There are plenty of stress relief activities you can try out, including meditation, gym, and therapy. However, all of these activities are pointless if you are not taking care of yourself in the first place.
Even if you often practice meditation to increase your focus and productivity, you will always doze off if you do not give yourself enough time to sleep. In the same way, continuing to smoke and eat unhealthy foods even while regularly going to the gym would not relieve your body from stress.
People say that life is supposed to be stress-free given all the technology we enjoy today. However, the exact opposite has been happening. These days, life usually revolves around work and hustling. We should remember, though, that we need to make room in our calendars to take care of ourselves.
What Is Self-Care
Essentially, self-care refers to the conscious effort one makes to identify one’s needs and figure out ways to meet those needs. When we talk about self-care, it focuses on you and nurturing your mental, physical, and emotional needs, among others.
Though it sounds simple, it is a lot harder in practice. A lot of us view self-care as a luxury. With all the responsibilities we try to juggle, we tend to put self-care last on the list. It’s no wonder why many of us feel tired, overwhelmed, and ill-equipped.
How to Apply Self-Care in All Areas of Your Life
Self-care is a multidimensional and multifaceted process. There are plenty of ways how self-care may be practiced. Furthermore, there are different domains in our life we need to consider when practicing self-care.
If you want your body to function efficiently, you need to take care of it. Remember that there is a strong connection between your mind and body. As you take care of the physical aspect of yourself, you tend to think and feel better, too.
What counts as self-care includes getting enough hours of sleep every day, engaging in adequate physical activity, nourishing your body with a proper diet, and attending to your physical needs.
Things like taking your prescribed medication, taking a stroll in nature, going to the dentist, or scheduling an earwax microsuction appointment form part of good physical self-care.
You need to ask yourself the following questions when assessing your physical self-care habits:
Are you getting enough hours of quality sleep?
Are you eating enough nutritious food?
Are you engaging in productive physical activities?
Are you taking proactive measures to improve your health?
Your mental well-being greatly influences what goes on inside your head.
The mental aspect is another area of self-care you need to work on. Mental self-care encompasses activities that stimulate and cultivate a healthy mind. It could be things such as reading a book, doing puzzles, or learning new things.
Doing things that keep you mentally healthy is also part of mental self-care, including practicing self-acceptance and compassion. By practicing these healthier inner dialogues, you nurture your mental health.
Emotional self-care is really crucial. When dealing with uncomfortable emotions, such as anger, sadness, and anxiety, one has to have a healthy coping strategy.
Practicing emotional self-care includes activities that allow you to acknowledge and express your feelings wholeheartedly. One way to start your journey to taking care of your emotional aspect is by paying close attention to your internal self-dialogue.
Learn to detect your negative self-talk and take proactive steps to break them, such as replacing these negative thoughts with loving and kind words.
Take time to talk with a close friend or a partner about how you feel. Scheduling some “alone time” to help you process your emotions is also a good way of practicing emotional self-care.
Socialization is also important in self-care. However, it is always difficult to make time for our friends and even our relationships because of our busy schedules.
No man is an island, they say. Though isolation sometimes helps you get in touch with your inner self, nurturing close connections is necessary for your well-being.
There are no exact requirements when it comes to the number of hours you have to devote to your friends and family. After all, each one of us has a different social need. It is important to figure out those needs and allocate enough time to maximize your social life.
Studies have shown that inculcating spirituality or religion leads to a healthier lifestyle. But it does not necessarily mean that you have to get all religious to nurture your spirit.
It simply means doing activities that allow you to develop a deeper sense of meaning. It could be joining a religious service, praying, or meditating.
Remember, practicing self-care is never selfish. Your whole being also needs time to take care of itself to better care for others.