Why Self Care Is So Important

woman relaxing with eyes closed and hands behind her head

Self-care is a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. If you missed our last post and need a refresher, self-care is actions you do on a regular basis to reduce stress and improve your well-being. While everyone can benefit from a well-developed and consistent self-care plan, some people may be more prone to stress because of their age or responsibilities. In this post, we’re sharing self-care tips for new moms, teenagers and seniors.

New mothers experience a wide range of feelings. As joyful and exciting as it is to meet your baby, the challenges presented by parenthood can be overwhelming. Becoming a parent is a major life change, and it’s important to feel supported through this process. Even with good self-care strategies and support systems in place, many new mothers have depression and anxiety, which may require professional help. Some studies show 1 in 8 mothers develop postpartum depression, a medical condition that can cause sadness, anxiety, changes in mood and even suicidal thoughts.

What does self-care look like for new moms?

  • Ask friends and family to help you care for the baby. Many of them have been in your shoes, and they’ll be happy to lend a hand.
  • Locate support groups for new mothers, either in person or online.
  • Make time for yourself, and don’t feel guilty for doing it.
  • Sleep when the baby is sleeping. The first few months of your baby’s life are exhausting, so rest when you can.
  • Seek professional help if you think you might need it. Postpartum depression is a serious condition, and starting treatment as soon as possible is the best thing you can do for both yourself and your baby.

Being a teenager isn’t easy. You’re going through major physical and emotional changes that are confusing. These changes occur at the same time that there is more pressure to take on responsibility and develop independence. Since your brain is still growing, this can lead to poor choices. Additionally, because teens are very sensitive to the way they are seen by their peers, you’re especially vulnerable to peer pressure. Without a positive friend group, this can lead to mental health challenges like stress and depression.

Stress often looks different in teens than it does in adults. Teenagers may begin to significantly avoid parents, have a significant drop in grades, change their eating or sleeping habits, abandon long time friendships, or have bodily aches and pains. The stress may also increase their risk for cardiovascular stress, drug or alcohol use and suicidal thoughts. By learning good self-care strategies in adolescence, teens will be better prepared for the challenges ahead in adulthood.

What does self-care look like for teens?

  • Set aside time just to relax.
  • Journaling can help you sort out difficult feelings, and so can expressing yourself creatively. Try drawing or painting – there’s no right way to do it. Singing or playing a musical instrument are also helpful.
  • Physical activity is as good for your mind as it is for your body. Team sports might not be your thing, but taking a walk outside, doing yoga, or dancing are all great ways to release stress.
  • Making a vision board for your wishes and goals is a fun way to spend free time, and you might want to invite some friends over to make one of their own!

It’s important for seniors to stay active. That’s more than just keeping your body moving! After a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family, you may feel lost once you’ve retired and your children are grown. Many seniors also experience loneliness. These are big emotions, but there are small changes you can make to keep your life full. Some self-care activities may become more challenging as you age. They aren’t impossible, though, and they are well worth trying.
Seniors may also struggle with emotions surrounding a loss of independence and needing more help to care for themselves. Part of developing a self-care strategy for seniors is preparing for the future. There are many different living and care options for older adults. Knowing what you want and making sure your wishes are known to your loved ones creates peace of mind.

What does self-care look like for seniors?

  • Now is the time to do the traveling you’ve always dreamed of. There’s no need for it to be expensive – short day trips can be as much fun as a big vacation.
  • You might also want to spend more time on your favorite hobbies, try new activities, or even go back to school! Many local colleges offer seniors the opportunity to take classes at low- or no-cost.
  • Try a low-impact exercise like swimming or chair aerobics.
  • Reconnect with old friends and activities you enjoy, or join new groups in your community to make new friends.
  • If you miss the routine of working, consider getting a part-time job or volunteering at a museum, library, or hospital.

Perhaps most importantly, make sure you’re set for the future by using community resources that provide financial and healthy living tips, educating yourself on your Medicare benefits, and establishing an advance care plan.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful! With your new self-care plan, you’re making every day a little healthier.

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