‘Self-care’ is a term that most people shy away from. Why? Well, many feel that the foundation of ‘self-care’ comes from a very selfish environment and emotions. People associated this term with not caring or caring less about others and being more self absorbed. But what is ‘self-care’ really? In plain words, self-care can be understood as taking good care of one’s own self. This ‘taking care’ doesn’t just incorporate the basics such as eating well and sleeping well; it’s much more than that. The idea behind self-care directs us towards taking care of ourselves in every manner be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Though, these days ‘social’ and ‘spiritual’ self-care has also become a big part of this notion. Any form of a conscious act by a person to promote their overall well-being is part of self-care.
Why is it important? How does it help us?
Once a person starts taking care of his or her own self, happiness, and health, it results in indescribable happiness and satisfaction which has been proven to have a positive impact on one’s life in the mental, physical, and emotional spheres. Acts of self-care should be part of our lifestyle, like taking care of what we eat, when we sleep, taking breaks when required, etc. These small acts when put together support the notion of overall well-being. We all know the importance of eating well, sleeping properly and all other, though conventional but important, ways of taking care of ourselves. Other than these, below mentioned are a few other techniques that, when incorporated in our lifestyle or daily routine, promote self-care.
This technique helps us, as a form of an outlet, to effectively express and communicate our emotions and thoughts on paper in the form of words. Journaling requires very minimal commitment and can be done at any point of the day, be it while drinking morning coffee or on a metro to work; it is a convenient practice. You can write whatever is on your mind regardless of how insignificant you think it might be. This practice helps one to be accepting and aware of their thoughts and emotions, a form of acknowledgment of one’s own self.
2. Unplug, when required, from social media:
While we understand the importance of taking a break from work or study whenever it seems to be drowning us, it is also important to understand the importance of unplugging from social media. These days, social media has become a kind of negative medium for many people as it leads to anxiety or can even act as a trigger at times. With all that negativity outside it is essential to know when to stop. Whenever it feels like social media is becoming toxic for you or is swaying your thoughts more than you desire, unplug. Practice digital detox. This will act as a breather for your mental and emotional health.
3. ‘Me’ time:
With everything in life going on at full speed it becomes hard to take out time for one’s own self. ‘Me time’ is vital as it helps in promoting balance for our mental and emotional well-being. It also helps us in getting that peace and quiet that one needs after a hectic day. This time can be used for anything, from enjoying our favorite hobbies to a skincare routine to playing our favorite video games, etc. It can also be used to meditate or just relax. It can be incorporated at any part of the day according to our lifestyles.
4. Create Boundaries:
Many a times while helping others, we tend to let their issues affect our emotional and mental state. There is a need of creating boundaries in a manner that it protects our mental health. It is exceptionally important to understand that our time, energy, and emotions are valuable and we are not meant to overexert ourselves for those who are toxic for us. Be a giver, but not at the cost of your own well-being. Creating these boundaries helps us to protect ourselves.
5. Learn to say ‘NO’:
This notion of saying ‘no’ comes from the thought of protecting one’s own self from toxic people and ideas. Knowing when to say ‘no’ has saved many people from toxic relationships and situations and even burnouts. This practice makes one understand the importance of one’s time and energy. Similarly, people should also learn when to say ‘yes’ for themselves. Though seen as ‘selfish’ and ‘narcissistic’, the importance of saying ‘yes’ to one’s own self is important. Say yes to forgiving yourself, to be happy, to eat one more cookie, or even buying something of your desire. This saying ‘yes’ helps us to be sure of our desires and aids learning the importance of our opinion as well as happiness.
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