You've certainly seen the term 'self-care' used a lot off late. It's been a hot topic in the media and in personal development circles. However, a lot of individuals find it hard to grasp exactly what it is. Self-care is being as kind to yourself as you would be to someone you love. It requires nurturing your body, mind and spirit. It requires you to allow yourself to be open to others, asking for support when you need it. It teaches and tells you how to take care of yourself. Self-care does not necessarily mean indulging in short term self-destructive coping strategies such as substance abuse, drinking or gamnbling, which provide short term happiness and leave you worse for wear.
Having said that, you don't need a month long spa retreat to take care of yourself. You can get nourishment simply by blasting your music and dancing away to kingdom come. Sidelining time to care for ourselves is a significant aspect of why we can all feel drained, stressed and exhausted. Even through the pandemic, when many of us have more time to spare than we’ve ever had, self care still isn't topping our to-do lists, simply because most of us do not think of it.
Self-care relaxes our bodies. Our blood pressure and heart rate go down, our digestive system functions normally, and our adrenaline and cortisol hormone levels return to normal. Self-care is important to our mental wellbeing for the effective treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Finally, our bond with those around us is actually improved by self-care. By practising self-care, we avoid emotional burn-out, increase self-esteem, and banish feelings of frustration, we really make ourselves better positioned to relate to and care about others.
There are many things you can do to participate in self-care. You can learn about self-care techniques, enter self-care groups, or collaborate with a coach or therapist who can help you make progress. Regardless of the way you choose to go about self care, the purpose is to find out which self-care strategies work best for you, learn how to take care of yourself using those strategies, and incorporate them on a regular basis so that you can improve your well-being for a long, happy life.
It's not always easy to practise self-care. Almost everyone is super busy, have demanding jobs, and probably spend far too much time with technology, to be able to spare time for ourselves. Me-time is usually the very last on the agenda. Even worse, we end up feeling guilty for taking the time to take care of ourselves, or even to learn how to take care of ourselves. So beginning with self-care can be difficult. Here are some self care tips that might help you get started.
Sleep can have a significant influence on how you feel both mentally and physically. Not getting enough rest- around 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep- can become the cause of many health concerns. Start thinking about your nighttime ritual. If you eat or drink right before going to bed , it is extremely important to stay away from sugar and caffeine, which keep you awake.
Stress and other distractions can negatively impact our sleep. If you have job-related stress and tension, think of the best ways to calm down after a long day- maybe a long walk in fresh air- or relax more when at work. Speak to your higher ups if your work is getting too demanding. If there are any disputes with your colleagues, work towards resolving them.
Your bedroom should be the perfect place to have a good sleep cycle. It's meant to be free of distractions such as electronic devices. And make sure you have darkened curtains to prevent the sun from waking you up before you need to.
Your gut wellbeing has a huge effect on your health and well-being. The kinds of foods you consume have a significant impact on the bacteria that reside in your stomach, resulting in a series of either positive or negative outcomes. It also either keeps us healthy or contributes to obesity or to diseases such as diabetes, as well as keep our minds busy and alert. Eating the right foods can have long-term effects on the brain and the rest of the body.
Most people don't spare the time to prepare their own meals, opting instead to stop for fast food or a pre-packaged microwave meal. But these meals are not enough when it comes to feeding the body the right calories and nutrients. Even if it's only once a week, try making a nutritious meal for yourself or your whole family.
Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It might be hard to go to the gym every day, so consider incorporating other things, such as cycling, tennis, or yoga, that might be better suited to you.
Spending time outside will help alleviate anxiety, reduce blood pressure, and make you more aware of it. Studies have also shown that getting out can help to relieve fatigue, making it the best way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout.
Taking a self-care trip will make a big difference to your life. Even if you don't feel especially exhausted, going away for a weekend every now and then will help you relax and rejuvenate. It can be as simple as drive over to the next town and see the sights, or camp nearby. Find a way to disconnect and relax.
We have all become slaves to our phones, and that's a fact. We prefer to turn to our smartphones for entertainment, scrolling through social media feeds that add to our tension and anxiety rather than support more often than not .Instead, get a few self-care books so that when you take care of yourself, you can think more about how to take care of yourself. You can also bring books that make you feel happy and hopeful, or inspire you to try to be better. You will be pleasantly surprised with the difference that ditching your phone more often makes. It not only helps to improve your mood, but it can help you to stay more present and conscious as well.
It is very difficult to learn to say no; many of us feel compelled to say yes when someone asks for our time or effort. If you're exhausted already, however, saying yes to loved ones or colleagues can lead to fatigue, anxiety , and irritability. It will take some practice, but once you learn how to say no courteously, you will start to feel better about yourself, and you will have more time to take care of yourself.
Making time for self-care is extremely necessary, even though it's hard to do sometimes. Moments alone will make you ponder the best ways to step forward and keep you grounded in your life. And moments with friends can make you feel comfortable and more connected.
Be it a long walk, a movie night with your best buddies or just a simple long bath, it is important to take time for self-care. For example, you could wake up 15 minutes early to sit with a cup of tea and practise deep breathing until the stress of the day starts, or you could take a stroll around the block on your lunch break. Look for little ways you can integrate it into daily life. The more time you will work on your schedule for self-care, the better you will be able to develop, enjoy your life and succeed.