Staying healthy physically is important. That is well known and established. But we often forget about taking care of things like our mind, our emotional boundary, and our social relationships. Taking care of ourselves can make us go from simply getting through the day to thriving, growing, and being a better version of ourselves every day. It is most essential at this point in time, considering the unusual circumstances around us.
What is self-care?
Self-care if anything you do (or refrain from doing) while keeping your own well being in mind as your top priority. It is about giving yourself the same compassion and nurture as you would give someone close to you, like a spouse or child. Self-care is doing something we enjoy, rather than something we feel forced to do unless it is something that has to be done (job/work).
Our well-being is necessary regardless of the circumstance or state of the world around us. It aids us in managing stress better and lets us be more productive. Taking care of ourselves helps us keep a good work-life balance.
Self-care looks different for everyone. For some, it is an active lifestyle, while for others it is a more still and easy-going lifestyle. The entire point of self-care is to engage in things that energize and recharge you.
Areas of focus on:
Mental: Realizing your own capabilities and having the ability to cope with day-to-day stress.
Emotional: Anything associated with thoughts, feelings, pleasure, displeasure, and behavioral responses.
Physical: Relating to the body as opposed to the mind.
Social: Living collectively and interacting with one another.
Self-care means being patient and kind to yourself.
The things you can do to take care of yourself mentally include setting a routine and sticking to it. There is nothing worse than waking up at different times every day and not having goals to accomplish on a daily basis. This gives you a sense of direction and ensures that you are doing what you need to be doing. This will eliminate stress from yourself and give you the ability to cope with your day-to-day tasks. Goals do not have to be big. They can be small things that you need to achieve by the end of the day. You should take frequent short breaks during the day to keep you productive. Taking long breaks after long periods of work will make you lazy as you lose momentum. To go the extra mile, you should practice mindfulness meditation, and try not to fall asleep while doing them!
Practicing gratitude is a great way of expressing that you have thankfulness, it also reinforces a positive way of thinking. Always acknowledge what you are feeling and don’t suppress your emotions. Know that your feelings are justified and valid. It is never a bad idea to share your feelings with someone or write them down in a journal. Here is a link to help you practice gratitude: Practice gratitude (website)
The most obvious thing to do to take care of your physicality is working out and exercising. Set at least three to four hours a week to exercise (spread out over the week). Getting enough sleep is also important, so you should make sure to go to bed and wake up at relatively the same time every day. This goes hand in hand with taking care of yourself mentally. Your body needs to have enough time to rest and recover. Eat well and enough, and stay healthy. Treat your body like a temple.
Make sure you reach out to someone every once in a while. As humans, we need other humans to develop normally. We are people’s people. Maintain your connections with other people. Make sure you call, text, email, send a letter and communicate with your friends and family. This is particularly necessary during uncertain times like this. Use each other to lift the spirit.
Self-care is important to do every day. It will lead to a better balance among all your dimensions of wellness, toward improved overall health and wellness. Take care of yourself to take better care of others.