10 Signs You're Not Taking Good Care Of Yourself (And How To Start)

Photo: Alexandre Chambon
10 Signs You're Not Taking Good Care Of Yourself And 5 Self-Care Tips To Fix That

By now, you've heard of self-care so the question is: why aren’t you doing it?

Yes, I know, you have a million things to do. You aren’t sure if you’ll ever get them done, but you are sure going to try. This could come with a cost. And that cost is you.

So, why don't you take care of yourself?

RELATED: 7 Ways You Should Be Taking Care Of Yourself (Every Day)

Nobody can do it all. But, you are led to believe that you can.

Too often, you worry about others and try to take care of them — but you don't worry about yourself.

It’s alright to chip away at your to-do list. Do a little today and then a little tomorrow, and so on. Make sure you listen to your body and take breaks when you need to.

The good news is you can learn how to take care of yourself and self-care ideas are ready and available for you.

But, first, you need to look for the 10 signs you are not taking good care of yourself:

1. You get sick a lot.

2. You find yourself snapping for no reason, and are easily frustrated in your relationship.

3. You are surprised at how easily frustrated you get. You are worried the wrong people are taking the hit.

4. Your friends and loved ones are pulling away from you.

5. You rely on caffeine, painkillers, wine or some other substance to get you through the day.

6. You dread going to work. You are starting to abandon projects or give them little attention.

7. You are fatigued, and can’t seem to snap out of it.

8. You’re on edge and worry all the time. You feel squeezed from all angles.

9. You can’t remember the last time you treated yourself to anything.

10. You don’t feel creative and are no longer trying new things.

If you didn’t say "yes" to any of these things, then good for you — you've mastered the art of self-care!

This is not an easy thing to do.

But, if you said "yes" to one of these things, then you aren’t worried about yourself enough nor taking very good care of yourself.

I think way too many people say "yes" to this list.

You live in a fast-paced society and are told to do more. That’s what you need to do to get ahead. But, this leaves you feeling empty and like it’s never enough.

To start taking care of yourself now, here are 5 important self-care tips and activities to apply to your life.

1. Start your day with mindfulness

I start every day with 10-15 minutes of mindfulness. This helps me clear my mind and get ready for the day. Before I started this, I always woke up worrying about what I had to do that day and if I would have enough time to get it all done.

Now, I know it’s alright if I don’t get everything done. There is always tomorrow and the next day for that matter.

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2. Schedule time slots when you don’t work

You don’t have to have every time slot on your calendar filled with work. This may make you feel more productive, but you aren’t giving yourself a break. This will definitely lead to burning out in the long run.

You can set one up in the morning, the middle of the day and in the evening. You can start small, if you’d like, with 5-10 minutes. When you take this time you can’t work or even think about work. Go for a walk or just sit and relax.

I started this a while ago and it has changed my life. I no longer feel fatigued in the middle of the day, and I am actually more productive.

3. Get enough sleep

Research has found that more sleep equates to happiness. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more forgetful and irritable. This also affects your work and home life.

Set up a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time. But, try not to stress over the sleep schedule. There will be times that it doesn’t work out and that is alright.

4. Spend time with friends and family

These are the people that support you the most. The next time you are feeling stressed out, give one of them a call. Instead of talking about what is stressing you out, talk about what you like.

Let them know about the latest podcast you just heard or about the friendly guy you were talking to in the grocery store line.

If you can’t think of anything, then invite them out on a fun adventure like going on a hike or watching a funny movie.

5. Get outside

Take in the fresh air and sunshine and get out into nature. The outdoors is great for your mental health. Notice the environment you are in.

If you see a pretty flower, stop and look at it. Take a picture, if you’d like. Notice the detail of the bark on the trees or how the squirrels run up and down them. If there is water around, stop and look at how the sun glistens on the water.

You can also ride your bike if you’d like. Just get outside and stop thinking about work and family. This is a great time to embrace the present.

Now that you have this self-care checklist, it's time to start making self-care a priority and then stop feeling guilty about it. Take a look at the big picture. Eventually, you will get the things you want in life. But, you do need to give it some time.

What’s important is that you are having fun along the way.

RELATED: Practice These 5 'Layers' Of Self-Care (For Greater Happiness & More Satisfaction)

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist. You can check out her website to join her free newsletter for advice on taking better care of yourself and to learn more about her and the services she provides.

This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.