Whether you are a businesswoman, a student, a mom, and/or a housewife – self-care should be a top priority – it matters… a lot.
No matter your status in life, everyone is expected to balance home, play and work responsibilities and all of the challenges that come with each of these, but sometimes we can get overwhelmed.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete”
Self-care is a practice that helps to limit the everyday strains and stresses that you encounter trying to be everything to everyone.
What does self-care really mean for you?
Today, the topic of self-care is very popular, but not properly explained. You might see it mentioned in women’s magazines or self-help books and still not get a clear sense of its meaning, or how it is supposed to enhance your life.
You might be wondering if you need to practice it regularly – why is it so important, and which self-care practices do you really need?
Self-care is a broad term, encompassing a lot of good things that you do for yourself. It’s being kind to yourself, knowing that when you are running on low, you can easily replenish yourself.
Self-care is also about self-compassion so that you don’t allow yourself to burn-out.
In saying that, it is important to realize that not everything that feels good for you is self-care. Alcohol, over-eating, taking risks – these might feel good in the moment, but they are actually self-destructive activities. They can change your emotions but only temporarily.
The bottom line is that self care is good for your body, mind and spirit and has many long term benefits, when practiced correctly.
What are the benefits of self-care?
- Greater productivity – It is saying no to the things you don’t want and yes to the things that will improve your life in wonderful ways.
- Better resistance to diseases because you will do what’s good for your body, thereby fortifying your immune system and being rewarded with better health.
- Boosts self-esteem, because you are being good to your body and soul, sending positive messages to your mind. You matter to yourself, so you stay away from negativity including that critical inner voice.
- Self-knowledge is increased when you practice self-care because you learn what “lights you up”. You have figured out what activities you are passionate about and actually do them.
- More to give. When you practice self-care, you sometimes wonder if you are being a bit selfish, but in reality, self-care gives you the resources to show more compassion to others.
The Categories of Self-Care
Sensory: Helps to calm your mind. It is being tuned in to all the detailed sensations around you. This means you are living in the present moment, and that allows you to let go of past resentments and future anxieties.
Emotional: Being totally engaged with your emotions helps so much with stress. It’s healthy to feel and accept your emotions, being able to move on from them and not bottling them up.
Spiritual: This is about being in touch with your values and what matters to you. When you develop a sense of purpose, it is much easier to recover from stress and depression.
Physical: It makes sense that physical activity is imperative for self-care, because not only does it improve your overall health; it’s a wonderful way to reduce stress.
Social: Whether you are an extrovert or introvert, connecting with people is important, because we are social beings. The key is to do things with people who make you feel good and who you love being with.
Here are 5 Simple Self-Care Rituals You Can Do Right Now:
1. Just one thing. Do one thing that makes you happy. Smell a flower, take a luxurious bath, listen to your favorite song, think of those good things that feed your soul.
2. Unplug all electronics for at least half an hour. That means your phone, laptop, tablet, social media, email alerts, landlines, all of it!
3. Listen to your body. Get into the practice of listening to your body. Do you feel hunger, thirst, or maybe exhaustion?
4. Dancing is great exercise and the music helps release feel-good hormones in the brain. Turn up your favorite tune and dance in the living room!
5. Practice positive self-talk. Use positive affirmations to remind yourself of how great you are and how much you deserve this self-care.
When you focus on helping others, you bring untold happiness and positivity into your life; that is the practice of self-care.
Self-care is essentially a survival skill. It is about engaging in practices and activities that reduce stress and enhance our lives. Each of our lives is unique with varying demands – practicing self-care is important because it keeps you in balance.
Start applying self-care to your life today and see how your health and happiness change – for the better.