Self-care is a priority and not selfish. The simple reason is if I don’t care about me, how can I care for my loved ones? If I don’t cater to my emotional and physical needs, then how will I cater to other’s needs?
But, then, in reality, you are driven by your responsibilities, to push yourself more and more. There are personal, professional, family, societal pressures and commitments which makes you push yourself to the extreme limits to fulfil all the demands and responsibilities. In the process, you forget yourself and do not even realise that you have your share of emotional and physical needs to be taken care of for your overall wellbeing.
Realisations come very late when we are knocked down by chronic stress, complete burnout or end up in a diseased state. Therefore, self-care daily is very important for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Scientifically speaking, there are several areas and dimensions of self-care.
Here, I have tried giving 4 small different steps towards self-care.
1.Spend some ‘me’ time alone: Everyday, give yourself a few couples of minutes to cut off from the routine grind and the hustle-bustle. This is your ‘me’ time entirely. Do whatever you enjoy doing, go for a short walk in nature, practise a hobby or listen to a piece of music. Meditate and observe your emotional feelings and acknowledge them. Understanding and acknowledging your both positive and negative thoughts are important so that you can let go of unwanted thoughts. Remember, thoughts are always associated with your feelings and experiences. Always, love and praise yourself for what you are and how far you have come in this journey. In self-care, self-love is important.
2. Control your stress level: Understand that when stress persists, your cortisol level shoots up. This adrenal gland hormone not only increases your blood sugar level but also elevates inflammation in the body which is responsible for various diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancers. So, when you feel you are at stress in the day, take a break. Practise relaxation like breathing exercises, stretches so that cortisol comes back to balance. Another simple way of letting stress go is to practice mindful moments, being present at the present moment. Sit quietly and notice your breath for some time. Feel the wind, air, smell around. Engage yourself in imagery exercise like walking down a beautiful forest, walking down a sandy beach, hearing the sounds of waves.
3.Practice gratitude: In the daytime, practice gratitude several times, being thankful for your existence, for your loved ones around, and for a beautiful life you have. These moments are important because whenever you feel gratitude and joy, there is a release of endorphins and serotonin which are happy hormones and which are necessary for your physical and mental health wellbeing.
4.Physical health: Lastly, as we all know, self-care remain incomplete if we do not care for our body. Eating healthy, routine exercise, sleeping well are essential steps towards physical wellbeing. For the normal wear tear of the body, giving enough rest helps in the healing and repairing process.