Learning to Look after yourself.
We all should look after our well-being the way we look after the well-being of our children, friends, partner and loved ones. Would you say you do this? Self care is especially important because it makes us more resilient and happy. We are then capable of showing the love and affection others deserve. Self-care also helps us with our stress and reduce its impact on health and well-being.
‘How might I practise self-care - and how do I ensure that I am taking care of myself properly? Well here are a few tips that might just help...
Challenge your mind.
Take up something new which would challenge. Research does show that the more we challenge our mental prowess, the wiser we become. Try a new hobby perhaps or drive to a new place - solve some mental problems, draw, learn a new skill or read something new – all these are great ways to take good care of your mental health.
Learn to accept and manage your emotions
Now this can be hard - but also a challenge, as above. Dealing with emotions can be really challenging especially when you are coping with stress. So how do you take care of your emotional health? The first thing you can do is to accept that it is not every day that you will feel good. We are all subject to negative emotions and life is not constantly sweetness and roses. But what really matters more is how you handle life. Denying negative emotions (often by the familiar mantra ‘think positive’) can give you temporary relief but it could also lead to worse outcomes. When you are feeling down – accept it. You can try writing the negativity down – it helps you clarify your emotions and understand the real cause of your problems. Do cry when you need to. Talk to a friend or see a counsellor. Look for healthier outlets such as yoga or meditation, practise gratitude and be confident that you will be able to get through the tough times.
Take care of your physical health
Dealing with stress is harder when you are physically unfit. Self-care does not only include your mental and emotional health, but also your physical well-being. Incorporating good habits like yoga, meditation and exercise in hour daily life can greatly boost your health. Proper nutrition and quality rest should also be included.
Your spiritual health
Knowing your core values, those that really matter to you, is crucial to practising self-care. Some great tips to look after your spiritual health include attending church activities, meditating, praying, writing a journal, spending time with nature and practising compassion.
Connecting with others
Connecting with others is one way to practise self-care. As social beings, we have this innate need for social connectedness and sense of belongingness. During difficult times, it can greatly help to go out for a lunch date with a friend, join a support group, and spend more quality time with your family. Being part of a social circle reminds us that we are not alone.
Engage in pleasurable activities
Watch a move, garden, play with your pets, go somewhere relaxing, get a massage, indulge in an hour-long bath or take yourself out to eat. Engaging in pleasurable activities is a great way to take care of yourself when you are feeling stressed. Just make sure that such activity is not harming your mental, emotional and physical health.
Focus on the present. Focus on what’s around you at the moment; the smells, sights, sounds, touch. This will keep your mind off from worrying. Practising mindfulness has plenty of benefits to your health and well-being and is a simple yet very powerful self-care strategy.
Credit: Deborah Kerr Counselling.