What Is Self Care and How do I Get Started?
Self Care Is Important
Self care is something that has been around for a whole lot of years and is becoming increasingly important for our wellbeing. Self care not only helps us mentally, but also spiritually and physically. It helps us to be more mindful of how we are feeling and how we are treating others. The idea is simple really, if we aren't taking the time to treat ourselves right, how can we expect to treat others right or others to treat us right. I truly believe that self care can ground us, bring us peace, and be an adventure into getting to know our selves on a deeper level. It's not complicated and can be done daily.
Self-care is how you take your power back."— Lalah Delia
Different Areas of Self Care
Self care is some what like an onion. There are several layers to it and as you peel the layers back you eventually get to the core of it. Your layers should consist of the following.
Depending on what is important to you is what you should go with first. Let me give you some ideas of self care in each of these catagories.
We need to replace your vicious stress cycle with a vicious cycle of self-care.— Dr. Sara Gottfried
Physical Self Care
Physical self care keeps your body healthy. It can prevent future health concerns as well. Here are some ideas on how to do self care on the physical aspect.
- Get a check up: How often do we go to the doctor just because we are sick? Do we ever really go just to have a routine check up to prevent getting sick?
- Do some stretching: Stretching feels amazing and gets your blood pumping as well.
- Get a solid 8 hours of sleep: How often do we really get a good night's rest? 8 hours is what our body really needs to rejuvenate.
- Eat healthy: Even if it's just one meal a week, try to incorporate healthy foods in there.
- Get a massage: Feel all the stresses melt away.
Our self-care must remain at the forefront of our attention.— Akiroq Brost
Emotional Self Care
Emotional self care revolves around recognizing how we are really feel, being able to accept that and express that in a healthy way. Its allowing our selves to feel what we feel with out shame or guilt. Here are some ways to practice emotional self care.
- Breathe: Take the time to process what it is your feeling.
- Positive confirmation: Tell yourself good things, such as "you are strong".
- Give: Do something for someone else. Especially if you can do it anonymously.
- Learn to say no: Saying no is necessary for our own sake sometimes. At times we just have too much on our plates and remember no is a complete sentence. You owe nobody an explanation.
- Learn to say yes: Say yes to doing things for yourself sometimes.
Mental Self Care
Mental self care is linked to all other self care in a big way. If you are not taking care of your mental state then your not going to care much about taking care of anything else. For some this is a hard one to identify that you need. Trust me you need it. We all need it.
- Set Boundaries: Learn what your limits are mentally. Allow your self to identify when something is mentally exhausting you.
- Talk to someone: We all have things we need to get out and things we need to bounce off others. Tell someone how your feeling and why your feeling it.
- Meditate: Again use this to clear your mind and forget about it even if for a few moments.
- Work puzzles: This will keep your mind sharp and ready.
- Think positive: Turn all that stinking thinking around.
Social Self Care
Taking care of ourselves socially is a must. We are naturally social creatures for the most part. We live in communities, family units and so on due to the fact that we do better when we are with others. How can we take care of ourselves socially though?
- Go on family outings: Hang out with family and really talk to them.
- Put the phone down: Yes, I know " but it's social networking". Seriously face to face interaction is so much more fulfilling and better for you.
- Go when your invited: We are all guilty of the all to familiar, "yea, I am busy at that time or on that day" all the while we are sitting in the middle of our bed in our PJ's scrolling through Facebook. Instead say yes and just maybe you will enjoy yourself.
- Call someone: : Seriously pick up the phone.
- Have a cook out or bonfire and invite people: Don't want to leave your house? Invite the socialization to your place.
Spiritual Self Care
Last, but not least, we have self care for our spiritual well being. Spiritual self care is all about the inside. Our connection to nature, human kind, and our higher power. For some this is hard due to that "higher power" word. You don't have to be a Christian to have something to connect to, or get your peace from. It can simply be mother nature, space whatever gives you inner peace and calmness. If that thing is God, Budda or what ever awesome! Let's get connected to it. Here are some ways to practice spiritual self care.
- Prayer/meditation: Talk to whatever brings you peace.
- Attend a self help group: connect and congregate with like minded people
- Volunteer: find some kind of local charity, homeless shelter or soup kitchen. You will walk away feeling good.
- Pay it Forward: do something for someone and dont let them know you done it!
- Read a spiritual book: find a book that connects to your beliefs and dive in.
Now Go Out And Find Your Own Way
Now that we have an idea of the different ways that we can practice self care, it is ultimately up to you to take time to care for your self. Always remember you can not pour from an empty cup.
There are so many things that you can add to these list and what works for someone else may not work for you. Try some things out and see what fits. Firstly find what your needs are and where you are lacking and start slow. For many of us this is something we are not used to. It's time to start being good to ourselves though. So why not start now?