There is a multitude of stress-relieving activities our hands could lay on. You got gym, meditation, yoga, and even shopping. However, if you think about it, these activities are merely distractions if you do not address the real issue you are facing, and that is taking care of yourself.
For instance, while you hit the gym regularly or do yoga often, you are not relieving yourself of stress if you do not eat healthily or get enough sleep.
As the world becomes more modern and advanced, life is supposed to be a lot more stress-free. But the reality is the exact opposite of what is idealized. Nowadays, our lives typically revolve around hustle. It even becomes a bragging right if you exhaust yourself so much to get “nice things.”
Everything should be in moderation. While the hustle culture teaches us the value of realizing our dreams and taking charge of our future, overdoing it is detrimental to us. It is still important to pause from time to time and smell the roses.
The Real Self-care
Self-care has been a buzzword in recent years. In media, we see self-care more like pampering one’s self with retail therapy and luxurious spas. However, real self-care is, in fact, about improving one’s self even when the process itself is painful.
It is said that the whole self-care movement could be credited to the Greek philosopher Socrates. In one of his speeches, Socrates said to the citizens of Athens to devote more time to finding truth, reason, and improving one’s soul rather than worldly pursuits.
Real self-care essentially talks about becoming the best version of one’s self.
Applying Self-care to Every Aspect of Your Life
Taking care of your body is very important for you to function efficiently in your day-to-day activities. Keep in mind the strong relationship between your physical body and your mind. So, if you take good care of your body, you are essentially taking care of your mind as well.
The physical aspect of self-care includes exercising regularly, getting ample sleep each night, eating healthily, and living a clean and healthy lifestyle.
You can also talk to your doctor about taking probiotic supplements that you can take along with your diet in order to help maintain your health. Don’t hesitate to ask about lifestyle changes that you can make to prevent future health issues.
Emotional self-care should never be overlooked. Handling uncomfortable emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety is difficult, but more so if you do not have a healthy coping strategy. Fostering emotional self-care covers activities that let you recognize and express your true feelings.
The first thing you can do to practice emotional self-care is to pay close attention to your internal dialogue. Try to recognize any negative self-talk you have. The next stepis to learn how to break those self-defeating monologues and replace them with kinder and more loving words.
How you think and what you think will manifest itself in your physical appearance and behavior. It also greatly influences your mental well-being. So, the mental aspect of self-care should also be nourished.
Mental self-care includes a wide range of activities that stimulates and cultivates the mind. It could be as simple as learning how to play chess and finishing a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Mental self-care also includes practicing compassion for yourself and self-acceptance. Nurture a healthier inner dialogue.
It does not mean one has to go all religious to practice spiritual self-care. Spiritual self-care means fostering habits that nurture a deeper understanding of one’s purpose in life. Various studies have shown that being in touch with one’s spiritual aspect leads to a holistic life.
Some examples of spiritual self-care are yoga, meditation, being with nature, giving time for self-reflection, and joining religious gatherings. Spiritual self-care allows you to cleanse yourself of any negativity and focus on the little joys in life.
No man is an island. So, no matter how much you say you do not need others, you still rely on people around you one way or another. Furthermore, though it is good to get some time alone to reflect on our thoughts, we still need to nurture relationships and connect with other people.
While there is no exact equation how we can say that you have devoted enough time with friends and family, be mindful of meeting their need for attention and affection. Even with our busy schedules, allocate time to cherish moments with them.
Self-care is never selfish. You are just as important and anyone else. Take time to care for your well-being.