Do you worry that self-care is selfish? If you take a sick day off from work, do you feel guilty? Consider the issue from another perspective: Taking care of yourself is a way of showing love for your family. Here are ways to love your family by taking care of you:
1. If you are sick or injured, rest. Pushing yourself to the brink when your reserve is low will result in prolonged symptoms, burdening your loved ones in the end. You might think you’re being helpful by overdoing it, but taking care of yourself is a better approach.
2. Schedule your annual check-up. Regular health maintenance prevents you from getting sick. See your primary care doctor, get any recommended screening tests, and make sure your health is ship shape.
3. Exercise. The research on exercise is strong. If you want to live longer, stave off Alzheimer’s and cardiac disease, and thrive into your golden years, regular exercise is the single most important thing you can do for yourself (and the people you love most).
4. Keep the vices to a minimum. Don’t smoke, limit drinking to moderate amounts or none at all, and avoid any vices that threaten your long term health and wellbeing.
5. Mind your mood. Depression and anxiety are extremely common. Even in milder forms, mood problems take a toll on your ability to live a healthy, fulfilling life. If you’re experiencing changes in your mood, it’s best for every one if you go talk to a professional about it.
6. Eat a healthy diet. The best advice for a healthy diet: Load up on the fruits and vegetables. Whatever your philosophies about food, no one can deny that whole fruits and veggies are the world’s most perfect health foods. Take care of yourself and show your love by getting lots of these goodies everyday.
7. Talk it out. Work through conflicts by discussing them. Most conflicts come from misunderstandings, so having the courage to talk things through can clear them up. You’ll feel better, and so will your loved one.
8. Keep in touch. Relationships are important. Stay connected to the people in your life.