Self-Care Refresher...Back to the Basics
The end of the year is soon approaching, and it will be time to bring in 2022. For me, self-care is the vibe all of 2022 and in my pursuit for self-care to be the vibe for everyone else, I had to ask myself, how can it be the vibe, if someone does not even know what self-care is? So back to the basics we go. Self-care has become a buzzword, especially since the pandemic and individuals slowing down and realizing mental health is important. Despite self-care being all the rave, that does not necessarily mean we know what self-care is, how to practice it and why it is important. Oftentimes when we think of self-care the first thing, we think of is going to the spa, getting our nails down, going to the gym, etc. Yes, those things are self-care, however not everyone can afford to spend money doing some of the typical self-care routines that come to mind. Self-care can be inexpensive and does not require a lot of time. Self-care can be done in as little as ten minutes. Practicing self-care does require being intentional and ensuring that you are making your needs a priority. It may even be helpful to schedule some self-care time on your calendar as part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. Practicing self-care daily, however, gives us the energy to thrive and live our best lives, even with challenges and hurdles.
Self-care is literally exactly that, taking care of yourself and addressing your needs. Oftentimes things like eating and showering are considered self-care to some, but those are meeting basic needs. Thinking outside the box about self-care may be what is needed. Self-care can be anything that is enjoyable and has a positive impact on overall well-being. Something that pours into you, makes you feel good and helps you to de-stress. Self-care is mindfully taking care of yourself and paying attention to yourself. The World Health Organization's definition of self-care is taking all the steps you can to take care of your physical health and well-being, including hygiene, nutrition, managing stressors, and seeking medical care if needed.
Self-care can be things like:
being in nature
doing a hobby
spending time with friends
enjoying a meal
playing a sport
As well as so many other physical things you can do for self-care. Again, self-care is about doing anything that is positive and has a positive impact on your overall well-being. Self-care is also about setting boundaries, eating healthy, having a positive mindset, resting, recharging and giving yourself grace. Self-care can mean taking time off work, taking your breaks during your workday, hydrating and treating yourself to something nice, even if it is something small like, your favorite coffee or sweet treat. For me self-care is organizing and decluttering my space, taking time to rest, exercising, singing in my car while driving, getting a Starbucks coffee, spending time with friends/family, going to brunch and sometimes sitting in a quiet space to self-reflect. Those things are important to me because they help me to be recharged and handle my daily stress and workload.
The downside to self-care is that not everything we do that feels good is self-care. There are unhealthy coping skills like using drugs, over-eating, gambling, engaging in risky behaviors that are sometimes misconstrued as self-care. Yes, in the moment, these behaviors can help decrease challenging emotions, however the relief is only temporary. Self-care is good for you and has long term benefits for your mind, body and spirit.
Self-care is important as it decreases burnout, improves overall mood, improves mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Self-care helps you to reduce and deal with stress. Self-care teaches you what is important to you and shows others that you prioritize taking care of yourself. Self-care also improves sleep, boosts self-esteem, helps with focus and improves overall happiness. According to The Laws of Attraction.com the top 6 benefits of self-care are:
Improved resistance to disease
Better physical health
More to give
When you start to say no to things that are not serving you, you start to make time for the things that matter. Self-care puts your body into restful, rejuvenating mode, which helps build up your immune system. Self-care helps you feel physically strong both inside and out. Self-care works to decrease negative self-talk, so you have a more positive outlook on self. Practicing self-care means you have to figure out what you really like, what you are passionate about and it can help you have more of an understanding of who you are. Self-care helps you build compassion for others, being good to yourself is not selfish, which can lead you to want to do more for others.
Remember, self-care is not selfish, self-care is necessary, self-care improves overall well-being, self-care can be inexpensive and does not require large amounts of time. Make yourself a priority and let’s make self-care the vibe for all of 2022. Until next time, stay safe, stay well and take care of you.