Self-care in essence, is the mindful act of taking time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.
Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
Also, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.
Contrary to common belief, workaholism is not a virtue. Overwork, and the accompanying stress and exhaustion can make you less productive, disorganised and emotionally depleted. It can also lead to all sorts of health problems, from anxiety and depression to insomnia and even heart disease.
While a little dose of stress is a healthy way to give us a nudge that we need to meet the deadlines or finish that overdue task, constant stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health.
Little things like sipping tea while looking at the raindrops sliding down the windowpane, enjoying a bubble bath, or reading a book are essential for your daily happiness. Things like taking up a new hobby or learning a new language can make your life more purposeful by giving you a reason to get up in the morning.
Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, taking adequate sleep, caring about your hygiene, exercising regularly, etc.
It also does not mean that you have to do something extravagant or expensive to take care of yourself, some simple ways to take care of yourself can be to go for a run or a light jog, meditate or do deep breathing for five minutes. Take a break when you need it and choose who you spend time with.
Laugh out loud at least once a day, avoid emotional eating, start a journal and stop overthinking.
R MacKenzie, Psychologist says that “when you learn how to say ‘no’ to things that over-extend you and start making time for things that matter more, you slow life down in a wonderful way. This brings your goals into sharper focus and helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing.
There is evidence that most self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). What this means is that your body goes into a restful, rejuvenating mode, helping it to strengthen its immune system.
With better self-care often comes fewer colds, cases of flu and upset stomachs. Less stress and a better immune system can help you feel more physically able and strong inside and out.
When you regularly carve out time that’s only about being good to yourself and meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious.
Specifically, you treat yourself like you matter and have value. This can go a long way toward discouraging negative self-talk from your critical inner voice.”
Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you really love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself a lot better.
When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish, when in truth, self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate to others as well.
“There are many different self-care practices, and none of them are especially difficult or require a lot of planning.
The trick is to find some that you genuinely enjoy and that fit with your life and values,” MacKenzie says.
Once you start adding emotional self-care to your life, you’re likely to become fiercely protective of that time and wonder how you ever managed without it.