I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You need to take time for yourself!
Do not be apologetic for needing to take a step back and reflect. Your well-being should not be sacrificed for the fulfilment of others. And luckily, self-care can come in all shapes and sizes. It’s about putting yourself in a space and state of mind that will allow you to properly manage stress, and enhance your health and well-being.
Why is it so important?
Self-care is fundamental to building resilience against all of life’s stressors: from managing a work-life balance to dealing with a sick relative. Once you start taking care of your body and mind, you will start living your best life.
The first thing to go in stressful times is our body. We ignore our basic needs, and it becomes very hard to function because we aren’t caring for our body. Making sure we get enough sleep, we are exercising regularly and we are eating the right things are all a part of managing our health. No amount of meditation will alleviate your stress levels and help your well-being, if you are starving your body of what it needs.
We are social creatures, and believe it or not, isolating yourself from friends and family to focus on your goal or work out an issue, is actually counterproductive. Close connections are important for our well-being, because they provide support and someone to lean on during hard times. It’s easy to neglect our relationships, especially when life gets busy. Despite this, you should try and make time to cultivate and build upon your relationships. There is no hard and fast rule about how much time you need to spend socialising, everyone has different social needs. The key to amazing social self-care is figure out your social needs and create enough time in your schedule to meet them. Now more than ever it is important to maintain those social connections. Have a video chat with your friends and family, there are apps like Houseparty and Instagram that add cool effects and games to make them more fun.
The way we think about and process our surroundings can affect our well-being. When we constantly surround ourselves with a negative energy and our minds are consumed with pessimistic thoughts, the only outcome is going to be bad. What we project out into the world, is what we will receive back. Practising acceptance and compassion will help with creating a more positive inner dialogue.
Nurturing your spirit does not necessarily have to include religion. Anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, or a connection with yourself and the universe, is spiritual self-care. Think meditation, or prayer.
I cannot stress enough how vital it is to have healthy coping mechanisms to deal with uncomfortable emotions like anger, sadness and anxiety. This means finding ways that help us to acknowledge and express our feelings on a regular basis. It could be talking to a partner, friends or family about how you feel, or engaging in an activity like writing in a journal to help you process your emotions. Doing this can help you feel recharged after a particularly stressful day or week.
It is a particular trying time for everyone, and it can get difficult to be cooped up for so long but know that we are doing this to protect our communities and ourselves. So take care of yourself by practising everyday self-care and know that we will get through this together.
Article photo by Thought Cloud