Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Self-Care can be divided into 2 words; SELF and CARE.
What is Self? a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
Care can be defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.
Basically this means that selfcare is very personal and individualistic, what works varies from person to person.
Self- Care has several dimensions such as physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual.
Humanity has faced one of the most stressful periods in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the whole world. Many people are going through severe anxiety and even depression due to the uncertainty surrounding their health, the safety of their loved ones and even financial instability.
Self-care is now more important than ever as a way to live a more balanced, fulfilling and rewarding life. Here are some tips on how you can show yourself more love and care because you deserve it!
- Physical care: Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is very important as you only have one body, regular exercises, healthy eating, regular medical checkups are just some of the ways to take care of your physical health and wellbeing. Many people especially men do not take time to go for routine checkups, these days there are routine full body tests and checks you can do that are not too expensive. Take the time to get checked out is an investment in your health that will yield amazing benefits on the long run. Many non-communicable diseases that kill millions every year can be treated if discovered early. Overworking or working long hours also leaves a long-term toll on your body, this should be avoided if you can.
- Emotional care: A good understanding of your emotional state is a very important aspect of emotional care. Appreciating how you feel and why is a good step in the right direction. Our emotions are a big part of who we are and how we respond to circumstances around us. Life throws many curveballs and we must all build emotional maturity and agility in order to navigate the paths of life. Some ways to achieve emotional care is to say yes to yourself and your needs, to understand that you are important and valued, to make others feel important and valued. To be one with yourself and understand where you are on your journey, not comparing yourself with anyone. Yoga and meditation are also very good ways to be one with yourself. Spend 10 minutes daily to stay still and quiet.
- Intellectual care: This is a good way to take care of your mind, it helps to stimulate critical thinking, learning, creativity and mental acuity. This is about expanding your knowledge and skills while sharing these with others. Learning new skills and developing old ones are a great path towards intellectual care. Going out of your learning comfort zone to read something outside your field or watch a video about a subject you may not have heard of, even watching something in a different language helps to task our minds and develops certain neural patterns that help us become more creative and open minded. When was the last time you picked a new hobby, actually listened to someone speak or just travelled to a new place?
- Social care: This aspect of selfcare may have suffered the most during the pandemic due to social distancing rules. These are activities that nurture and deepen the relationship with people in your life, it could mean having brunch with friends, calling your mom regularly or just having time out to connect with old friends. We all claim to lead busy lives but we can always find time for the things that matter to us. Social connections add a richness to our lives that cannot be replaced by anything else. It could also be seen as committing to causes that are close to you. Human beings love community and everyone likes to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, so take time to commit to building a community that you are happy to be part of. Attending reunion events and talking about old times or sharing childhood memories are always healthy for your mind. Knowing that there are people that care and love you for you is a great dose of energy.
- Spiritual care: Spiritual careis that care which recognizes and responds to the needs of the human spirit when faced with trauma, ill health or sadness and can include the need for meaning, for self-worth, to express oneself, for faith support, perhaps for rites or prayer or sacrament, or simply for a sensitive listener. Spiritual care deals with the recognition of a higher being and serves as a means for achieving deeper meaning in the world.
Selfcare requires a deliberate and intentional effort to achieve and in reality, can be very liberating, it means putting yourself first but not being selfish. Taking a step back from your everyday routine to do an assessment of your life. Asking for help on something that you are struggling with. Spending time alone to meditate and forgiving yourself for making mistakes because after all you are only human.