In today’s fast-paced world, feeling stressed is common. However, most of us can’t handle it effectively and our mind, body, and soul end up paying a high price for it. Luckily, there are so many ways to manage stress and the main way is to practice self-care. I know what’s going on your mind presently, “I don’t have time for that”. Trust me, I had the same mentality. Being a full-time student plus pursuing a professional degree, I barely had enough time for myself. Finally, I decided that I needed to practice self-care, even if it was just for a few minutes each day.
Society these days makes us think that self-care is a selfish luxurious thing that can only be attained by having expensive vacations, booking spa treatments, shopping, or treating ourselves with a nice dessert or smoothie. Honestly, these pamperings are great and provide satisfaction for a while, but they’re not getting us out from the frazzle we’re experiencing. Self-care can be practiced in a variety of forms and can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking a deep breath.
What does self-care mean?
Self-care simply means taking care of ourselves. It sounds so simple, yet many of us struggle to do so! The first step of self-care is acknowledging that we need to give importance to ourselves. For the most part, we are in denial when our friend or colleague at work tells us this and we take it the wrong way, but the truth is that they’re probably right! After acknowledging, we can start practicing self-care strategies to help take care of our mind, body and soul. If you’re having trouble making time for self-care daily, set out a time or specific day on the week to practice self-care. For example, you can have ‘self care Sundays’ dedicated to taking time for yourself.
Other self-care tips:
- Sleep Early.
- Take a hot shower.
- Watch your favourite movie or TV program.
- Invest time for your hobbies.
- Do a Face-Mask.
- Listen to a positive podcast.
- Go on a long drive.
Learn to Say NO:
Self-care also mean learning to say “no”. If you’re a people-pleaser like me, this can be extremely difficult, but you can always start with baby steps. You need to ask yourself sometimes, “Am I doing this for me, or am I doing it because I am afraid that I will let someone down”?. Saying “no” to something you don’t want to do doesn’t make you bad. By me saying “yes”, I found myself overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, and even physically sick at some points. I would always find it easier to say “yes” rather than saying “no”, as saying “no” requires a lot of courage and confidence.
Self-care comes with being decisive about what you want and don’t want. It gets easier with time and practice. Not only does saying “no” help you with confidence, but it also helps you to set boundaries and balance in your life.
Asking for Help:
Self-care also includes learning when to ask for help. If you’re independent and a bit stubborn like me, you refuse to ask for help until you’re at your breaking point. Just like a vehicle, we need to fuel our gas before it runs out. At some point, even the best of us can’t handle everything and we need to take a step back and ask for help. Asking for help can be as simple as asking your loved one to do chores, while you try to get an extra hour of sleep. Most of us believe that we simply don’t deserve to have the luxury to get help from others. For your health and sanity, it’s a crucial part of self-care knowing and understanding when you need help.
Why Self-Care is Important?
Self-care means taking care of yourself and taking care of yourself allows you to take care of everything else. We can not please others without pleasing ourselves. When our mind, body and soul are depleted we feel irritated, exhausted, angry and stressed. Without practicing self-care, you will encounter long-term stress which can deteriorate your health. Chronic anxiety can cause you headaches and affect your sleep, blood pressure, immune system, etc. No one understands your anxiety and mental tiredness except you. It’s your responsibility to do your own thing and take the time to do efforts that heals your mind, body and soul.
Signs you need it:
- Disturbed sleep schedules.
- Lack of Appetite
- You’re having trouble focusing
- Mood swings.
- People don’t enjoy your company.
- You haven’t smiled in days.
Self-care is necessary for everyone! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mother, a nurse, a student, a teacher, etc. You need to remember that YOU ARE WORTHY and you deserve to be happy. Stop looking for reasons or excuses before allowing yourself to take a breathe and chill. Practicing self-care is not considered as being selfish, in fact, it’s part of survival. It will bring out the best in you and you will find that now you can easily give yourself completely to your family, relationship, friends, and job. It’s nature’s law that the more we do for ourselves, the more we can do for others.