1. What Is Self Care And Why Is It Important
Self-care is the practice of individuals looking after their own health. It involves making healthy lifestyle choices such as to be physically active and eat a healthy diet. It is also about avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking. But most importantly, it is about self-management as we get to learn to listen to our bodies, recognize any symptoms of disbalance and take action before things turn south. Essentially, self-care includes anything you do to keep yourself healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.
There are so many benefits of self-care that it is no wonder that experts say it is a basic need for our wellbeing.
Taking life into your own hands
By including self-care in your lifestyle, you are empowering yourself to take care of your health and wellbeing. By doing that, you will be motivated to improve your quality of life which plays a key role in prevention of many conditions and in improving recovery time.
Avoiding burnout and maximizing productivity
By taking a time out to care for yourself and unplug from the pressures of everyday life, you allow yourself to reset and get back to a healthy point where productivity is once again maximized. Not caring for yourself can result in burnout, depression, anxiety, resentment and a ton of other negative implications. On the other hand, a regular self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy as well as reduce heart disease, stroke and cancer. There is also a deep spiritual aspect as it may help keep us in tune with a sense of self and help us realize our meaning in life.
Creating a better world
People who take care of themselves are happier and healthier. Ultimately, your self-care routine should make you a better version of yourself as it makes you better suited to take care of others, foster strong relationships, be resilient, and balance personal and professional responsibilities. Therefore, self-care helps to combat the high costs of healthcare as it eases the workload of strained healthcare systems and allows them to allocate their resources more efficiently and effectively.
2. How To Start Your Self Care Journey
Self-care is all about the everyday habits that help you nurture your health and well-being. It means listening to your body, taking the time to check in, tune in and change behaviors and thoughts that cause disharmony into action that helps you feel in alignment.
Understand what self-care is
Self-care is the intentional, proactive pursuit of integrated wellness that balances mind, body, and spirit personally and professionally. But, just because a behavior is “good for you” doesn’t make it self-care. For example, running or meditating may be good for you but if you hate them, they are not considered self-care because your perspective is what decides what makes the cut. For an activity to be considered as self-care, it needs to be good for you, you need to you enjoy doing it and feel better afterwards. A self-care practice must not be considered as a chore to tick of your to-do list.
Find your self-care routine
Find what makes you feel centered and how you can incorporate it into your daily life. You should also commit to the activity by specifying how often and when will you indulge in the activity. Last but not least, adjust and tweak your approach as you go as our needs change over time as we grow as a person.
3. Self Care Tips and Examples
What you need to remember is that we are all different and what may work for one person might not work for you. For someone, self-care is a relaxing mind-free activity like browsing a sales catalog, recipe cookbook or doing something that will help to decrease stress in the longrun like meal prepping, budgeting or searching for a more affordable electric suppliers. For others, it’s a more vibrant activity like a workout as it all depends on one’s personality. Here are a few universal ideas to get your creative juices going.
- Talking to a friend over coffee
- Writing a journal
- Watching a movie that suits your mood or changes it entirely
- Taking a walk
- Redesigning or organizing a room
- Considering where you can cut corners in your budget
- Reading or listening to an audiobook
- Taking a class on something you feel passionate about or just learning something new
- Meditating or doing yoga
- Going camping or backpacking
- Taking a bubble bath with candles, a good book and your favorite music on
- Making an inspiration collage of your future goals
- Gardening- caring for indoor plants can provide similar benefits
Takeaway – Self-care is a critical part of our wellbeing at all life stages so it is important to prioritize it as opposed to leaving it as an after-thought, especially when we find ourselves in challenging times such as a global pandemic and a new normal filled with uncertainty. While many of us have a lot going on, it’s imperative that we take time out every day for ourselves. It does not even have to cost a thing as it can be as simple as meditating for 10 minutes or drinking a cup of tea mindfully, as long as it’s something that you do for yourself and in a consistent manner.