What is Self-care?
Self-care refers to actions and attitudes that contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development. It is about identifying your own needs and taking the right actions steps to meet those needs. Taking the time to do some self-care activities is a way to nurture yourself and is highly beneficial. It is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly and as lovingly as you treat others.
Care for Yourself First
Imagine you were on an airplane, and an oxygen mask drops in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you assist anyone else. Why do you think this is? Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. However, it is also one of the easiest things to forget. When you make the commitment to care for yourself, not only do you benefit, but so do others in your life too!
Why is Self-Care Important?
Women especially, spend much of their lives nurturing others. This is what women have been conditioned to do. However, when we find ourselves focusing more on others than ourselves, we become worn out, stressed out and run down. Have you ever experienced this situation?
For those of us who spend time helping and caring for others, it is too easy to neglect our own need. It is like “running on empty” when we don’t take the time to re-fuel. We spend so much time and effort caring for our partners, children, pets, friends, family members, employers and employees. Add to that the numerous volunteer activities, errands, housework, family functions, meetings, social commitments there isn’t much time left to take care of ourselves.
Women need to learn how to balance the stress and activities of daily life with activities that bring a sense of peace and well-being to their minds and bodies. Women who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have low self-esteem, and sometimes feel resentment. Self-care means treating yourself as a worthwhile person and showing you are valuable, competent and deserving.
Tips for Self-Care Activities
Remember, practicing self-care can be very healing mentally, physically and spiritually. Try out one or more of these or other self-care activities and see how great you feel
- Eat a well-balanced diet (plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts & seeds)
- Get plenty of sleep
- Practice meditation or breathing exercises.
- Try a yoga or exercise class
- Spend time in the sunshine
- Choose an outdoor activity you enjoy
- Exercise regularly
- Get a massage, manicure or pedicure
- Take a hot bath. It is very soothing and relaxing.
- Have lunch with a friend
- Listen to music
- Keep a journal
- Read a good book
- Watch a good movie
- Take a nap, rest and “recharge”
- Take up gardening
- Go out and take photos.
- Try a new sport or activity
- Delegate chores