Do you take care of yourself?
Most of you will answer yes. But if someone asks you how do you take care of yourself? That's where most people go blank and need time to think.
What do we understand about self-care?
Self-care is a series of activities that people do with purpose. These activities help you to take care of your mental, physical and emotional self. Taking part in these activities helps you to stay healthy and prevent any illnesses.
The meaning seems simple to put into place but most people don't take time to practice self-care. You need to experience the feelings and be in tune with yourself while practicing self-care to get the most out of it. Practicing self-care will help you deal with anxiety, depression, anger, and low self-esteem. It will increase your productivity giving you mental clarity to get focused on what matters to you. You will also be able to have a good relationship with yourself and your surrounding.
What is the importance of having a self-care routine?
Most people live in an autopilot state. They wake up, dress, go to work and come back in the evening. They follow this routine daily working long hours to sustain themselves. Making it difficult to find time to take a breather. Lack of me-time can lead to fatigue, stress, burnout, diseases, and mental breakdown. Keep reading if you want to learn various benefits of practicing self-care.
Practicing self-care activities prolongs your life and keeps you healthy. Most self-care activities stimulate a part of your brain known as the parasympathetic nervous system(PNS). This means it will help your body to rejuvenate, have a good rest, and improve your immune system.
Be more compassionate
People think that practicing self-care is selfish when in reality, it's the opposite. When you take good care of yourself, you feel good and have the energy to spread your positivity to others. You need to fill your cup with love, self-compassion, positivity to be able to give it to others.
Boost your self-esteem
When you practice self-care and take time to do something for yourself it makes you feel good. The practices you practice daily will become a habit and be engraved in your subconscious mind. You will avoid having negative thoughts and having a pessimistic talk about yourself. This will encourage you to have a set of values that you keep to your heart. In the long run, this will build your confidence and self-worth as your focus will be on you.
Promote good health
Practicing self-care will improve your health and make you a better person. Physical activities such as exercise and yoga help you to relax, reduce depression and stress. Some diseases usually come about when you are stressed, and your body does not have enough rest.
When you learn to say no to things you don't want and say yes to things that align with your values, you gain some form of control. It means that you have self-control and you can't be influenced. You will be able to put your focus on things that matter and have more productivity.
Practicing self-care requires you to focus on yourself and ask the tough questions on what inspires you and what you want in life. Focussing within and asking yourself these questions will help you understand your values, likes, goals, and motivation in life. You become self-aware, and this usually leads most people to change their careers.
When you get to have a healthy relationship, it will improve your moods and make you feel fantastic. When you practice self-care, you get to have better relationships with your loved ones and have better boundaries. You can sieve bad friendships, and at the same time, you can spread your positivity to them when needed. To have a friend you can confide in and share good memories with is something to be cherished.
How to practice self-care
The reason most people don't practice self-care is that they make up excuses. Excuses that you don't have time or it isn't for you. The good thing is that self-care doesn't mean that we have to follow what someone else is practicing. You can select one practice that you enjoy doing and carve out time in your routine to practice it daily.
You can also select a time that’s most convenient for you. In the end, you will be amazed at how self-care transforms your life, and you will wonder why you didn't start practicing earlier. Below we will discuss the different kinds of self-care and activities you can practice for each.
- Emotional Wellbeing
To keep your emotional health well, you need to be in tune with your emotional side. Whether you’re feeling sad, angry, it’s advisable to feel the emotion without any judgment. Feel the impact and deal with the emotion there and then.
You might get tempted to suppress your emotions and avoid dealing with them at that time. But it's healthy to feel the sadness, loneliness, anger, accept that is what you are feeling, and let it go. Having this feeling is not bad or good. It's normal for human beings to have feelings but, it's what you do afterward that determines your stability.
How do we care for our emotional self?
Write a letter to your younger self and assure that young child that you will always be there for them. You can also write to your older self to thank yourself for believing in yourself.
If you feel like crying, cry it out. Don't hold on to prove how strong you are. Let the tears flow.
Hang out with a friend that lets you be yourself without judgment. Talk to them about all your frustrations and what's troubling you.
Clean your desk or house. Practicing this will give you mental clarity and help you stay focused.
Keep a journal. When you feel overwhelmed after a long stressful day, you can write and let go of all those emotions. Write whatever is on your mind and be honest with yourself.
Seeking help from a therapist is another way of taking care of your emotional self. Get time within your schedule and see a therapist for 30min a day. They will guide you and help you let go of your frustrations.
Take yourself out and watch a funny movie in the cinema or buy a funny movie and watch it from the comfort of your home.
