Not many people realize the importance of self-care. Self-care is often assumed as selfish. However, the concept matters and, more so, in the current times we’re living. Looking after yourself could positively impact your health and wellbeing. I will jump into some care tips in just a bit, but first, I want to explore it a bit more.
What is all the fuss about self-care?
Self-care matters and plays a vital role in humans, even when unaware of the fact that it flows into wellness on all levels.
The importance of self-care may sound like a fad to some folks, but the reality is that it isn’t. Fads are here today and gone tomorrow, as is with most trends. But when it comes to taking care of yourself, it is a commitment and an ongoing aspect of your lifestyle.
What are some of the benefits of self-care?
- It may help to reduce anxiety
- It could improve your self-esteem
- It could contribute to better mental wellness
- Self-care could help improve health
- It may create better relationships with others
Self-care could include:
Asking for help
You do everything in your capacity to make things work, but sometimes you need help. Reaching out and asking for help is just one way you can lighten the load for yourself.
Take a step back
Sometimes you just have to see things from an outside point of view. Once you’re clear, making decisions comes easier.
There’s so many time’s that assigning fault to yourself seems the logical thing to do, even when it wasn’t your fault. Sometimes life can change people, and they tend to see this as the right thing or blame themselves for things that go wrong. Stop doing this.
You are not to blame. Learn to accept and forgive yourself. From forgiveness comes healing.
Just saying no
If you’re someone who finds it really hard to say no, now is the time to start training yourself. Sometimes people take advantage, and if you don’t draw a line and say no, then you’ll end up feeling bad moments later.
If you’re a people pleaser and only put others’ needs and wants first, then you might find that you are someone that always says “yes” even when you mean to say no.
Learning to say “no” will avoid the feeling of being taken advantage of. It will also help draw boundaries in which others will respect
Have alone time
Spending time alone is a big deal to some folks, and they may not feel that they are able to be apart from their significant other or their kids. If you take time off for yourself, this is already a huge leap in self-care.
You can go for a walk on the beach or enjoy the freedom of not being a people pleaser. Either way, you choose, time alone can help you reflect, clear your mind, and reboot your emotions.
What’s the difference between self-care and self-indulgence?
Self-care is a long-term solution to becoming a healthier and better you. It may involve the points mentioned above to achieve this change.
Self-indulgence is often misunderstood for self-care, but they are not the same things. Self-indulgence is temporary, more like a “quick fix” or fast solution.
Self-indulgence is associated with some of the following:
- Only concerned for one’s own needs
- Makes everything about one’s self
Tips for implementing the importance of self-care into your lifestyle
Self-care might not be easy for everyone, especially when you’re used to giving everything to work, family, children, spouse, volunteer, etc. If you’re reading this and can relate to these scenarios, these tips might help you out.
#1 Don’t compare yourself to others
There can only be one of you, and what you have and who you are is complete and unique. Just because someone got a job promotion or was able to go away on holiday doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to achieve or experience those things too.
A valid point to note here is that everyone has a different life and destiny. While we might meet people through the journey, we may not be destined to achieve the same goals as the next. For some, the road may seem easy, while others may be dealing with a bumpier journey. Either way, the road is for you; it is unique and tailored to your destination in the end.
The same is true that not everyone can be a rocket scientist or an Olympic swimmer. Still, the creative artist may not be as good with kids as the au pair, and the professor may not be an all-star musician. Enjoy your unique journey, and don’t compare it with another.
#2 Take a fraction of time to exercise too
When we think about exercise, we always assume it’s this hardcore muscle-pumping, weight-lifting, sweat-flowing ordeal that is undoubtedly off-putting for many. Some of us hate the idea of having to go to a gym or carving out time, especially to commit to a 1-hour workout session.
Leading a busy lifestyle may not leave any time for exercise of an hour, but thankfully this isn’t necessary. Exercise is good, and even if you can only spare 10 minutes of your day to run on the treadmill or use a stationary bike, it’s more than enough. If you don’t have gym equipment, don’t worry, you can do some stretches or aerobics that incorporate your body weight.
There are many easy yoga/stretches to try out in the comfort of your own home.
#3 Take one minute just for yourself
There are lots you can do in one minute. What many people find to help calm down and feel a sense of relaxation is breathing. We tend to breathe shallow chest breaths, which stimulates more stress hormones as this feature is actually made for stressful “fight-or-flight” situations.
However, breathing diaphragmatic breaths will help lower feeling anxious or stressed or frantic, for that matter. Breathing exercise is a vital and natural tool to help your body cope with stress. Sometimes it may look as though there isn’t one minute to spare in the clock, but trust me, even 1-minute of diaphragmatic breathing can make a huge difference.
#4 Speak positive affirmations
Affirmations may seem like “mumbo-jumbo,” but there is power in the spoken word. Words can affect us in many ways, albeit positive or negative. Embracing positive affirmations will help you to rise above unfavorable circumstances. It isn’t always easy when things are difficult, but it is possible.
Some positive affirmations may include:
- I am worthy of love
- I can do it
- I am good enough
- I deserve to be loved too
- I am beautiful just as I am
- I am happy driving my new car
- I am confident
- I am grateful and happy for my new home
- I am happy about my new job/promotion
- I love who I am
- I can achieve my goals
Those are just examples, and many people tailor their affirmations to what they’re going through or want to achieve. Sometimes positive affirmations are closely associated with “mantras.”
#5 Do something you like (hobbies)
Yes, another way to take care of yourself is by doing something you like. You can use the opportunity to work on your hobbies. Perhaps you like kayaking, cycling, hiking, taking photos, drawing, listening to music, or reading, either way, enjoy your hobbies.
Sure, some hobbies are expensive; still, you can to work towards them. For example, you love art but need supplies, maybe working towards buying supplies will help keep you amped in getting your paintings going. Perhaps you enjoy building computers, and parts are costly; that said, take the time to build up your ultimate pc and enjoy the process.
Even if you don’t have all the requirements your hobby needs, work towards it. Every bit helps.
# 6 Adapt to a balanced diet and stay hydrated
Eating healthily and staying hydrated are critical for wellness. As part of self-care, taking stock of the types of foods you eat is essential. Food is our nourishment, and healthy foods will help the body with some of its many functions.
Drinking water is also essential, and staying hydrated doesn’t limit you to clear water only. Yes, water is good, but you can also enjoy herbal teas.
#7 Take it one day at a time
Sometimes it’s hard to process life and all it has to offer along the way. The ups and the downs, the easy and the difficult, everything makes it unique. When working on self-care while dealing with life, it is best to take one day at a time. When worrying about things all the time builds stress and won’t do any good.
Try in the very least to cross each bridge when you get there instead of stressing weeks, months, and years before the time. Things can change during that time, and it could change for the better.
Conclusion to why self-care is important
Taking care of yourself is all about positive lifestyle changes that will benefit you and those around you. It is a commitment and an investment towards a better self.
While self-care may not come easy for some, it is definitely something to consider. The practice is important, especially when going through challenges, as those are the times self-neglect is easier.
Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack since nobody is perfect.
Safe travels, peace and love!