What is Self-Care and Why Is It Important to Better Take Care of Yourself?
One of the misconceptions about self-care is that it is selfish. On the contrary, it’s actually very giving. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can give of yourself to others. If that makes sense. But first, let’s define self-care. Self-care is defined as providing adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001) as published by the American Psychological Association.
In this day and age, we can get pulled towards many different directions. We are sometimes forced to wear many hats or we may have intentionally subjected ourselves to do so without realizing it after the fact. But whatever the case may be, it is important to have a self-care routine to keep your overall health and wellness intact.
Self-care affects your mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. It also can affect your work and relationships. Without establishing self-care habits, no matter how enduring you are, you will eventually hit a breaking point.
Self-care means setting boundaries towards people so you know when to say no and when to say yes.
It also means setting boundaries for yourself so you know not to overextend yourself.
Taking care of yourself means it’s okay to indulge yourself in the things that are pleasing to you mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Here are 6 Simple Ways to Better Take Care of Yourself:
If you meditate, great! Meditation is such a great part of my mornings and nights. Some people think that meditation is a complicated routine of crossing your legs, sitting up right, burning candles, and reciting a chant. While there are people that do that, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Meditation is simply calming your mind and focusing on positive things.According to scientific studies, our brains think 70,000 thoughts per day. That’s an insane number of things to think about! Granted we don’t always remember all 70,000 thoughts but those thoughts that we often arise from physical circumstances or those thoughts that we focus on are the ones that obviously get magnified and tend to linger.For me, a meditation can simply mean taking several deep breaths, speaking positive affirmations or repeating in my mind Bible scriptures that I know will help me get through the day. My favorites are the Psalm 23, Isaiah 58:11, and 3 John 2:1, just to name a few.
Meditation as part of your morning routine will set the tone of your day. Anyone who meditates everyday can attest to this.
Listening to some preachings or feel-good podcasts that will elevate you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is also a form of self-care. Whatever brings you peace, joy and good vibes so to speak means that you care enough about your overall well-being to feed it with good things.
Women, most especially moms, often feel guilty for having a “me” time and pampering themselves a little bit.
Here are some ideas for pampering yourself:
- Get your nails and hair done.
- Make it a point to get a full body massage every month or every two months. Massage releases harmful toxins from your body caused by stress.
- Turn your bathroom into a full spa and indulge in a nice relaxing bath while reading a good book and drinking wine.
Check out some of the products below from Amazon that can easily turn your bathroom into a mini spa:
4. Eat Good Food
While eating good food should be a given, sometimes, we forget about this. We tend to just get fast food because we’re always on the go. We also need to actually take the time to sit down, relax, and take the time to chew our food fully. It helps our digestive system in processing the food and it also helps in our metabolism. A well-fed body makes for a well-functioning mind.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Our body needs at least an 8 hour sleep. For a lot of people, this is not always possible. Especially those with kids who have to be tended first. However, better time management and setting a schedule for yourself and everyone in your family can help you prioritize getting good and enough sleep at night.
If you normally have trouble sleeping, try the following tips:
- Drink Celestial Sleepytime Herbal Tea. It is a concoction of chamomile, spearmint and lemongrass. My mom has an insomnia problem and swears by this.
- If you have an oil diffuser, burn some aromatherapy essential oil. My favorite is lavender. If you don’t have any, you can get an oil diffuser and a set of essential oils for less than $40 from Amazon. Essential oils have health benefits and lavender in particular can help relax your nerves and calm your mind.
- Put on some relaxing instrumental music from YouTube. There are others that loop for 4 and 8 hours.
Know that it’s okay to indulge every now and again as a form of self-care. Does shopping for a few items make you happy? Do it. Eat that dessert that you loved. Go to the movies with some girlfriends. Whatever indulging means for you to take better care of yourself, do it.
Hope you find these tips helpful. I can’t stress enough the importance of self-care. While it is noble to serve others such as our family, it is also noble to love and take care of ourselves. Life is short and if we are not well overall, it is more challenging to give of ourselves.