It can be so difficult to prioritize self-care, especially when we have so many competing demands. Add to that, so many of us work from home it’s easy to fatigue and do that ‘just one more thing’ that interrupts time for rest, nourishment, and nurturing.
Self-critical is not selfish. It’s critical. Just like with feelings like depression, anxiety, or grief, when we neglect self-care, our body tells us so. Below are signs that you may be forgetting self-care. Pay attention and take care of you.
- Irritability/Change in Mood/Tone: It’s not unusual when neglecting self-care to be more snappy or moody, especially in your communications with others. It’s not worth it. Take a step back. Take a breath. Keep perspective. Take care of the underlying need. An acronym I wrote into my book Don’t Be A Stranger is HALT from the recovery community: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If you’re feeling either of these emotions you’re more likely to present as a less healthy version of yourself.
- Forgetfulness: Occasionally forgetting things can certainly be normal, but forgetfulness or fuzziness can also be a sign of overwhelm, burnout, or emotional fatigue. Perhaps you need more rest, sleep, or permission to mentally check out from your priorities and have more fun within reasonable limitations.
- Fatigue: Waking up tired is a surefire sign that something is off. Perhaps you’re deficient in Vitamin D3, iron levels or other vitamins? Perhaps you have sleep apnea and could use a CPAP device? Perhaps you’re overwhelmed and physical fatigue is masking unaddressed stress or depression? Consult a professional.
- Skin Changes: Ever noticed some people break out with pimples or even hives when stressed about an important exam or when going through a serious life stressor? This could also be a sign of poor diet or substance use. Our skin is our largest organ and shows signs of dysregulation that are hard to ignore. Dry skin could be a sign that your diet needs more fatty acids. Work on physical and emotional health, and your skin will thank you. Don’t forget to drink adequate amounts of water; your skin loves hydration! It’s no coincidence that so many of our Rodan + Fields products emphasize hydration.
- Muscle Twitches: Some people show twitches with anxiety. Others may present with twitches even at rest due to deficiencies in magnesium. Manage stress, consult a professional, run blood tests to rule out and address issues.
- Changes in Weight/Diet: Some people eat more when stressed/overwhelmed/sick; some lose their appetite when going through overwhelm. Be a student of your own behavior. Notice when your patterns change without intention. This is often a sign that something is shifting. Intentionality is critical to creating a healthy and fulfilling life by design.
When feeling stuck or unsure where to start, simply asking yourself how you want to remember handling something. Ask yourself what outcome you want and ask yourself what you’re willing to do IN THAT MOMENT. Then, do it!