Self-care can seem like a trendy buzzword that people loosely toss around in the health world. It can seem like self-care translates to expensive therapies and months away from work, but it is much more simple than that. Everyone requires time to care for the self, be it emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or physically. Being selfish is not the same thing as taking care of yourself.
There is a notion that putting yourself first is a completely selfish act, and that such behavior is unacceptable. Your well-being takes priority, and viewing that in a negative light can be harmful to your health. When you focus on your physical, mental, and spiritual health, it only enhances your ability to care for and be present with others. In fact, the World Health Organization declared a global mental health crisis, deeming a “burnout” as an occupational risk. By creating overstimulation and pressure, it can lead to exhaustion, angst, and mental decline.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is not a singular practice; rather, it can be many things. Creating boundaries, exercising, avoiding arguments, or even praying are all forms of self-care. The thing to keep in mind is that you are in control of whatever is happening. In reality, self-care is a piece of the puzzle that helps you cope with daily stressors. Self-care really includes everything that helps you stay healthy overall.
When you can spend time on yourself, away from the chaos of life, you feel rejuvenated. It doesn’t have to be an extensive vacation or anything like that. Self-care can be as simple as a yoga class, meditation session, massage, a family day at the beach, a nap, a neighborhood run, or time reading a book. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that caring for the self and staying healthy and safe is the best way to care for the community. Self-care helps you replenish your own resources instead of taking energy from other people. Continue to care for the self, and don’t think that it’s selfish to do so. Some easy self-care practices are detailed below.
#1: Give Yourself The Best Hours Of Your Day
Everyone experiences a certain time of the day when they feel their best. Let’s hope that everyone spends eight hours sleeping, which leaves 16 hours of the day to go about life. How much time do you spend shopping, watching TV, scrolling through social media, cooking, working, or caring for children? What hours are you most productive or energetic? Once you identify those hours, stow them away for personal time. Those are the hours that you use for whatever makes you feel good. Allow yourself that time and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.
#2: Learn The Power Of “No”
“No” is inherently viewed in a negative light, but it can be a powerful tool to help promote self-care. The idea behind saying “no” to others is to avoid over-committing yourself and subsequently limiting the amount of stress you experience. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, leaving no downtime for yourself. You cannot be the best version of yourself if you don’t give yourself the proper care. Say “no” from time to time and you’ll find that you and those around you benefit.
#3: Give Yourself Permission
It’s natural for a person to feel uncomfortable about taking time for the self. People are more accustomed to caring for others than themselves. In fact, it may seem counterintuitive to spend more time on caring for your own body. Grant yourself permission to care for the self, taking time every day to do something that brings you joy, relaxation, or inner peace. It’s perfectly acceptable to go get a pedicure or a massage. These are investments in your health the same way that eating a healthy meal or exercising is. The things you do in life can be thought of as preventative medicine. When you permit yourself to take the necessary steps, your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.