Self-care can take many different forms, but some common examples are getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, practising meditation or mindfulness, and spending time with friends and family. But did you know that self-care extends far beyond these well-known areas?
Self-care is anything you do to take care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Although it sounds straightforward, self-care is often hard to do, because it can be easy to forget about our own needs. Self-care can improve your mental wellness by reducing stress, improving sleep, and promoting healthy coping skills. But did you know that by neglecting our real self-care, we could be harming our mental wellness?
Ultimately, the goal of self-care is to nurture our bodies and minds so that we can live happy, fulfilling lives. And when we are feeling happy and fulfilled, we are more productive, more engaged, and attract more of what we want into our lives. So, it makes sense to understand what real self-care entails and to actively incorporate this into our lives.
There are two strategies you can adopt to identify the real self-care practices relevant to you. First, identify what makes you feel good and do more of that. Second, start paying attention to what makes you feel bad and put a plan in place to address those things.
For instance, if spending time with your friends makes you feel good, self-care would entail making time for social activities even when you’re feeling busy or stressed. When we do more of what makes us feel good, it helps us feel nourished and energised. On the other hand, if thinking about how you will pay your bills at month-end makes you feel anxious and stressed, self-care would entail not ignoring your finances, but rather setting aside time to properly consider your financial management practices and devising a plan to overcome the factors that cause stress and anxiety, such as paying off your credit card debt or cancelling unnecessary monthly subscriptions.
Self-care is not just about incorporating more of what we enjoy into our lives, but is also about challenging ourselves to reduce the factors that cause stress and identify ways in which we can improve ourselves.
Areas that are often overlooked but are vital to self-care include physical appearance. We know that taking care of our physical health matters, but did you know that your outward appearance has a direct impact on how you feel and how others react or respond to you?
Other commonly overlooked areas of self-care include the home environment, including clutter and tidiness of our homes. Relationships with colleagues, our personal development, and inspiration and motivation, are also commonly overlooked areas of real self-care.
The biggest problems we face when it comes to real self-care are that we don’t know what real self-care entails, and that we often feel that we do not have time for self-care.
Self-care is not a luxury it is a necessity. When we make self-care a priority, we are more likely to achieve our goals, both personal and professional. We are also more likely to be happier and healthier and feel more inspired and fulfilled.
What steps can you take to make real self-care a priority for you? And how can you support your friends, family, and/or colleagues to do the same?
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