Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you. -Katie Reed
Are you taking accurate care of your body, spirit, emotions, and mind? It might seem like you do but if you take a good look at your daily actives you will realize that you are lacking in that area.
You may try to take care of everything and help everyone around you, but you are ignorant of your personal condition.
It is important for you to understand that your personal health and satisfaction are more important than others.
I don’t mean you should be selfish but if you don’t practice self care, you will be depleted in your mind, body and spirit and you will be unable to help others.
Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is not selfishness; rather, it is self-preservation and it is a very important aspect if you want to live a life of wellness.
According to Tony Robbins, “When you practice self-care physically, emotionally and mentally, you become better able to pursue your goals and enrich the lives of the people around you.” Pursuing your goals is one of the crucial steps to achieving success in your life.
In this article, we will explore self-care and the different areas of self-care, as well as nourishing and depleting activities.
What is self-care?
Self-care has been defined by a lot of philosophers and organizations, but the most popular and reliable definition is by the world health organization.
According to WHO, taking care of your health, preventing health disorders, and growing in the areas of self-care (which we will discuss later in the article) without any professional help or medical assistance is known as self-care.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is crucial to living a successful life. LeadersEdgeInc states that, “Successful leaders make self-care a priority so they can perform at their best.”
If your path to success involves working long and hard without taking time for yourself, you will eventually suffer from burn-out sooner or later.
This will cause you to fail at your goals and that is price I don’t think you can afford.
Examples of Self-care
Self-care is not a one size fit all situation. It’s a personal matter. Identify the self-care activities that hits the spot for you. Here are a few activities to get you started.
- Practice a regular sleep routine
- Having a spa day
- Consume a healthy diet
- Read books
- Stay hydrated
- Take breaks
- Spiritual activities (e.g. praying or meditating)
- Use your sick leave and vacation days at work
- Keep a journal
- Exercise regularly
- Make time to socialize
- Communicate with supportive friends
- Practice gratitude
- Don’t take work home with you
Benefits of self-care
Self-care has been proven clinically to be helpful in healing emotional wounds, reducing stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, and anger.
Although it is not scientifically proven how self-care treats these problems, significant improvement in hundreds of patients has been noticed, which is why it is widely recommended by psychiatrists and psychologists to practice self-care.
Some other benefits of self-love and self-care are increased motivation levels, higher satisfaction from life, less likely to fail, increased attractiveness, and it also plays a crucial role in personal development.
Areas of self-care to practice
Areas of self-care are the fields or subparts of self-care which should be taken care of.
In this part of the article, we talk about those areas in detail. We will also discuss how you can take care of yourself in each particular area.
Physical self-care, as the name suggests, is to take care of your body and brain. Everything that contributes to your physical growth will be considered a physical self-help activity.
To keep yourself away from any physical health problems, you should make sure to visit your doctor for regular checkups, and practice healthy habits.
Maintaining a perfect lifestyle, having a healthy routine, taking a balanced and healthy diet, doing exercise regularly, adopting healthy activities, taking care of your brain, and lastly avoiding the things which cause damage to your body or brain such as smoking, over-drinking, and gaining too much weight are some of the most common examples of physical self-care.
Taking care of your emotions and sentiments is known as emotional self-care.
It is a common misconception that emotional disorders are not as harmful as physical ones. In fact, according to some professionals, emotional health problems are more alarming than physical or other types of health concerns.
It should be your first priority to manage your emotions in the best way possible.
If you want to take care of your emotions, it is essential for you to learn about and master them by observing your reactions in different situations.
One of the most effective ways to take care of your emotions is to share them with others. In this way, you will feel free, and the burden of the overwhelming situation will be lifted.
Humans need social contact with other humans. It is our nature, and we are not able to change it.
Social self-care is actually maintaining a balance between your personal self-care and your social relationships with others.
It may be very difficult for you to set boundaries and limits in your relationships but this is extremely important to practice self-care.
Finding a perfect balance between these two things is the key to social self-care because you do not want to destroy your relationship with others, and also, you have to take care of yourself.
A helpful rule to remember in this regard is that you cannot give anything to someone which you do not have yourself.
Always believe in the fact that your relationship with anyone is supposed to nurture you, not to drain you.
All the activities and tasks you perform to improve and make your relationship with your spirit strong are considered spiritual self-care activities.
If you do not believe in spirits or souls, then you should think of it as the activities which grow your relationship with your higher self.
Spiritual activities such as meditation, praying to God, developing a strong bond with nature, and doing good deeds will actually help you establish a good relationship with your soul.
This process takes time and will require determination. You will have to reach an ultimate level of intuition in order to establish a good relationship with your spiritual self. The effort however will be totally worth it.
Self-care related to your work life is known as professional self-care.
There are many ways in which professional self-care can be practiced—for example, setting personal boundaries at the workplace for the sake of your wellness, developing a perfect work-life balance, avoiding stress caused by problems related to work, and getting appropriate rest.
Some tips which you should follow to practice professional self-care are:
- using ergonomic products
- learn to say no to unimportant tasks
- managing your time appropriately,
- getting proper sleep
- try mindfulness.
Once you become comfortable following these tips, your professional life will become much more interesting, easy, and comfortable.
Nourishing vs. depleting activities
Nourishing activities can be defined as the activities which you enjoy doing. These activities may vary from person to person. Everyone has different tastes.
Some enjoy playing physical games like football or basketball while others like playing video games. Similarly, some enjoy being at home, and some are more extroverted and love to socialize.
On the other hand, depleting activities are those which deplete your mental or physical energy.
In simple words, these activities drain you. These activities will increase your stress and anxiety levels. An example of depleting activity is repetitive work.
Identify your nourishing and depleting activities
The only way to identify your nourishing and depleting activities is actually by doing different things.
Get different experiences, try new things, get exposure to the world around yourself, analyze which tasks make you feel happy and which drain your energy.
One tip to make this journey easy for you is to be limitless, uncontrolled, and adventurous.
Some people try to impose activities on themselves due to peer pressure. You should remember that this is not beneficial for you; rather, it can even lead to serious mental health issues like dissociative identity disorder.
Just try new things, and you will sooner or later get a vivid idea about your nourishing and depleting activities.
I am confident that you have got a good insight into the importance and benefits of self-care activities. Making these activities a part of your routine could completely transform your life.