• Kirsti Gwynn

How to Know You Need Self-Care

For a long time, if I felt tired and moody, I ignored it.

I thought that these were normal side effects of ambition and hard work. If you want success, it comes at a sacrifice, right?

Society tells us that working overtime is good, that it’s only appropriate to take a holiday by the time you’re desperate for one, and even burnout seems to have a certain status lately.

But this sort of thinking doesn’t serve us, and it definitely isn’t how I want to live my life.

Like me, you probably would love to feel joyful, present and calm everyday.

So now I like to think a little differently. I’ve started listening to the exhaustion, and understanding that it’s a warning signal.

You can choose to read into your stress levels as a barometer of how well you're taking care of yourself.

Self-care is anything you enjoy doing, whether it's relaxing or active.

Here are 3 signs that you need to make time for more self-care:

1. Your body needs a rest

Stress in the body is different for everyone.

When I’m stressed, my neck and shoulders tense up immediately, and I end up stiff and uncomfortable.

Do you feel it in your chest, and your breathing gets shallow? Perhaps you find yourself wanting to sleep all the time – or you struggle to fall sleep at all. Your digestion might even be negatively affected by stress.

Take a moment to identify where stress goes within your body, and keep an eye out for the warning signs.

2. Self-control goes out the window

Here’s something you may not know: self-control and happiness are scientifically linked.

According to neuro-imaging research, the more positive emotion you’re feeling, the more brain access you have to the system in charge of self-control.