WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Self-care is a concept that has been floating around for a while now. But what exactly does it mean? The concept of self-care covers a broad range of activities but ultimately, it means being kind to yourself and doing things to take care of your Self – mind, body, and soul.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Our busy lifestyles demand so much of our energy that we forget to take care of what’s most important – ourselves. How are we supposed to put out positive energy when we don’t replenish the energy within us?
The best part about self-care is that there is no ‘one’ way to do it; you can tailor the practices to fit your needs. For example, some people think dancing the night away is the perfect way to blow off steam, while others prefer a quiet night relaxing in a hot bath. Whatever makes your soul happy, treat yo’self.
BENEFITS OF SELF-CARE
+ Promote healthy stress management
+ Boost the immune system
+ Improve productivity
+ Overall better health
+ Calm disposition
+ Reduce anxiety
+ Sharper mind
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Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean self-indulgent. You are not selfish for tending to your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. We all get stressed from time to time so it’s important to establish a healthy system of managing stress.
With that said, not everything that feels good can be categorized under self-care. Sometimes unhealthy coping mechanisms disguise themselves as pleasurable activities like binge drinking, doing recreational drugs, binge eating, and impulsiveness.
Although these activities may feel comforting at the moment, the feeling is only temporary. Knowing the difference between self-care activities and unhealthy coping mechanisms is important for maintaining balance in your life.
10 SIMPLE SELF-CARE PRACTICES
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1. Declutter your schedule
These days, a busy schedule has somehow become an indicator of important status while multitasking has become the norm. If you find yourself one conference call away from a complete burnout, it’s time to declutter your schedule. Simplify your life by saying yes to less. Set boundaries and prioritize what’s most important.
2. Read your favorite book
Take a break from daily life and get lost in a book. Reading books can expand your vocabulary and stimulate your mind all while calming your senses and reducing stress. Read the latest best sellers or read an old favorite.
Currently on my reading list: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho | Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor | Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling | She Who Destroys the Light: Fairy Tales Gone Wrong by Shahida Arabi
3. Treat yo’ senses to some aromatherapy
Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is a traditional alternative form of therapy that has been used for thousands of years with the purpose of improving a person’s mood and health. It has been known to aid with headaches, chronic pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, circulatory problems, stress, anxiety and depression.
4. Take a long, relaxing warm bath
Grab a book and a glass of your favorite wine and indulge in a warm, aromatic bath. Taking a warm bath can elevate your mood, calm your senses, and help you sleep better. It can also help relieve muscle pain especially when you add Epsom salts. It’ll feel like your own little spa paradise at home.
5. Do a full yoga session
Nothing feels better than stretching out your whole body after a long day at the office. Yoga has been proven to improve overall health, energy, and vitality. It literally gives you life. It releases tension in your limbs and relaxes your system.
6. Give your body a break
Loosen up the tension spots and work out the annoying kinks in your body to help you relax. Get a massage or stretch out tight muscles to improve blood circulation and reduce soreness.
Pain relief essentials: For when you’re traveling The Travel Stick Muscle Roller | For overall back + neck pain relief Acupressure Mat + Pillow Set | For when you can’t make it to a spa Shiatsu Back + Neck Massager | For when you’re sitting at your work desk | Foot Massage Roller + Cold Therapy Balls
7. Hydrate + moisturize
Water is a vital component of a healthy life. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated lubricates your spinal cord, joints, and tissues thus enhancing physical performance and boosting energy. Alternatively, the skin is your body’s largest organ and moisturizing it daily is the best way to protect it. Keeping your body hydrated both inside and out makes a huge difference in your overall physicality.
8. Practice meditation to calm the mind
Meditation is reaching a state of consciousness through controlled breathing and peaceful relaxation. It is known to help with issues relating to anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Tune out the stresses of the outside world and tune into the your inner peace.
9. Write it out
There are several ways you can use a journal: write down your travel adventures, list your goals and aspirations, record your brilliant thoughts and ideas, etc. You get to know yourself better through effective journaling which can increase your awareness and improve your quality of life.
Journaling faves: Personal development Practice You: A Journal | Free writing Pineapple Laser Cut Wood Journal | Bullet journaling Succulent Laser Cut Wood Journal | Self exploration Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration | Mindfulness Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t
10. Take that much needed vacation
Stop procrastinating on living life and go on that trip you’ve been daydreaming of for years. Whether it’s a trip outside the country or a short drive to the next state over, stop putting it off and just GO. Life is too short to keep waiting for “someday”.
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