Self-care is how you take your power back!Lalah Delia
Self-care, i.e. taking care of one’s own self, is really important for leading a good life. It is a common and popular topic these days, but it is not always explained properly. We keep on reading about it in books or magazines, but we do not have a clear understanding of how we are supposed to implement it in our life. It may also seem vague or wishy-washy to us. In the fight of becoming successful, people have stopped paying attention to themselves and do not bother about self-care. They think that they would better work towards building their career or doing something for others. Taking a little bit of me-time isn’t an indulgence; it’s indeed a necessity.
What Is Self-Care?
- 1 What Is Self-Care?
- 2 Benefits Of Self-Care
- 3 Let’s discuss some benefits:
- 4 Never Neglect Self-Care: Why?
- 5 Self-Care Aspects
- 6 Conclusion
Self-care is a huge term that encompasses anything we could do to be good to ourselves. In a nutshell, it’s about being as kind to ourselves as we would be to other people. It’s also about knowing when our resources would be running low and stepping back to replenish them rather than draining off. It also involves integrating self-compassion into our lives and loving ourselves more than anything or anyone else. It is quite important to understand that not everything that feels good is termed as self-care. There is a difference. There are some unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.
People often think that these things would give them relief, but they actually destroy them from inside. They get addicted to these due to some emotional reasons. Such self-destructive activities help to regulate challenging emotions, but the relief is of course temporary. The difference between self-care activities and unhealthy coping mechanisms is that the former is uncontroversially good for all of us. If we practice it correctly, it has long-term benefits for the mind and the body. In short, self-care is a new discipline.
Benefits Of Self-Care
With a clear definition of self-care on the table, we can now turn towards looking at what happens to us when we implement it in our lives. So, why self-care is important? There are plenty of benefits of self-care. It obviously fills us with good mood and positive energy levels. Self-care makes us feel positive in all aspects, which further helps us to handle our life’s stress. This is because we feel our best both emotionally as well as physically. A massage, a warm or cold shower, or other forms of self-pampering revitalize us from the inside and out.
Let’s discuss some benefits:
Better physical health.
Self-care helps us physically and it improves our overall health (Amazon affiliate link). If we take care of ourselves, we tend to take care of our health too. With a better self-care, we tend to decrease the chances of catching colds, flu, fever, or upset stomachs. Lesser stress followed by a better immune system surely makes us feel physically stronger.
When we learn how to say “no” to things, we start making time for things that are on top of the priority list and matter more. It could be anything; a career goal, a business aim, some personal commitments, etc. This encourages us to bring our goals into sharper focus and hence we can concentrate on the things we want to do.
Self-care definitely builds us with a lot of self-motivation and self-esteem. When we regularly carve out time for ourselves meeting our own needs, our subconscious mind constantly receives positive messages. We start treating ourselves like we matter the most and have intrinsic value. This lets the negative thoughts go away and we keep on feeling encouraged and determined. This also helps to maintain our Mental Health.
We become a Giver
Being good to ourselves doesn’t mean we are selfish. In fact, self-care gives us the resources and motivation to be compassionate to our loved ones as well. Being kind to others is just like filling an empty bucket; we can’t fill someone else’s bucket if we don’t have enough of ours! Hence, self-care is beneficial for us as well as for the people around us.
Practising self-care inspires thoughts of what we really want and love to do. Figuring out what makes us feel determined, passionate, and inspired can make us understand ourselves in a much better way. Sometimes, this can even give us a spark to change our career or even the reprioritization of a previously abandoned hobby.
Never Neglect Self-Care: Why?
For some people, self-care is a kind of self-indulgence. Either they don’t take out time for it, or think that it isn’t necessary. This is because maybe they do not understand what it actually means. Self-care is not always about the expensive massages or buying the things whatever we want or think we deserve, it is a lot more basic than that. Even the smallest activity like brushing our teeth could be termed as a form of self-care. Similarly, cooking our favorite dish, watching a favorite movie, or reading a book we love, are all parts of self-care. Hence, we cannot call it self-indulgence.
Self-care and self-help are very close cousins. These are all about being in tune with what our mind and body require to function properly. Just like we never ignore the oil light on our car, or renovating the house whenever required; we must not ignore the cues our body sends us. Various researches and studies have shown the positive effects of looking after oneself. Hence, it should never be neglected.
Self-care is indeed a personal thing. The approaches to self-care would vary from person to person. It also relates to what we do at and outside of work so that we can meet our professional as well as personal commitments.
Let us now understand different aspects of self-care and some strategies to the same:
Maintaining physical well-being is the most important thing in life. If we are physically fit, we can easily concentrate on other chores. Activities that help us in staying healthy and fit, with enough energy to handle work and personal commitments effectively should be practiced regularly.
- Taking a healthy diet
- Developing a regular sleep routine.
- Taking short breaks.
- Going for a walk after lunch and dinner.
- Going jogging in the morning or evening.
- Doing yoga and meditation on a regular basis
- Using sick leave(s).
Professional self-care involves the care required while we are at work. This involves certain activities that help us to work consistently and efficiently at the professional level. these may involve the following:
- Engaging in intellectual conversations with more experienced colleagues
- Giving ourselves a deadline
- Setting up a peer-support group
- Being strict with the boundaries
- Attending professional development programs.
- Reading professional journals
- Attending professional webinars
Psychological self-care is very important as it is essential to maintain mental health along with the physical one. Activities that help us feel clear-headed so that we could intellectually engage with the professional challenges along with the personal ones. These include the following:
- Maintaining a timetable.
- Engaging in healthy conversations with friends or colleagues.
- Practicing a new hobby.
- Staying away from work after office hours.
- Taking out time for relaxation.
- Interacting with positive people.
Emotions play around with us in life. But, it is important for us to keep our emotions in control. Maintaining an emotional self-care is equally important as the other ones. It helps to maintain a healthy balance between our personal and social life.
- Developing friendships that are supportive.
- Being kind to everyone.
- Writing and maintaining a personal diary
- Playing a sport (Amazon affiliate link) and having coffee with a friend.
- Going to a movie with a favorite person.
- Meeting your loved ones from time to time.
- Talking to someone who needs to have a conversation.
Along with other activities, it is equally important to stay connected to God. This is to have a sense of perspective beyond the day-to-day life. These may include the following:
- Engaging in reflective practices like meditation.
- Going to Gurudwara/Church/Temple/Mosque.
- Practicing Yoga.
- Opting for Sewa in a Gurudwara.
- Practicing daily prayers at home
Once we have created a self-care plan for ourselves, it is important to think, “what could work as a barrier?” What can we do to remove such barriers? We might have to recreate our strategies if we are unable to eliminate those barriers. No matter what, this has to be done. It could be challenging sometimes but we need to work on it constantly. It is important that the plan resonates and that we put it into action. Go, get started!
Self-care isn’t selfish, It’s self-esteem!Ashley Judd