In a culture that often makes you feel guilty for taking care of yourself, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of self-neglect. But unhealthy habits like not getting enough sleep, skipping meals, and grabbing unhealthy food on-the-go can really take a toll on your health over time. In this article, you’ll learn 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 your body to the point of physical exhaustion does have benefits. Regular exercise can enhance cardiovascular fitness, improve sleep quality, and reduce stress.
But feeling tired all the time—for extended periods of time—can have a negative impact on your health. Lack of sleep can compromise immune function, promote weight gain…and, well, lead to overall grumpiness. (Not that I would know anything about that personally.) According to the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. The exact amount you need will vary depending on how physically active you are, how demanding your lifestyle is, and whether you have specific medical conditions. If you notice that friends and colleagues are commenting more 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 bend over backwards for others no matter how it affects you personally? Do you spend more time trying to fix other people’s problems than you do your own? When you focus your energy on problems that aren’t yours to begin with, it’s a slippery slope. Before long, the line between what’s yours and theirs becomes blurred. When your ability to maintain healthy boundaries fades, the quality of your relationships can fade along with it. Trying to be what others want you to be means that you aren’t really being you. And that can steal your joy and happiness. Avoid losing your mojo by learning how to set and honor boundaries.
Self-Assessment: Are you setting and honoring your boundaries?
3. You’re a negative Nancy.
Do friends refer to you as a negative Nancy? If you spend more time nit-picking the negative aspects of your life than you do feeling thankful for what’s good, it might be a sign that you need to invest in self-care. Building a positive mindset may take time, but it will help you focus your energy on solutions rather than allowing your problems to run your life. If it feels like others have been distancing themselves from you, it could indicate that your negative spin on life is bringing them down.
Self-Assessment: Do you focus on solutions, or do you dwell on your problems?
4. You’re isolated.
Occasionally unplugging from the world can be an act of self-care, but disengaging completely can be bad for your health. As humans, we need personal connections. As an introvert, I require a lot of quiet time. It’s a non-negotiable for me, and I don’t feel my best without it. I’ve learned that there’s a healthy balance between connecting and disconnecting. 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 sometimes, we can’t do it all on our own. And we certainly can’t be in service to others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
Self-Assessment: Do you have strong, meaningful connections with others?
5. Everything hurts.
Are you getting tired of hearing yourself complain about your aches and pains? If you don’t move your body the way it was designed to move, it can lead to decreased strength and flexibility, loss of bone density, reduced muscle mass, increased weight, muscle tightness, reduced mobility, poor cardiovascular health, and the list goes on. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each week. This should also include at least 2 days of strength training each week.
Self-Assessment: Are you moving your body regularly?
6. You eat like sh*t.
Be honest: have you been using your body as a trash can? Your body need whole, real foods that supply vital nutrients that support your health. In addition to nourishing your physical body, food also gives you energy to solve problems, develop ideas, and accomplish your big, crazy goals. When you aren’t nourishing your physical body well, it’s impossible to live up to your full potential. If most of your calories come from a drive-thru, packaged foods, or supplements, it might be time to consider an nutrition makeover.
Self-Assessment: Are you supplying your body with whole, nourishing foods?
7. You’re in debt.
Do you have a good sense of your money habits? Or is what comes in and and out each month a complete mystery? If you’re in debt, you’re certainly not alone. Many people ignore their finances altogether because it’s just too stressful to face. But overspending can cause problems that extend far beyond your financial health, even showing up in the form of physical illness. If you don’t have a clear picture of your finances, it might be time to give your financial dimension of self-care a little more attention.
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 you’re overscheduled or overcommitted, it’s easy to become disorganized, especially if you 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. Getting your personal spaces organized will help you find what you need when you need it, so you 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 similar comments 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 his job to save enough money to put his child through college. And another said she’d been doing her job for so long that she didn’t even 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 deep down it’s not what we were designed to do. Whether it’s a slow transition or a bold life change, moving toward what makes you feel alive will bring more meaning to your life.
Self-Assessment: Is your career aligned with your purpose?
10. Your emotions are calling the shots.
Do you let your emotions call the shots? Does your emotional state get in the way of making good decisions? When your choices are driven by your emotions, you might be setting yourself up for more stress in the long run. When you respond from a place of emotionally reactivity, you may not always make decisions that are in your best interest. Learning emotive self-care strategies can help you manage your emotional state more effectively.
Self-Assessment: Do you make important decisions when you are calm and clear-headed?
Are There Signs You Need More Self-Care?
If the answer is yes, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate some of your day-to-day routines. The 8-dimensional self-care framework is a great place to start if you’re new to self-care or need a self-care makeover. Using the Rate Your 8 self-care assessment can also highlight specific areas of your life than need more attention right now.
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.
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