The grind of the fast-paced world hardly gives us an opportunity to devote some quality time to ourselves. Stuck amid duties and responsibilities and stress, we fail to realize that each day is important for us and we need to sneak out some time for our self-care, and that failing to do this can lead to physical and mental disorders, deterioration in performance level and other complications. Considering the benefits that one can reap from practicing self-care, one might be wondering as to what is the definition of self-care.
Self-care is a broad term that includes everything that you do to take care of yourself so that you stay healthy, both mentally and physically. It is a life-long activity that is based on an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the self-care techniques adopted in his/her life. Some of the common examples of self-care techniques include eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, practicing meditation and exercising regularly.
Thumb Rules of How to Take Care of Yourself
Some of the self-care practices to be followed must be chosen wisely and intelligently. It is important to remember three basic rules before making a list of some ways to take care of yourself. These are:
- Stick to the basics: Practicing self-care is simple, so do not make it complicated. Simply, stick to the basics and implement the ways that you like. Over time, you would be able to identify the ways that would suit you.
- Plan it in advance: Choose methods that you would like to use to take good care of yourself and add those to a calendar. Doing so would help you stay committed and implement them in real-life.
- Be honest: Be honest while designing self-care techniques. In other words, make a conscious choice and only opt for the ways that you are sure will work for you.
Benefits of Self-Care
Implementing self-care strategies like writing a journal and practicing meditation can yield a plethora of benefits. Apart from helping one stay in good mood and health, there are a number of other benefits of practicing self-care techniques. Some of these are:
- Improved productivity: When you plan your day in a better way and incorporate self-care tips in your daily schedule, you tend to concentrate better which in turn makes you more productive.
- Better health: Taking good care of yourself by implementing self-care tips is a simple trick to stay healthy. This entire process will help you possess stronger immune system along with being more careful about taking your medicines.
- Boosts self-esteem: If you take care of your health, it is certainly going to benefit your mental health as well. This is because when you begin to care for yourself, the subconscious mind begins to receive positive messages and discard all negative thoughts.
- Know yourself: Practicing self-care techniques allows you to spend time with yourself, which, in turn, allows you to establish a stronger bond with yourself.
- Keep stress at bay: The importance of self-care for health and stress management is undeniable, as taking a bubble bath or a nap can help rejuvenate your senses and fight away stress.
To know how to deal with stress and anxiety naturally, read: “35 ways to overcome stress naturally.”
- Develop compassion: Take care of your own health and you will be able to offer better support and compassion to others.
- Boost self-confidence: Taking care of your health will make you feel better and more confident. This in turn will help take better decisions that will work in favor of all.
- Happiness: Feeling good about yourself would make you feel happy. This is owing to the increased productivity and positivity in your life.
- Uplift the spirits: The positive mindset and self-confidence will help uplift not only the mood, but also the spirit and emotional state of mind.
- Revive yourself: High energy level, better productivity and positivity are ensured if you indulge in self-care. Having a positive mindset is a sure shot way to revive yourself and your senses.
Some Facts About Self-Care
A number of myths are commonly associated with self-care. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the facts in order to lead a healthy and happy life. Some of them are:
- It is all about fun and relaxation.
- It makes one feel more energetic.
- It strengthens one’s mental presence.
- It boosts one’s self-esteem.
- It is not a selfish act.
- It fortifies the relationship between two individuals.
How to practice self-care in your daily life
The benefits of good self-care are not limited to a healthy mind and body. Incorporating these habits in one’s daily life can lead to a number of other benefits. There are a number of ways in which one can practice self-care in his/her daily life. Some of the common ways to practice self-care in an individual’s daily life are as mentioned below:
- Making healthy lifestyle choices: Get involved in physical activities, eat a healthy diet and adopt similar lifestyle choices to ensure that you continue to stay in good health.
- Be cautious when taking medication: Whether you are using a prescription or a non-prescription medicine, it is important to stay responsible and not indulge in substance abuse.
- Identify the risk: Pay attention to any unlikely signs and symptoms developed by you. This would help you in avoiding any risk factors that might trigger the development of major health issues.
- Exercise regularly: Going for a brisk walk and exercising regularly are some of the most common ways to take good care of one’s own health. This will not only energize you but also motivate you for the rest of the day.
- Practice meditation: Practicing meditation regularly is a great way to keep your senses active and alert. Give yourself some positive encouragement and relax your brain so that you begin your day on a healthy note.
- Maintain a journal: Write a journal about anything you like. This can be as simple as how you spent your day or the lessons you learned in your life. Doing so will allow you to vent out your emotions as well as help you realize what life taught you that day.
