The concept of self-care is not a new concept but is still confused by many people with ‘being selfish’ — that somehow taking care of ourselves is self-involvement or a selfish act instead of a self-respectful act.
It is not a selfish act. Self-care is a practice of activities that are necessary to sustain life and health, initiated by any individual for him or herself! No matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Self Care has become a huge priority for me from the last few years – ranging from getting more sleep to exercising and most importantly, the ability to say no to too many things which don’t serve me in any positive way.
In the end of the day, we all want ourselves to be better than yesterday, but sometimes we are too overwhelmed to decide from where to start!
Hence, in today’s post, I am sharing 5 simple steps of Self-care which will help you ensuring that you are taking good care of your mind, body and soul.
- Sleeping Well
First and probably most important thing you need to start caring about is your sleep. I know it sounds cliche, but don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep which should be somewhere around 7 to 8 hours! Getting ample sleep is so important. You can’t really be very functional next day if you keep feeling tired all the time.
We all are guilty of either binge watching or taking our phones to bed at sleep O’clock! Develop a sleep routine and try your best to goto bed (for sleeping, NOT for binge watching or phone surfing 😛 ) every night at same time. If you will not be able to sleep at that time, don’t worry and keep trying for few nights, good habits take time 🙂 I actually have a suggestion: try sleep meditation if you haven’t yet! It works most of the time.
2. Eating Clean
This is another thing which is definitely super important too to maintain a healthy lifestyle; hence one of the practices of Self-care. When I say practice eating clean, I am aware of the fact that its almost impossible to eat clean 100% of the time but trust me if you will able to do that at least for about 90-95% of time, you win! Small tweaks in your diet can make a huge difference in your lifestyle, daily performance for work and other activities. Because you feel what you eat. If you eat clean, you feel healthy if you eat crap, you feel lethargic.
Understand that the food you put into your body has a direct effect not only on your mood and energy level, but also on the quality and length of your life.
Try to stay as active as you can. Staying active doesn’t mean you’ve to hit the gym for 2 or more hours or burn X amount of calories everyday. I mean if you do that and you know its good for you, then you do you but if you’re someone who is not able to take time to commit to gym everyday, you don’t have to. Make a workout routine in which try to do a mix of cardio and strength training exercises at least 3-4 days a week. Rest of the days even if you go for a leisure walk of 30 minutes each day, trust me you still are doing just fine. Find what works for you and go with it!
4. Learning To Say No
Learning to say no is really hard. Many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability.
Knowing when to say “no” is one of the self-care activities that people have the most trouble with. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more empowered.
Carefully choose when you say “yes” and make sure you are only agreeing to activities or requests that align with your values or bring you happiness.
5. Do Not Neglect Your Mental & Emotional Health
In the journey of life, where the physical health is very important, most of the times we do not give same kind of attention to our Emotional and Mental well-being.
Mental health is much more than a diagnosis. It’s your overall psychological well-being—the way you feel about yourself and others as well as your ability to manage your feelings and deal with everyday difficulties, that’s why It’s very important to take care of mental health too. Taking care of your mental health also means taking steps to improve your emotional health on your own. If you feel overwhelmed with any kind of negative emotions, then know that its time for some self-assessment. Find out why are you feeling the way you do. What can you do to change it? May be talk to a loved one or a friend who understands you and share how you feel about any particular situation in your life. However, if that is not possible or available, then engage yourself in the activities that can help in relieving stress for that moment. Take one day at a time and tell yourself it’s okay to feel like this sometimes and promise yourself to replace each negative thought with a positive one! Making these changes will pay off in all aspects of your life. It can boost your mood, build resilience, and add to your overall enjoyment of life.
How do we actually do this?
It may sound very huge, but it’s not impossible. Remember it’s not a one day job. To begin with, try to develop a Self-care plan that is suitable to your current needs and priorities in life. Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Your self-care plan will need to be customized according to your needs. For example a Self-care plan of a busy student will be different from a Self-care plan of a mom or a retired person. Analyze which areas of your life need more attention and care than others and build a Self-care plan accordingly.
You don’t have to tackle everything all at once. Take one small step to begin caring for yourself better. And just like that when you find yourself caring for all aspects of yourself and your life, you’ll find that you are able to operate more effectively and efficiently and enjoying life a bit more each day 🙂
What are some things that you like to practice as Self-care? I am still working on #4 . 😛 Happy ‘almost’ weekend!
See you soon in the next post. Until then…