Life is not always full of happiness. Some ups and downs force us to put ourselves in 2nd place. But whenever you face such a thing, self care is the most important thing.
When you feel physically and mentally drained it becomes easier for your mind to navigate stressors in healthy ways. That is what makes self care practices so important. It is crucial that you keep your mind and body on top priority.
What Is Self Care?
Self Care is a term that everybody around us uses but very few know the actual practice behind it. Most people approach self care as a way of making themselves better than who they are. Self-improvement is often mistaken as taking care of yourself. While they both are very different terms. Self care is all about allowing yourself to love and experience your life as it is now instead of trying to change it for a better future.
Self Care VS Self Improvement
Self Improvement is an attempt to make yourself better. In this practice you accept where you are and try to improve yourself little by little every single day.
It is the result of a perfectionist mindset where we think that something with us is not right and then we try to fix it.
Whereas Self Care stands for the love one has for their own self. It means to accept and love yourself as you are. This practice is when you feel better just by being yourself and you start taking care of yourself.
Tips To Get Started
When you consider starting self care you first start by identifying your physical needs. Take note of all the steps you feel you currently need to take to satisfy and fulfill your needs. If you want to make lifestyle changes emphasize those points in your plan .
Start With Physical Care
Most adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Take a look at your schedule and see if you are getting enough sleep. If not make self care your priority, see where you can fill the time gap and can utilize the time to sleep.
While planning a visit to the doctor’s office may not be on your mind. Try to organize regular normal check-ups to rule out the chances of any serious illness.
Forming healthy eating habits doesn’t only mean that you should keep a watch on the type of food you are eating. How you eat, when you eat are as important as what you eat. To keep a watch on all this you can maintain a food journal.
Research suggests getting physical activity of 150 minutes each week. If you feel that exercise is boring or you don’t enjoy it then try to experiment with your schedules.
See what you are enjoying and in the beginning try to stick to that. Then slowly and steadily try to indulge in other forms of exercise.
Now when you feel that you are ok with conducting the physical self care activity try to focus on your mental health. Consider doing the things that energize your mind and brain and also keep you sharp and alert.
Stress plays a major role in your mental health. A good way to take care of mental health is to take a note of all the things that are stressing you out. Make a list of all those things that give you stress. Now try to find different ways to deal with them.
Try to build strong boundaries. These boundaries will help you protect time you have saved for yourself. Setting limits involve:
- Learning to say No to things that you don’t want to do.
- Communicating your priorities directly to others.
Strengthening your mind and expanding your knowledge can have various benefits for your overall well being. Increasing your cognitive skills might include:
- Leaning new things
- Reading the books you love
- Playing games that can improve your focus and concentration.
Allowing yourself to take a break from your everyday life allows your brain to recharge. It also promotes increased brain functioning. If you find it difficult to concentrate your mind at one place then you should provide space and time to your brain for mental relaxation.
Digital detox stands for the period of time you keep yourself away from digital devices. This helps to declutter your mind from the stress caused by social media and other digital apps.
The Bottom Line
Self care list is a never exhausting list. Also it is different for different people. For some people it means taking care of the body’s physical needs while for others it means to take care of their mental health and fight the invisible mental issues like depression, stress, OCD and ADHD. To take utmost care of yourself, you first need to evaluate and discover your personal needs and then you can plan your self care journey.