Self-care is most often perceived as the sort of practice that is all about indulging ourselves, playing selfish, and giving full attention to our needs only. This perception could not be farther from the truth. This misinterpretation time and time again often brings to light some bothersome observations by our friends, family, and even coworkers.
One of the main reasons for it is many people still do not grasp the value of self-care and how we all should make sure that we do take the time to look after ourselves, making ourselves a priority. The reality is that we all have a fundamental right to practice self-care for many different reasons, one of them being, preventing us from going down the route of neglecting our basic needs.
To start off, let’s first consider what self-care is. Self-care can translate into a great number of distinct capacities, yet, if we look at it objectively, self-care is nothing more than you taking the time to care for yourself. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and physically.
It is when you intentionally take time to check in with yourself. It is that moment in which you deliberately choose to become involved in activities that you know will allow you to be in a better place. Self-care is you purposely choosing to prioritize yourself, showing up for yourself, and making sure you are in a good enough place to take on your day-to-day life and the numerous different aspects of it.
Practicing self-care is known to enhance self-esteem, increase positive feelings, and create more joy, and satisfaction which can all translate to a big expansion in energy levels and allow a major uplift in motivation to take place.
When we intentionally take the time to engage in such practices, we distinctly notice that our vitality becomes greater. With self-care comes a substantial improvement in our emotional health and a boost in our immune system that ends up giving us a sense of feeling much more well equipped to handle everyday pressures.
Regular self-care practice allows us to navigate through ordeals in a calmer state while dealing with any challenges that arise. The benefits of being intentional in these kinds of practices are broad and linked to positive health outcomes.
When your productivity is most often maximized, there is a better stress response, increased resilience, and a feeling of growing compassion towards yourself and others and this is what is typically perceived to be a win-win situation.
Taking part in self-care activities presents you with the possibility to handpick the best course of action. You become responsible to take the most appropriate move that is best for you. When light is shed on how we are truly feeling, we are given an opportunity to stop and ask ourselves, “What do I need right now?” That level of awareness brings a choice and that is when you are able to take back control and make use of the options available. Do you want to click the reset button or keep living in auto-pilot mode? Making a conscious choice can make the difference between having a well-balanced day or a stressful, negatively charged day.
We all know that society has been passing on this belief that we must always be productive, work long hours, and avoid taking breaks and time off. This notion ultimately has led to burnout and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress as it does not allow any space for self-care.
Long working hours and juggling different aspects of your life throughout the day can be draining and push you to the limit. In order to prevent such a state, we all should strive to take control of our overall health and wellness.
As the old adage goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and this is an absolute truth. We simply will not be able to give our best selves to the important things in life if we don’t take care of ourselves first and foremost.
Truth is, we all need to work on being one step ahead in terms of self-care. Without that awareness, we simply cannot operate fully for long. In order to comprehend and fully accept the concept of self-care, it is important that we do not view self-care as a reward.
What is meant by this? When you think to yourself “Oh, I had such a long day, I deserve to…” you should make an effort to change your self-talk. Try to regard self-care not as a reward but rather as a must and a need – not merely labeling it as something you do because you endured a tough day.
Self-care can look different for everyone and it doesn’t need to translate into relaxing practices such as a trip to a fancy spa or going on a retreat. There’s no right or wrong. The important thing is that whatever you decide to do as a self-care practice you think of it as an act of self-love.
Here are some self-care examples:
- Setting emotional, mental, and physical boundaries.
- Be sure you have a good work-life balance.
- Saying “no” to things that you know offhand causes unnecessary stress.
- Giving yourself permission to take a break, meditate, and spend time in nature or at home.
- Setting time to hit the gym, go for a run, or a walk.
- Taking time for yourself to do what you enjoy like taking a bubble bath or dancing to your favorite tune.
- Limiting your spending to save up for something you truly want to purchase.
- Scheduling time to meet up with friends and do a weekly check-in
These are merely suggestions of possible self-care strategies that you can implement, however, you should always reflect on what makes sense to you. The most important thing is that you are giving space to yourself, awarding yourself with options so that you can uncover what makes you feel good. Keep in mind that this is not about what others do or say you should do. It is about what you believe will help you prioritize your wellbeing. Be mindful of the fact that self-care is something you can control and act on and that there’s literally no limit to what you can consider to be self-care.
What is important is that you start by picking out a daily or weekly practice and slowly lacing it into your daily routine. To help you become conscious of how much that practice is helping, take note of any positive changes that surface with the change in your behavior as that can provide you the fuel you need to keep adding in more time to practice self-care.
Self-care is how you take your power back. Self-care is critical to a happier and fulfilling life. Be sure that you are prioritizing yourself.