In today’s world, it is not uncommon to feel the pressure of work, family, and life in general. On that note, something that we often forget is self-care. But what is “self-care”? It is essentially the conscious, deliberate attempt to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. Although it appears to be a simple concept, very often it can be overlooked. Often, we look at self-care as being selfish. However, the lack of self-care can bring about devastating effects on one’s health, work, and relationships.
Self-care is vital because it is responsible for establishing a relationship with yourself, something primarily understood as self-love. It generates a positive feeling and boosts confidence and self-esteem. Also, self-care puts forth a positive example to others and sets the stage for a better, holistic living!
Is Self Care a Luxury or a Necessity?
Self-care entails anything and everything that you do to keep yourself feeling good and healthy. To achieve true self-care, you have to be conscious towards your well-being. It is nothing but being kind to yourself and this, in turn enables you to tackle hardships better and be generous to others as well. And yes, it is a necessity and priority, not a luxury at all. You see, it is easy to mistake self-care as selfish but this is far from the truth. When you give sufficient attention to your well-being, it’s not your needs alone that you’re considering. In fact, you are rejuvenating yourself for being the best version of yourself for those around you. Self-care is actually a preventative care for everyone. Charge your own batteries and see what a world of difference it can make. Indeed, you want to make self-care non-negotiable in your life.
However, not everything that feels good to you necessarily means that it is a way of self care. For instance, adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse and a heightened risk-taking nature could be self-destructive.
Here are a few self-care tips to get you going:
- Learn Your Worth
It is easy to get caught up in the business of everyday life. But you need to take some time off and remind yourself that your needs and dreams are important as well. Let’s be honest – health is wealth, right? Ignoring yourself, health, and needs can have a terribly negative impact in the long run. Putting yourself on the backburner could be the worst punishment that you can unknowingly inflict upon yourself. Instead, value yourself and practice self care. It will undoubtedly help you replenish your energy and boost your self-esteem.
- Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Over-working is not good. The accompanying stress and exhaustion that comes with it strips you of your mental well-being, productivity, creative freedom, and is even responsible for your emotional depletion. It leaves no time to look into your needs. Overworking often leads to a number of health problems ranging from anxiety to something as serious as heart disease. Set boundaries in your life to stay sharp and motivated.
- Look Into Your Physical Health
Physical health is a core aspect of self-care. Since the mind and body share a unique connection, it is impossible to be in high spirits if you don’t feel too good in the gut. It is a proven fact that exercising regularly can significantly improve your energy levels and mood. This happens because exercising increases the level of serotonin in your body. It could be something as simple as taking a walk, swimming, or anything that makes you feel active and alive.
- Learn To Say “No”
You may have faced this multiple times like all of us, which is saying “yes” easily and compulsively at the behest of others. We tend to say “yes” to a whole lot of requests that come our way just because we do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Saying “yes” to their request at the expense of your peace and health means compromising or going against the principles of self-care. It’s essential to realize that you cannot make everyone happy, try as you might. So, learn to say no when needed even when it’s unpleasant.
- Make Way For Acceptance & Acknowledgement
Oftentimes, we are consumed by the surrounding negativity. This leaves little or no space to appreciate the beauty around us. The thing that upset us could be a bad breakup, rejection as a job applicant, or faring badly in a test.. But instead of beating yourself about it, accept what has taken place and cherish the brighter side that came out of it. Let it go and treasure what you learned. We are all stardust and will return to being so one day. So, appreciate the little gifts, express gratitude, take some time to meditate, and witness how you are halfway through from achieving the greatest level of self-care.
Benefits of Self-Care
- Self-care activities activate the peripheral nervous system (PNS) system within the body, rejuvenating it and thus, fortifying the immune system
- Practicing self-care measures help in highlighting your goals and concentrating on what you are doing, thereby increasing your productivity
- Self-care practices help in reducing stress and making you feel more able and strong from within and outside
- The journey of figuring out what you love to do, feel passionate about, and find inspiring helps in understanding who you truly are
- When you are taking care of yourself, it arms you with resources to be compassionate to others just like yourself
The approach to self-care can be personalized, depending on the individual’s likes, dislikes, and temperament. There may not be one formula that works for everyone. What motivates you may not have the same impact on the person next door. So, go ahead and decree and declare to yourself that Self-Care is not Selfish. Then, write out a list of activities that make you feel happy and in the “flow” state. They do not have to be master plans. It could be something as simple as listening to music, writing in your journal, taking a walk or doing some yoga exercises. Whatever floats your boat! Though it may not add time to your routine, it’ll certainly add value and give you the care you deserve.