- What Is Self-Care?
- Types of Self-care
- Why is Self-Care Critical?
- The Benefits of Self Care
- Self-Care Tips
- How To Build a Self-Care Plan That Works
In a society where people work long hours, manage problems at home, deal with family issues, and manage finances, there is always the risk of neglecting self-care. Self-care is not about being selfish and self-indulgent. It is about caring for your needs just as you care for others, your job, and your home. It is about taking care of yourself to stay physically and mentally healthy. Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Self-care and mental health are correlated. Without self-care, your mental health can deteriorate to the point that you cannot cope and adapt to being a more productive and social person.
What Is Self-Care?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), Self-Care can be defined as
“The ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.”
Self-care is what it implies, it includes anything you may do to preserve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. When you’re focusing on your longevity, prioritizing self-care should be the first thing on your mind, because then maintaining health, and preventing disease become easier. We all have a lot going on at work and home. Many of us try too hard, overworking ourselves without mental and physical fuel resulting in burnout, depression, anxiety, and illness. Self-care alleviates such problems and puts you in the forefront of a healthier lifestyle simultaneously supporting your mental health. Taking care of yourself teaches you to live a happier and healthier life free from stressors that impact your mental wellbeing.
Types of Self-care
Self-care is a multifaceted and multi-level phenomenon. It encompasses a range of behavior that can be categorized into six types. By practicing activity relating to each of these facets of self-care, an individual can achieve a well-balanced routine focused on their physical and mental well being in every sphere of life. The six standard types of self-care are:
- Emotional Self-Care: Activities that help you engage and connect with your emotions. For example, seeing a psychotherapist, writing a journal, or meditation.
- Physical Self-Care. Involving core aspects of everyday activity that will support wellbeing and physical health. For example, walking after lunch or dinner and maintaining WHO guidelines of at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.
- Practical Self-Care: Avoiding procrastination and completing tasks relevant to daily life, thus preventing stressful situations like organizing your home, decluttering your laptop to avoid technical problems, cleaning your kitchen, and creating your budget.
- Mental Self-Care: Involving yourself in activities that enhance your mind and intellect. For example, reading, listening to music, visiting a museum, doing the crossword, or engaging in mental puzzles.
- Spiritual Self-Care: Activities to grow and nurture your spirit to become a go-getter or a determined person. Spiritual self-care is not about following a religion but practicing it well if you are religious. Spiritual self-care is about nourishing your soul through an activity related to you, like meditation, yoga, visiting places of worship, and self-reflection.
- Social Self-Care: Seeks to deepen and encourage healthy relationships with the people you have in your life. You could connect with family or friends, go out to lunch or dinner, or occasionally socialize with one good friend or friend.
Why is Self-Care Critical?
Self-care is a crucial element of a healthier, happier, and longer life. Self-care is not complicated; it can be introduced in life with the simplest of practices. Life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Whether you like it or not, you will meet people impacting you in different ways. Self-care helps you achieve mental balance to lead a purpose-driven life without stress from situations that become cumbersome when left unhandled. Moreover, self-care is a fruitful practice fostering resilience in life.
From a health perspective, research has shown how self-care has been clinically proven to prevent or reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart attacks, stroke and even cancer.
The Benefits of Self Care
When you begin focusing on self-care, it will positively impact your work, your family, and the people in your life who matter. Weighing in on self-care reaps several benefits. It is a fruitful and fulfilling self-evaluation with gradual improvement to discover a better version of yourself.
- Fosters resilience by molding a strong spirit;
- Increases feelings of worthiness;
- Benefits those around you;
- Increases self-confidence
- Reduces stress and anxiety;
- Improves mood;
- Improves wellbeing;
- Improves focus and concentration;
- Improves physical health;
- Helps focus on real–life objectives.
When you open yourself up to self-care, you will find endless ways of practicing it. Abiding by various levels of self-care will only help you improve your overall outlook, perception, and state of mind over time. While not all tips are suitable to everyone, these self-care exercises work for the majority in general.
- Practice self-grooming and hygiene
- Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
- Engage in enjoyable activity
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily
- Adopt a more positive mindset
- Get adequate sleep
- Exercise or practice yoga
- Go for nature walks
- Practice mindfulness
- Make the most of your “me” time;
- Engage in relaxing activity
- Focus on your triumphs, not your struggles;
- Avoid dwelling on the past
- Celebrate your successes and learn from failure
- Criticize yourself less often;
- Practice patience
- Avoid toxic and harmful people;
- Learn to forgive and don’t hold grudges
- Allow yourself time to heal from disappointments and hurt
- Ask for help when you need it most
How To Build a Self-Care Plan That Works
A self-care plan is a routine of daily activities performed intentionally for the main purpose of improving your physical and mental well-being. It is a holistic self-movement that enriches you with positivity, and confidence nourishing every part of your being to lead a happier and satisfying life. Practicing self-care should be a manageable activity and not a stressful one because you are doing what it takes to improve yourself as a person. Always choose a plan that is convenient and works best for you.
1. Identify Your Stressors
Make a list of what stresses you out the most, be it at home or work. Learn how to cope and overcome them one at a time.
2. Identify Your Coping Strategies
Once you have identified your stressors, its time to figure out your strengths and the way you cope with problems. Discard unhealthy coping strategies that do not work or result in further stress. Retain or adopt positive ones.
3. Identify Ongoing Self-care Practices
You might be practicing self-care without knowing it. Identify these and see what’s right and wrong. Stop those which might not yield results and create a balance between those that do.
4. Identify the Challenges and Obstacles in Life
Identify the obstacles that prevent you from achieving your self-care goals. Once you do so, you know how to anticipate forthcoming issue and take them head on, or simply remove current obstacles in your life.
5. Make a Self-assessment of Your Stress Levels
When you understand the issues that affect you the most and how they impact your wellbeing, you get a better understanding on how to deal with them. Frequently implementing self-assessment into self-care can help you monitor your progress and act accordingly.
6. Set Goals and Priorities
Identify what’s important in your life and prioritize the important tasks. Learn to refuse new tasks which could hamper your important work. Be mindful of your accomplishments and achievements rather than what you haven’t been able to do.
By now, you must have found several reasons to recognize the need for self-care in your daily life. It is precisely what you need to improve your self-awareness. Abiding by the self-care plan outlined in this article will help you manage the daily struggles in your life with confidence. Moreover, you feel more positive living life ion your own terms and under your supervision. Self-care is a limitless opportunity to live a fulfilling life full of mental wellbeing. Moreover, it helps you reach life’s objectives with resilience and confidence with the most negligible impact from stress and anxiety.