When was the last time you were stressed over life and didn’t know self care could come to the rescue?
It could be when you were on your way to work and stuck in traffic. Or, at home, paying monthly bills. Or, sitting in an examination hall taking an exam.
Your heart starts threshing; your stomach jumps into your throat and your palms get sweaty. Right?
Our bodies experience these sensations so often; we completely ignore them as nothing happened. Almost all of us have experienced similar situations. Isn’t it?
The intensity tends to be ignorable sometimes. While, the other times, it hits harder and cripples our nervous system for a few moments.
Before we go ahead, let’s do an activity!
Firstly, Stay still for a minute…
Now, inhale with me…
Breathe in through your nose and exhale it out.
Now repeat it one more time…
Congratulations, you just practiced self care! Yes, it is that simple to take care of yourself.
Unfortunately, the $10 Billion self care industry doesn’t want you to think like that.
There are this myth and agenda spread by social media: such as Instagram “flawless” posts and countless advertisements that self care is an SPA day, pedicures and prosecco. A weekend-long Netflix binge and anything pumpkin spice related.
Though all these activities are great but they’re not self-care. We are left chasing these self care ideas and they don’t actually restore us. That’s how we are left with a question if that’s not self care then what is the self care? And how do I practice it?
Let’s do a four-minute read about self care andlearn how to take care of yourself.
What is Self-Care?
Self-Care is looking after yourself and your wellbeing through restorative activities.
These activities are meant to restore your mental health, peacefulness, and attentiveness to function effectively.
We overlook the importance of self care because we are made to think it’s not easy to have access to a self care routine. Sadly, We wait for the perfect chance to practiceself care ideas. Often plan for a certain day where we would only focus on our emotional & physical wellbeing. Why? Because on that certain day, we are either totally free and have enough cash to spend on products. That will lead us to learn and practice good self care ideas, and the outcome will be as great. That’s the delusion fashion industries have created and put into our mindset.
Self care is as simple as that activity we did a few moments ago. It’s the key to ameliorate moods and relationships with yourself and others. Moreover, it’s a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
In short, a way to live a balanced life is to practice self care because:
Self Care = Balanced Life
It is okay to believe that one of the greatest threats to our wellbeing is physical and emotional stress. This is one of the major causes of health problems in America and the western world. Additionally, We experience stress every day, by what we put in our bodies. What we wear, the thoughts we have and the choices we make.
Furthermore, our daily consumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed and fatty foods causes stress. Which further releases high cortisol levels that increase cravings for more fatty and sugary foods. That’s pretty dangerous!
Diets and Avoidance
So, all this stress coming from our very own actions, impacts our immune system, energy levels, and emotional well-being. The best thing you can do is change your diet, rich in plant-based foods. Not only the nutrients from it boost your health but the diet has other benefits as well, such as:
Reduces several cancers.
Protects from heart disease.
Enhances emotional stability.
It’s essential that our self carepractice does the opposite. It benefits us through the very actions we are bound to do to live but with a change within ourselves and lifestyle. That also starts with becoming a little more health-conscious.
So with avoiding the excessive consumption of foods that have negative impacts on your wellbeing. Adding plants based diet to your life can be a major positive start to a healthy long term relationship with life. Amen to that!
There are three basic yet major restorative self care activities to live a balanced life.
Here they are:
1. Moments of Stillness and Silence
We just actually practiced this before. Every day, we soak in a lot of noise and yelling from the TV, radio, social media, traffic and many other sources. But, the noise that really affects us is the one that is in our minds. We have roughly 60 thousand thoughts a day. For the majority of people, 80% of the thoughts are negative.
So, when we meditate and have moments of stillness and silence, it makes us listen to that internal voice and increases inner peace and self-awareness.
When we have that awareness. We can control the thought traffic. The more practiced we are in meditation, the more we can control the flow of our thoughts. Most importantly, we can decide as to what thoughts we want to hold onto and which we want to let go of.
Avoid Making Excuses
The first time you meditate, you may experience boredom. Your back may get bored and fakes pain. Your internal voice may start being clingy. Telling you about all the things that need to be done on your to-do list and make you skip your me-time.
What I actually want from you is just a five-minute commitment for yourself, every day. And that’s not for me, but for yourself, for the betterment of your mental and emotional health. It may sound like mommy’s advice but trust me, that voice will be quiet once you let self care make the noise.
Suggestion: Be as comfortable as you can during this activity. You don’t need to sit in the straight back chair. I encourage sitting in any position that comforts you without falling asleep!
This is the second-most important activity. The movement, it could be running, walking, dancing, yoga, jumping.
All bodies are meant to move, so when our body does move, it creates endorphins.
Endorphins help us sleep better which as a fact reduces our stress. It also sends positive vibes through our bodies. That is similar to the actions of morphine which reduces acute and chronic pain.
So for all these exercises, you don’t need a fancy gym or trainer. That may help sometimes but the purpose of this blog is to shed light on self care ideas
How self care can be practiced free of cost and in no to less time, all while being in your comfort zone. Only with five minutes of movements for some good muscle stretches.
3. Time and Nature
According to environmental psychology, time and nature refresh your mood, reduce stress and improve cognitive function. Moreover, the environmental protection agency states that the average person spends 93% of their life indoors.
So looking at the positive side, we’re left with the amazing opportunity to enhance our wellbeing. Simply by going outside.
As far as I have learned, humans are social animals. Unfortunately, we as social animals have completely disconnected from our roots. Since we’ve advanced in technology and other aspects of life. We have gone in denial and left the natural environment. We go days to weeks and sadly months without our bare feet and hands touching the ground.
Earthing for Self Care
Have you heard the term ‘earthing’? it’s now being used to describe your connection with the earth as with your bare hands and playing with nature.
Earthing helps improve circulation, sleep and reduces stress and anxiety.
When you combine these self-care activities and practice them religiously. It will support your mood to stay calm and stable; increase your joy and passion to live. Additionally, it only requires half an hour out of your 24-hours.
But how I’m supposed to take 30 minutes for a free self care practice a day? I better focus on the things on my to-do list.
The next time you get this thought. Remind yourself that an average person spends five hours watching TV. Fifty minutes, scrolling on social media.
Most importantly, before you get worried about adding the practice of self care into your never-ending to-do list. Remember it’s a practice; it’s not about getting perfect self care posts for your Instagram. It’s mainly about showing up for you every single day. Lastly, you can also check self care ideas by Develop Good Habits. I got to learn a lot. Don’t forget to check out self-care quotes on my blog, click here.
Now imagine & share how it would have been if you actually cared for yourself?