she could do.
The truth is, most of us stick with what’s familiar because it’s less risky, even when we know it’s not what we were designed to do. But moving toward what makes us feel alive, whether it’s a slow transition or a bold life change, is what enables us to experience more joy and beauty.
Self-Assessment: Is your career allowing you to live your life’s purpose?
10. Your emotions are calling the shots.
Do you let your emotions make your decisions for you? Or do you wait to make important decisions until you’re clear and focused?
When we make decisions that are driven by strong emotions, we often set ourselves up for even more stress. In a reactive state, when we’re highly emotional, we don’t always make choices that are in our best interests.
Self-Assessment: Do you make important decisions when you are calm and clear-headed?
Are You Showing Signs You Need More Self-Care?
If you answered ‘no’ to several of the self-assessment questions above, it might be a sign that you need to invest more of your resources in self-care.
The 8-dimensional self-care framework is a great place to begin your self-care journey.
Have you noticed some signs you need more self-care? Share in the comments below.
Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. *LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other sites at no additional cost to you.