There are a lot of misconceptions about self-care. People often think that is about spoiling yourself and while that may be a form of self-care, in actuality, the practice is not so surface level. Self-care is described as practices that improve one’s health and well-being; It is a holistic approach to caring for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sounds simple, right? The reality is that taking care of yourself is a lot easier said than done for most people. There are many things that can stand in a person’s way, such as: a low self-esteem, a lack of self-awareness, surrounding stigmas, and the difficulty that comes along with any form of change. You may need to start by dipping your toes in the water, so to get you on your way, here are some self-care practices to employ in your everyday life.
Take Care of Your Body
Developing a healthy relationship with your body is an essential practice of self-care. Consistently getting a good night’s sleep, fuelling your body with the right foods, and exercising regularly are all fantastic ways to take care of yourself physically and mentally. You can start slow and incorporate a walk into your daily routine, and work one meal at a time to make healthier choices. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try turning your screens of early to allow yourself some time to wind-down before bed.
Adopt a New Mindset
Your mindset is essential to preserving your physical and mental health. Oftentimes, we focus on negative experiences and allow it to shape our view of the world. To maintain optimal mental health,we should be equally focused on the positive aspects of life. Of course, changing your mindset and attitude is easier said than done, but there are many starting points that can help you make this transition. Try to open yourself up to humour, practice gratitude, and weed out the people or things in your life that open you up to negativity. If you try to change your mindset (even a little), you’re on the right track to mastering the art of self-care.
Take Some Time to Reflect
Self-awareness and self-reflection go hand in hand with self-care. When you take some time to reflect, you allow yourself to be open to change. This could be a change in mindset or a change in perspective. A great way to reflect on yourself and your current lifestyle is by journaling. If you journal every day, you slowly start to build a consistent routine that involves change.
Let Yourself Relax
We often get so engrossed in our own lives that we forget to take breaks, to relax, and to calm ourselves down. Everyone is entitled to letting themselves relax, and it’s an essential part of self-care because you’re listening to your body when you desperately need a break. There are a variety of different activities that can help you to achieve relaxation right at home, including meditation, reading a book, having a bath, or getting a massage. Affording yourself this luxury will help you recharge, and your body will thank you for it.
Engage With Others
Research shows a wealth of benefits to having an active social life that go far and beyond a friday night out or enjoyable trips to your favourite coffee shop with a good friend. The healthy relationships that you create and maintain are essential to upholding your mental health, while improving physical health, and lowering your risk for dementia. Make sure to surround yourself with those who care about you and can bring positivity to your life.
One of the most important things for you to keep in mind is that you have to put your physical and mental health first. As adults, its easy to tackle your responsibilities and put your own needs on the backburner. Particularly as parents or caregivers, its easy to become so accustomed to putting others first that you neglect your own needs entirely. It is time to mindfully put yourself first, and do so without fear or shame because when we are at our best, so are the people around us.
These days, the word “self-care” is trending, but sometimes its definition gets lost in translation. Once you understand the concept on a whole, you’re ready to start employing some practices into your everyday life. It’ll take time and effort, but it’s incredibly beneficial in the long run, and there is no time like the present to begin. Use these tips as you embark on your journey, and enjoy the positive results to the fullest.
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