Listening to music might help you feel better. Put on your favorite music and dance all your emotions away. After dancing you will feel better at the same time it’s a form of keeping fit.
- Social Self-care
Mingling with people you care for and who make you feel good is a form of self-care. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert we need a social life. A friend or two with whom you can share your good and bad times without any judgment. People who cheer us up and are on our side when we need a shoulder to cry on.
Having a social life is necessary for those days you feel lonely, and you need someone around. It also has a way of making you feel that you have people supporting you.
How do we practice social self-care?
Avoid negative friends who suck the energy from you. Try not to associate with people who make you feel bad about yourself, and don't bring positive energy into your circle.
You can write an email to your long lost friend who lives far away.
Go for a lunch date or to the theatre to watch a movie with your cherished friend. It will help you talk and be free while enjoying each other’s company.
Several social groups share what you believe in. You can try and sign up for those groups, meet and make new friends.
Sign up for classes and get to learn something new. At the same time, you get to meet and interact with other people.
Offer to cook for your friends and invite them over. Enjoy a movie, drink wine and enjoy having your friends over.
- Spiritual Self-care
Spiritual self-care does not mean that you have to be religious for you to practice it. So how can you practice spiritual self-care without being religious?
Spiritual self-care involves being in tune with your values and things that matter to you. Practicing spiritual self-care helps you to reduce depression and anxiety. You can practice it whether you are religious, atheist, or antagonist. It's not designed for any specific religion any person can practice spiritual self-care.
How do we practice spiritual self-care?
Be creative. Draw or paint something that inspires you. Let your mind get imaginative and paint something.
Read affirmations out loud daily. Affirmations will help to ground you and install positive affirmations into your subconscious mind.
Meditate daily. Carve time in your schedule and find a place to sit still. Quiet and focus your energy within and the now.
Go on a solo trip. Get to enjoy your own company and take photos of all the striking things you see.
Go out for a walk in nature. The best way is to walk barefoot and feel the ground. It will help to ground you and be in tune with your surrounding.
Make a list of 5 to 10 things that warm your heart and are thankful for. This will help you realize that you are blessed and make you feel content.
- Sensory Self-care
We have four senses that are smell, touch, taste, and sight. You can incorporate all senses when practicing self-care or select the one that interests you. Taking care of your senses helps to calm down your nerves and ground you.
Having the ability to focus your attention on your senses teaches your mind to be present. It keeps you focused on the now. You don't have to worry about the past or the anxieties of what is in the future.
So how do we practice sensory self-care?
You can soak in a warm bath infused with essential oils. Essential oils are therapeutic. There are essential oils that are good at making you get better sleep a good example is, lavender oil. Others will assist in reducing anxiety, keeping you alert, hydrating your skin, and give you that good spirit.
Warm baths will help you relax, calm your body and soothe sore feet. Soaking in a warm bath will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Try our Download bath tea to complete this experience.
Walk barefoot in nature and feel the grass on your feet.
Take a few minutes of your time to soak up in the sunshine and enjoy how the sun feels on your skin.
You can cuddle up with your loved one while watching a movie.
Practice candle meditation. Focus your eyes on the flames of a candle and let other distractions fade away.
Get a massage and incorporate essential oils to make you feel rejuvenated and in tune with your body.
You can take a short trip of 2 to 4 days to the countryside. Enjoy the fresh air and get to take care of the farm animals.
Enjoy smooth music while you're laying down and your eyes are closed.
- Physical Self-care
Finally, we have physical self-care that entails taking good care of your body. Physical self-care is not all about going to the gym and getting fit, it also helps to release excess emotions such as stress, anger, or resentment.
How do we practice physical self-care?
Join classes around you and learn a new sport.
Go jogging alone or with your dog.
Put on music and dance away.
Go to the field or countryside and cycle.
Practice yoga. You might think the poses are hard to try, but there are beginner-friendly yoga poses.
Have a good night's sleep. It's part of taking care of yourself physically to avoid being tired and worn out.
Take a nap when feeling like it. It's not a must to be productive all the time, you can take a nap and rejuvenate yourself.
There are days you feel exhausted and don’t have the energy to go to the gym. Take a rest don’t force yourself when you are exhausted as it will not help you.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Water is healthy and will help keep dehydration.
Self-care is very important in our lives. Practicing self-care helps us to better understand ourselves and at the same time, keeps us productive. Take time within your schedule to consciously practice any of the practices described above and you will get a better understanding of me-time. It will keep you grounded and make you free from the external pressures of life and live a better life.