What is Self-care?
Self-care is any activity that involves looking after our mental, emotional, and physical health and while this appears to be a simple task, people often disregard it. Regularly we are telling friends or family to “Take care”, “Mind yourself”, or “Look after yourself”, but we do not practice what we preach.
It’s true that we need to love ourselves before loving someone else and similarly, in order to care for another person, we must care for ourselves first. Self-care is essential for a good relationship with oneself and others.
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep affects our emotional and physical health. Stress and caffeine are major causes of lack of sleep. What is stressing you? How can you reduce your caffeine intake? Think of ways to combat these.
Eating healthy makes you feel better and thus has positive effects on your physical and mental health, and vice-versa. In other words, the food we consume can keep us healthy or it can negatively lead to weight gain or illness. Eating a balanced diet is essential for proper self-care.
Daily exercise is important for your physical and emotional health. It boosts your mood, and decreases anxiety and stress, and helps you to lose weight. Understandably, it’s difficult to set time aside from our busy schedules. Don’t forget you can incorporate it through sports or walking- even a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break at work.
Pay Attention to Yourself and How you are Feeling
Listen to how you are feeling. Being mindful of negative thoughts is a critical component of self-care. Depression often transpires when we ignore our feelings, rather than embracing them. Everything we feel is warranted, but the way we express and process our emotions shapes us. A healthy way to deal with our emotions is by talking, crying or journaling and understanding the underlining problem.
Remember, your time and energy are your most precious resources. It’s very important to consider with whom and how you spend your time.
Self-care doesn’t occur automatically. It needs to be planned in order for it to be included in your routine. Consciously commit to it and discover ways to look after yourself, in both a personal and professional capacity.