Self-Care 101: How to Incorporate Daily Self-Care

Self-care means feeling healthy, relaxed and equipped to take on the world. When you engage in any sort of voluntary activity that is aimed at promoting mental, emotional or physical health, you are making a deliberate effort to take care of yourself. If you feel stressed out, have trouble organizing your time or the responsibilities of life seem to overwhelm you, it is  time you may want to consider incorporating self-care into your life.

Benefits of Self-Care:

When the body is in good working condition, you will feel strong, get rid of nervous energy and just allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the positives of life without dwelling on issues that stress you. While physical activity can be a good way of caring for yourself physically, it is not the only way of focusing on your positives. You could also take the time to engage in something you like such as reading a book or playing a game. The impact of engaging in such activities is that they distract your body and mind from the effects of any negative thoughts that could be stressing you out.

If you have a recurrent health condition, self-care strategies can be used to either cope with the symptoms or mitigate them. When you are busy with activities that you consider crucial to your survival, taking some time off to unwind may lead to feelings of guilt as it seems like a luxury. If you have been in a position where there is a tight deadline to be met, even an important activity such as eating may seem like a waste of time. That sort of mentality backfires; it is counterproductive. How can you expect to concentrate at work and feel re-energized every morning if you do not take the time to rest and visit what is important in your life.

Everybody has their share of stress; the crucial difference is the way we manage it. For a long time, people associated stress with depression and emotional instability but scientists have established a connection between certain types of stress levels and high performance. Self-care is what you need to keep your stress levels under control for optimal performance and health.

Here are 10 self-care practices of the mind, body, and spirit that will not only improve your perception of yourself but also enable you to cope better with the demands and pressures of life.

  • Healthy eating – you need to be conscious about what you eat and this means reading the labels, learning where your food came from before putting it on your plate. As much as possible, try to consume foods in their raw form, as they contain essential nutrients in the form you need to function at your best, both physically and mentally. When possible choose foods that are in their most natural form, grown in season and as close to you geographically as possible for top nutrient density.
  • Exercise your body – you do not have to enroll at the gym to engage in meaningful exercise. Activities, like walking and using a staircase, are a good way to start. The more you exercise, the more the body will manage to do in terms of physical activity and this will lead to the release of feel-good hormones which will make you happy.
  • Get enough sleep – Getting enough rest every day helps to regulate emotions and mood while sharpening the levels of alertness that is critical for us to get through our day. Developing a healthy night-time ritual such as drinking non-caffeinated herbal teas, using essential oils, Epson salt baths, disconnecting from electronics near bedtime, if you find this keeps you awake, and turn off any lights (including dimming your alarm clock light) before settling in.
  • Mindfulness to a supreme being – Meditation, yoga, mental exercises, affirmations, energy healing or prayer, whatever aligns with your beliefs, can be a great practice to adopt on a daily basis that promotes inward reflection and mental healing to achieve emotional balance.
  • Inward Reflection – regularly identify aspects of your life that are positive so that you may establish a sense of well-being. Not focusing on the negative elements or things that drain your energy, but instead focusing on things that make you feel energetic and motivated, brings us to a place of inner calmness which is critical for a healthy body and mind.
  • Find time to spend alone – Make a date with yourself. Sometimes this may mean hiring a babysitter or trusted friend to watch the children. Or, if this is not possible, then carve out a little time each to be alone. You can use alone time to sleep, exercise, read or take an Epson salt bath, provided you are doing something without interruptions.
  • Respect yourself – treat yourself with high regard and let others know the value you place on yourself.
  • Fill your brain with positive thoughts- the brain magnifies thoughts. Entertain positive thoughts and you will always think the best about others and yourself.
  • Help others – be of help to those in need by offering your time, energy and resources. With the knowledge that you have made a positive contribution to the life of someone else, you will boost your own sense of self-worth.
  • Organize- Keep your life organized by setting a routine for everything you are involved in.