When asked the question: “Do you take care of yourself?” most of us will answer “yes” — we’d even think, “What kind of question is this? Of course, I care about myself.”
When asked, “In what ways do you take care of yourself?” — well, that’s where the tricky part begins.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is simply anything you do to keep yourself happy. It teaches you to be kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s the key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.
However, not everything that feels good is self-care. We can all indulge in unhealthy activities like drugs, alcohol, over-eating or risk-taking. These self-destructive habits can be our emotional escape, but the relief is only interim.
Self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering your needs. It is rather about knowing what we need to do to take care of ourselves, and how to make ourselves able to take care of others as well. That is, if I don’t take enough care of myself, I won’t be in the place to give to my loved ones either.
Benefits of practising Self-Care
1. Better productivity
Learn to say, no, to all the dawdling activities; this wonderfully slows down your life. Now you have got enough time to focus on the paramount things of your life. Getting things done helps to boost your morale and free you from any anxiety.
2. Improved resistance to diseases
Self-care stimulates your body to produce hormones like dopamine and endorphins. These hormones help to alleviate your mood hence, called happy hormones. A healthy mind incite a healthy body. Thus, self-care takes care of your whole well-being.
3.Better physical health
As mentioned in the previous point self-care keeps you miles away from stress. As a result, you catch fewer cases of colds, flu and upset stomach. You become less susceptible to lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart issues or hypertension.
When you regularly start sparing time for yourself and invest this time being appreciative to yourself and meeting all your needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. It helps to build a positive self-image and confidence in yourself.
When you start valuing yourself and your choices, you start thinking a lot about things you love. It helps you find out what keeps you merry. Sometimes, this can even spark a change in career or a reprioritization of previously abandoned hobbies.
Types of self-care
Sensory self-care is about calming your mind. When you centre your focus on the sensations around you like-sights, smells, sounds, tastes, touch; it gets apparent to live in the present moment. When you’re in the present, you can more effectively let go of resentments related to the past or anxieties about the future.
Sensory self-care ideas
- Breathe in fresh air.
- Snuggle under a cosy blanket.
- Listen to running water.
- Sit outdoors by a fire pit, watching the flames and listening to the night sounds.
- Take a hot shower or a warm bath.
- Get a massage.
- Cuddle with a pet.
- Pay attention to your breathing.
- Burn a scented candle.
- Wiggle your bare feet in overgrown grass.
- Stare up at the sky.
- Lie down where the afternoon sun streams in a window.
- Listen to music.
When it comes to emotional health, you should accept your emotions, rather than declining them. You may feel eager to push down emotions like anger or sadness, but suppressing emotions can lead to mental exhaustion.
Remember that emotions are not “good” or “bad” in themselves. You are not blameworthy for the emotions you feel; only how you behave in response to them.
Emotional self-care ideas
- Accept your feelings. They’re all OK. Really.
- Write your feelings down.
- Cry when you need to.
- Laugh when you can. (Try laughter yoga.)
- Practice self-compassion.
If you are not religious, you may feel tempted to skim-read this section or skip it altogether.
Self-care is not just only believing in a deity. It applies to atheists and agonistics as much as to religious people.
Getting in touch with your values is a sure way to cope with stress and foster a calm mind. Activities that people define as spiritual are very personal.
Spiritual self-care ideas
- Attend a religious place.
- Read poetry or inspiring quotes.
- Light a candle.
- Write in a journal.
- Spend time with nature.
Physical self-care is solely about taking care of the physical aspects of the body. Physical exercise can be an effective form to outpour all the stress and mental stiffness too. Coping with stress by engaging the body is great because you can bypass a lot of unhelpful mental chatter.
Physical self-care ideas
- Try yoga.
- Go for a walk or a run.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Don’t skip sleep to get things done.
- Take a nap.
Human is a social animal, connecting with other people is necessary for his happiness. It helps you to understand that you’re not alone. Additionally, it can also give us a sense of being fully “seen” by others. It can also mean remembering that others go through similar experiences and difficulties as we do.
Social self-care ideas
- Go on a lunch date with a good friend.
- Call a friend on the phone.
- Participate in a book club.
- Join a support group.
- Volunteer whenever you can.
Give yourself the same care and attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom. Check this to know more about how you can be in control of your life?
Liked this article? Read this article: How to Find Peace of Mind?