Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it's a simple concept in theory, it's something we very often overlook.
In a general sense, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of increasing your energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to practice self-care and it is something that is very personal to each individual.
Being mentally healthy and living well is important to every single one of us – it's about enjoying life and fulfilling your potential. It’s having the ability to cope with life and all it entails (stress, sadness for example), but it’s also about being connected (or reconnecting) with friends, family and your broader surroundings (being in the moment...you know, actually STOPPING to smell the roses).
So, why is self-care important?
Your well-being is important – not only to yourself, but to your family, friends, workplace and even your community. Taking time for self-care isn't always easy, and if you're like me, you've conditioned yourself in putting the needs of others ahead of your own.....but by tweaking your daily routine, ever so slightly, can make a huge difference.
So, lets look at ways you can practice self-care - and I don't mean by booking your next massage, mani/pedi (having said that, they are equally important because, you know #yolo #treatyoself).
Pampering yourself is great start in practicing self-care (after all, you are totally worth it), but lets look at some alternatives;
Drink water first thing in the morning – because after we wake from our evening slumber, we can be slightly dehydrated, which often means starting your day off feeling lousy.
Write down five things each day that didn't suck – no matter how crappy our day may have been, we all have something to be grateful for, and this can help you put things into perspective...and help shift the the focus from whatever stress you experienced during the day.
Meal prep – we call have the best of intentions for the fresh fruit and veg we've bought in our last grocery shop, but if we're completely honest with ourselves, sometimes cooking is the last thing we want to do after a busy and stressful day. When you meal prep, you're not only saving time, but you're also reducing your meals portion size and helping you reach your nutrition goals. By meal prepping, you're avoiding unhealthy options, which can also contribute to us feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.
Take some time for yourself – sometimes by doing something as simple as putting your phone (or any other device for that matter) allows you a few minutes to be alone with your thoughts.
Start your way with something pleasant – a nice cup of tea in your garden, some gentle stretching, or even a walk. Self care doesn't have to be expensive and lavish...sometimes simple is best.
Sit up straight – good posture is crucial in body care! We're all guilty of this...sitting at your desks hunched over...but throughout the day, if you consciously try sitting up straight in your chair, place your hands on your thighs and squeeze your shoulder blades together, for a few seconds will help improve your posture.
Take a mental health day – because sometimes you just need a day off from work, or school to re calibrate your thoughts.
As I mentioned before, self-care comes in many forms – what works for some, may not work for you. The trick is to ALLOWING yourself to admit it's okay to put yourself and YOUR needs first and perusing what makes you happy and relaxed. Don't feel guilty perusing what makes you happy, or removing toxic people from your life. Don't waste another second of your precious life...you deserve ALL of the happiness and love in the world...you just need to allow to believe you're worth it. Repeat after me...I AM WORTH IT.