What does self-care mean?
Today, the topic of self-care if very popular, but not really properly explained. You might see it mentioned in women’s or men’s magazines or self-help books and still not get a clear sense of what it fully means, how it is supposed to add to your life. You yourself might not be convinced whether you should practice self-care regularly. So then, why is it so important, and which are the self-care practices that suit each person, seeing as there are different ones. It is actually a broad term, encompassing basically a lot of good things that you do for yourself, its being kind to yourself, knowing that when you are running on low, you need to replenish yourself. This involves 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. Take alcohol, over-eating, taking risks - these might feel good in the moment, but they are actually self-destructive activities. They can change emotions temporarily, but these are just temporary reliefs. Bottom line; self-care is when it is non-controversially good for your mind and body and when practiced correctly, there are long term benefits too.
Are there benefits to self-care?
For sure, there is better productivity from you. It is saying no and yes to the things you want or don’t want, saying yes to improve your life in wonderful ways.
- Better resistance to diseases because you want to do what’s good for your body, 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 all the negative stuff and even that critical inner small voice.
- Self-knowledge is increased when you practice self-care, because you learn when you love the things you do. You have figured out what you are passionate about and do it or are planning to.
- 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 compassion to others too.
What are the different types of self-care?
There are 5 categories of self-care and how they help you:
1. Sensory: helping to calm your mind. It is being tuned in to all the detailed sensations around you which mean you are living in the present moment, and that allows you to let go of past resentments and anxieties into the future as well.
2. Emotional: A great self-help tip is to be totally engaged with your emotions. It helps so much with stress. It's healthy to feel and accept your emotions, moving on from them; not bottling them up. It’s your emotional responses that count.
3. Spiritual: You might want to skim over this if you are not religious, but spiritual self-care is about being in touch also 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.
4. 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 of letting off steam.
5. Social: Whether you are extrovert or introvert, connecting with people is important, because we are social beings. It helps you to understand that you aren’t alone; you are noticed. Do things with people who make you feel good and who you love being with.
When you focus on helping others, you bring untold happiness into your life; that is practicing self-care towards yourself. Self-care is essentially an excellent skill of survival, referring to practices and activities to engage in, that reduce stress and which enhances our lives. Get going with self-care, its important because it keeps you in balance. Each of our lives is unique with varying demands. Apply self-care to your life and see how it flourishes, positively.