Self care is a word we hear a lot about now.
Indeed many of us are trying to do it because we have heard of the benefits.
Isn't it a bit selfish though?
For those of you who know why self care is important but just want to know what to do - scroll on down to the four areas below and check out this article.
If you have yet to really understand deep in your heart why you must look after yourself as a priority and not put others first - read on :
There's plenty of assistance on the internet these days, but are we really going to care for ourselves consistently and in dedicated fashion when we don't understand why it's so important.
Prolonged stress impacts us in so many ways.
It impacts the way we function.
We all know that we feel better after a goods night's sleep. This is one way we nourish ourselves so that we can perform better.
When we perform better we have more to offer others.
More energy, more patience and so on.
You may have heard of the analogy from the safety video when you fly - put your own mask on first before you put your child's mask on.
Using the self care action of having enough sleep as an example, ask yourself these questions:
Do i feel better when I have slept well?
Do I have more energy when I have slept well?
Do I have more to offer others when I have slept well?
Do I perform better when I have slept well?
and so on.
This is just one aspect of self care.
Imagine if you do multiple aspects what the effect will be.
I know from personal experience that when I started self care I had more energy and more to give others. Also when I gave to others it was no longer depleting me. It didn't take away from me. See my first article on self care
According to one study published in Psychiatry Research, eight weeks of mindfulness training led to changes in gray matter concentrations in the brain areas involved with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.
Findings suggest that self-reported engagement in self-care activities is associated with a decrease in the strength of the relationship between perceived stress and quality of life in medical students.
Emotional Self care
In order to protect ourselves emotionally we can engage in certain approaches and activities:
a. Schedule some time for yourself into your day - where you focus on you
b. Learn to say 'no' when you already have enough on your plate
c. Create wins. Reward yourself for competing small tasks.
d. Create a relaxing evening ritual. This will also help with sleep
e. Allow your emotions to be expressed in a safe environment. Without judging them.
f. Learn mindfulness. Even two minutes helps. Webinar coming soon to help with this!
g. Focus on the good things in life - gratitude, or journal
h. Stop judging yourself harshly
i. Be okay with making mistakes.
2. Physical Self Care
In order to protect ourselves physically we can engage in certain approaches and activities:
b. Go for a walk
c. Drink more water
d. Exhaust yourself physically regularly
e. Have a massage
f. Spend ten minutes in the sun
g. get eight hours sleep
3. Spiritual Self Care
In order to protect ourselves spiritually we can engage in certain approaches and activities:
a. Meditate or mindfulness. Webinar coming soon to hep with this. Even two minutes helps
b. Do a mental body scan
c. Do something nice for someone in secret
d. create opportunities to use your strengths
e. Do things that energise you
f. Steer clear of things that deplete you (as much as possible)
4. Social Self Care
In order to protect ourselves socially we can engage in certain approaches and activities:
a. avoid negative people
b. ask for help and let people know your need help
c. Speak to a friend or helpline to download
d. spend time with happy people - who are enthusiastic and positive
adapted from Positive Psychology