- Read a book: Reading a book will not only improve your language skills but will also help you relax your senses. It is a great way to rejuvenate your senses as well as stay active.
- Contact an old friend: Try to connect with an old friend, not through the social media sites but by contacting him/her directly to meet or have a chat over the phone.
- Dedicate some ‘me-time’: Out of your busy schedule, it is important to dedicate some time to your own self. Invest that time in doing things you enjoy or simply relax.
- Unplug from technology: One must remember that checking his/her phone as soon as he/she wakes up is one of the worst habits. It is important for every individual to keep all the gadgets aside before he/she is all set to begin his/her day.
To know about some other ways to practice self-care, read: ‘31 Simple Ways to Practice Self-care.’
Encouraging others to practice self-care
The benefits of self-care are hard to ignore as incorporating these habits into our day-to-day lives is important for a healthy and productive life. You must realize that self-care is your own responsibility that will benefit you in the long run as well. Encouraging someone to practice self-care is an art – every individual’s thought process is different and hence, there’s nothing like one solution that would work for all.
Some of the common ways in which one may encourage others to practice self-care are as mentioned below:
- Let them know the benefits: It is very likely that the individual concerned is not aware of the benefits of practicing self-care. Therefore, letting them know the various benefits of self-care movement and why it is important to have self-care can inspire them to adopt healthy habits in life.
- Share some simple techniques: Help them understand that practicing self-care is simply a form of art that aims to bring in a change in their life. Share some simple techniques to practice self-care such as deep breathing, eating healthy and walking regularly.
- Develop into a calm and strong individual: Practicing self-care techniques like yoga and meditation can help an individual grow into a calm and strong adult. Doing so can help one get rid of any sort of future risks.
- Get rid of bad memories: A child may have gone through a stressful period in his/her life that may have led to the formation of bad memories. Practicing self-care techniques can be a great escape from these memories.
- Vent out your emotions: One must never try to hold back his/her emotions as doing so can damage his/her mood. Try and vent out all the bottled-up emotions and allow yourself to cry so that there is no pain about any aspect of his/her life.
- Lower your stress level: Stress and anxiety bother almost every individual, but if one pays a little attention to his/her own health, and practices self-care tips, it can help in lowering the blood pressure and anxiety level.
- Find opportunities to laugh: Laughter is the best medicine. Therefore, practicing self-care tips can help an individual stay healthy by offering newer opportunities to laugh and enjoy life.
- Lead a healthy life: Let others know that practicing self-care tips is a great way to lead a healthy life. This is because self-care enables you to fight against the health issues faced by you, and avoid the risks of any new form.
- Better sleep: Self-care techniques help an individual in getting rid of all forms of stress and anxiety. This, in turn, allows one to sleep better and lead a stress-free life.
- Instill positivity: Practicing self-care tips can act as a great source of motivation. Incorporating these in your day-to-day life can instill positivity and make you realize the beauty of life.
Managing time for self-care
The best way to manage time for self-care is looking into one’s daily schedule and finding the most suitable time slot for practicing some form of self-care. Some of the ways in which an individual can manage time for self-care include:
- Add it to your calendar to work as a reminder.
- Find alternative ways in which you can fulfill self-care responsibilities. Adding it to the calendar will act as a source of motivation. Set it as a family goal and make every family members do his/her best.
- Confirm if your workplace allows for time-related flexibility.
- Take your children along with you to places like a garden which will help in gaining inspiration and stay motivated.
- Include self-care activities in your entire day’s schedule. This will keep you healthy and allow you to relax.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state in which an individual gives complete attention to the moment without being affected by the things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. A person is said to be mindful if he/she brings awareness about the things experienced by him/her via senses, thoughts or emotions.
Practicing mindfulness is not a science, as every individual is already doing it in his/her everyday life. Some of its common techniques include deep breathing, practicing yoga and meditation. Apart from these, some other ways of practicing mindfulness are:
- Setting aside some time to practice the technique
- Observing the present moment without being judgmental
- Allowing the judgments to pass by, if any.
- Don’t lose cool even if the mind wanders. Just focus and bring it back.
Meditation is known to be one of the best techniques to practice self-care. Some of the benefits of meditation are lowering the stress level, helping one connect better and improving the focus of the brain. Therefore, one must understand that mindfulness is a must-to-incorporate technique in one’s daily life in order to stay healthy.
Practicing self-care is not a choice. Considering its positive impact on one’s life, it should be an integral part of everyone’s life. It is pertinent for every individual to understand why self-care is important for the emotional, psychological and social well-being of a person. It’s time you integrate it into your everyday life to lead a mentally and physically healthy life.