What is self-care?
Self-care can mean many things, but it usually involves being aware of and taking care of your own health and wellness needs. It involves taking care of yourself emotionally and physically, and making healthy choices, developing good habits, and taking action that enhances a healthy lifestyle and life-wellness. Self-care means to make an effort to take care of yourself to the best of your ability, and to respect and love yourself.
The physical dimension of wellness is divided into three areas; exercise, nutrition, and self-care. Self-care within Physical Wellness is about developing self-help skills and personal hygiene skills that promote healthy habits.
Self-care, like other areas of your life, is a lifelong process. It requires that you make a conscious effort to allocate enough time for self-care, and remain committed.
Self-care is also about focusing on taking care of your body, mind, and spirit.
What is the difference between self-care, self-pampering, and self-indulgence?
||Taking care of you body includes exercise, grooming, massage, breathing deeply and fully, practicing Qi Gong/Chi Kung, attending to personal hygiene, getting enough sleep, and consciously healthy eating.
||Take care of your mind by including quiet contemplation, meditation, and positive self-talk and self-affirmations.
||Gives you more energy, strengthens muscles and bones, increases flexibility, improves endurance and stamina, improves sleep, controls weight, and reduces stress, depression and anxiety.
||Focus on the moment and include, positive stimulation, healing music, and laughter.
Focus on enhancing your spiritual awareness by including meditation and prayer, positive self-affirmations, and by reading spiritual and self-help literature, expressing gratitude and counting your blessings, listing the positive things in your life, expressing love and performing random acts of kindness.
People often believe that self-care, self-pampering, and self-indulgence are interchangeable. That is incorrect.
Self-pampering has to do with the act of indulging or gratifying a desire, but the act of self-pampering is quite different when it is imbedded within self-care and part of Physical Wellness. In fact, learning how to pamper and take care of yourself is essential to your well-being. There is nothing wrong with pampering yourself periodically in ways that are not, in any way, self-indulgent or self-absorbed. Pampering yourself doesn't have to be expensive or complicated, and there are also a lot of inexpensive ways to pamper and treat yourself to proper self-care without breaking the bank.
Self-indulgence on the other hand has to do with being self-absorbed and only caring about one's own feelings, appetites and desires.
Are you taking proper care of yourself?
We all know that we should be taking better care of ourselves. We also know lots of ways to take care of ourselves, but the majority of people do not take care of themselves properly on a regular basis. So what's the problem?
If you are taking care of yourself properly, and there is nothing you need to improve, then you should disregard this section. If you are not taking care of yourself properly, what's the reason? Is it that you don't have the time, it's not a priority, or that you believe other things matter before you? Maybe as a child you were taught not to care of yourself because you were not worth it. Do you have low self-esteem, a poor self-image, and poor of self-confidence that you feel that you shouldn’t bother to make an effort? Or is it that you just need to be reminded of how important it is to take good care of yourself?
A lot of folks are too busy taking care of everyone and everything else in their lives, but neglect to take care of them. Maybe their job is demanding and believe they need to put all of their time and effort into t trying to keep it, or to advance to a better position. Caregivers who devote themselves to caring for others including family members, friends, the chronically ill or disabled often neglect their own self-care. The demands on them are usually overwhelming, making them feel that they have little control over their situation and that they are in way over their head. Too often, they believe that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, or that they are in an endless cycle that they can't get out of. As these people become stressed-out, frustration and despair takes hold and burnout sets in. Unfortunately, they are paying a heavy price for their own self-neglect. They often feel that if they put anything less than 100% into their cause, they will fail or lose control, and havoc will ensue. Feelings of guilt, fear, resentment, and anger will quickly emerge, often causing panic, anxiety, and depression.
These people fail to understand that their self-neglect puts them in a disadvantage and limits their ability to cope or thrive within their circumstances. You cannot take proper care of your loved ones in this state , just as you shouldn’t you show up at work when you’re underperforming, unprepared, or not feeling well or looking your best. You can perform, but you're not working to your potential, and exist in a vulnerable state, prone to problems, while drifting whichever way the wind blows. In the end, their self-neglect may make them unhealthy, and minimize their ability to work or provide care, because they actually need someone to care for them.
You can't always control your challenges or circumstances, but you can control how you take care of yourself. Get over the feelings of guilt and resentment, or else you will pay dearly for not taking the time and making a real effort to take care of yourself properly. The objective is to create a balance between your own self-care needs and everything else that exists in your life.
Self-care is not about being selfish; it's about taking the time and making the effort to take care of yourself properly. A few simple self-care, self-pampering activities can help you to energize, recharge, refresh and rejuvenate yourself, and will allow you to release any built up stress and anxiety existing within you. Nurturing yourself and making sure you are in the best mental and physical state as possible increases your chances for being around for a long time where you can enjoy and take care of all the people in your life that you love.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish; but it's careless, neglectful, irresponsible, and reckless if you don't. Self-neglect means the inability of a person to understand the consequences of his or her actions or inaction and this inability can lead to harm. The definition of self-neglect excludes the person who makes a conscious and voluntary choice not to provide certain basic needs for himself. He does this as a matter of personal preference and understands the potential outcome of that decision. So, do not neglect yourself.
If you don't care for yourself, your neglect will eventually be visible and cause you problems that you thought would never happen to you. So why not do small, simple things that will help you to minimize or avoid future problems. Why not do small, simple things that will help you minimize or avoid problems in the future.
There are many small things that you can do to improve your self-care. This will improve your health, outlook, as well as your circumstances. The real question is whether you choose to make some changes and then act on it. Making a realistic effort to take care of your needs, and to keep up your reserves, is your responsibility, and you will be glad that you made the effort.
What is the alternative to self-care? It is neglect, abuse and self-destruction. So focus on self-care, self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-love. These things will give you the strength and health to effectively cope with all that's around you so you can take care of those that you love.
Learn to take care of yourself
Lets start with the basics and go from there. The steps you take and the decisions you make in every aspect of your daily life affects you either in a positive or a negative manner. Everything from how you sleep, breathe, walk, talk, stand, groom yourself, perform, behave, socially interact with people, to what you eat, drink, and ware. Every action (and inaction), from the insignificant to significant, has a price and a consequence attach to it. It's just that some things happen without us consciously thinking about, so we take it granted. For example, maintaining good posture when you walk, stand, sit, and sleep, or what you eat and drink affects your health, and your social relationships are affected by how you interact with people. What you ware and how well you groom yourself, directly effects your self-image, self-confidence, and in turn, how others interact you.
Chances are that we're taking certain things for granted because they are working well or functioning well. Otherwise, some of these insignificant things would quickly become significant, and cause an inconvenience, a problem, or become a handicap that consumes our attention. We took those insignificant things for granted, instead of understanding that they are a privilege that require some of our attention periodically. Yes, some of the things listed above are more important than others, but they all play a role, and affect you in one way or another, positively or negatively. The point is that you need to be mindful of your decisions, your actions, and remember to take care of all aspects of yourself, including the ones you believe are insignificant and unimportant.
At first, paying attention to all things concerning you at the same time may seem impossible or ridiculous, but the idea is really to attend to one thing at a time and move on to something else.
The idea is to identify something that needs to be adjusted, or tweaked, make a change, and move on to something else. You keep doing it until the new change becomes a good habit that easily fits into your daily life. Don't make a big deal out of it, and don't make it difficult on yourself, just do it, one small, little change at a time. Those little changes, together with other little changes, start to accumulate causing big positive results.