What Self-Care Really Is
What is Self-Care and The 8 Areas that Need Your Time and Attention
When we think of self-care these days we think stress relief techniques like relaxing in the tub or meditation. I do think these things are important but we have lost sight of what self-care really is.
Self care is more holistic than that. We must provide what is necessary for our health, welfare, maintenance, and protection, and in order to this, we must feel concern or interest and attach importance to ourselves.
Deep self care will allow you to live the life of your dreams. With deep self care you will have the vitality, energy, and overall wellness to achieve what you want and support others at a higher level.
Why Do We Need it?
Most of us don’t attach importance to ourselves. Often, we put the needs and desires of others in front of our own so, we end up making a mess of our mind and body. We need to take deep care of ourselves and meet our basic needs to be able to have personal freedom and give ourselves the good soil from which we grow.
So instead, let us perform deep self care and take of ourselves first. Don’t you want to teach your children, friends, and family to do the same? Lead by example and put self care at the top of your list. When your life improves so will the lives of those closest to you.
8 Areas that Need Your Time and Attention
1. Knowledge & Routine
We have to know what is healthy and nourishing for us and what is not, as part of our self-care practice. Take the time to stay informed about what is, and is not healthy. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no magic pills; find expert sources for information that you can trust and ignore the rest.
Create routines to manage your self care consistently. Schedule in time for all your self-care activities and stick to the routines you create. Don’t forget time for things like housekeeping and laundry; all the required details that support your needs.
In your calendar prioritize your self-care time above all others and don’t change it for anything but emergencies.
2. Mental Well-Being
Regular time set aside for getting to know ourselves, through journaling and quiet reflection is very important. Knowing who we are, what our values are, and what we want for our lives is the foundation of our mental well-being.
When we know who we are, we make better choices in alignment with our essential self and create the authentic lives we want live.
Hire a coach, a therapist, or talk to your doctor if you need help with mental wellness.
3. Physical Activity
Decide what a healthy amount of physical activity is for you. Create a plan and get moving.
Start small and gradually increase until you are at your optimum level of activity.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor for personalized advice for your unique body.
4. Healthy Eating
The easiest way to eat healthy is to stick to natural and whole foods. Avoid refined sugar, flour, and other highly processed foods.
Personally, I eat lot’s of veggies with meat and indulge in other stuff on Saturdays. Find something that works for you and your lifestyle that you can stick to, think lifestyle not quick fix.
Taking the time to plan meals, prep foods, and mindfully dine each day is imperative to maintaining your weight and nutrition.
Consult your doctor for the best meal and diet advice for your body.
Most of us don’t consider rest and sleep when it comes to self-care and yet rest should be near the top of the list. If we don’t rest we don’t give our brain the needed time for it to perform it’s own self-care.
Plan to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night and on days when you are sick, physically or mentally drained, give yourself permission to rest even more.
6. Risk avoidance
Most of us don’t really think about our risky behaviors until we have problems created by them. Why not consider risk avoidance as part of your self care?
Seriously consider your take on wearing your seatbelt, over-drinking, driving while impaired, drugs, extreme sports, unprotected sex, and other risky behaviors.
Decide what you will and will not do, where is your line that won’t be crossed? Think of these things in terms of self-care. Do you care enough about yourself to wear sunblock and not hang out with friends who bring you down? Do you care enough about yourself not to smoke?
Risky behaviors are rarely discussed when it comes to self-care. Give this some thought.
7. Good Hygiene
Do you have a regular routine for bathing, haircare, and other hygiene tasks? Are you walking around overdue for a shower because you didn’t have time?
Create a hygiene routine and make it a priority. Maybe yours is basic, like daily clean dishes, laundry, shower, and teeth or maybe it’s elaborate and includes a 4 step skincare regime, getting your nails done every week, and a housekeeper.
Choose for yourself what is important and stick to it, for you.
8. Nurturing Relationships
Humans need connections with other humans to be healthy. Are you giving the time and attention to your relationships to keep them healthy and you supported? Do you feel good about the amount of time you're spending with your mother, your kids, your partner?
Take a look and schedule in time to devote to your relationships.
Make Your Self-Care Non Negotiable
You have to have your own back when it comes to deep self-care. You have to plan it, make it a routine, and you have to make it the priority over all things.
If you don’t take care of you, you may not be around to take care of your loved ones and you most certainly won’t be at your best for them.
In order to make your self-care non-negotiable you have to plan it, prioritize it, and follow through.
You will eventually teach yourself and those around you, that your self-care will not to be negotiated. Don’t ever let anyone argue that your wellness is less important than their needs. If they do…what does that say about how they care about you?
You are always your number one responsibility in your life, it’s never anyone else’s job but yours.