Self-Care: 7 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself
Anita, a woman who had once been a master at taking care of herself, seems to have lost the magic. All she can think about even on weekends are the work deadlines that are going to pop up next week. No matter how hard she tries to establish boundaries and strike the perfect work-life balance, she fails every time.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word ‘self-care’ are massages, candles, and a relaxing bath with a glass of red wine. But, that’s not all there is to self-care. Self-care goes beyond the concept of polishing your exterior, it is a deep, enriching experience, which rejuvenates the soul. Here, we’ll try to give you seven unconventional ways to take care of yourself and why you need to do it in the first place!
What is Self-Care?
For those living under a rock or new mothers, self-care is the practice of taking actionable steps towards improving your own physical and mental health. Earlier, self-care was looked down upon as being selfish, but now, it is widely accepted that self-care is necessary to have meaningful relationships and to add value to whatever you do and whoever you are. People have begun to realise that you can’t pour from an empty vessel, hence, in order to help others, one must begin to help themselves.
Why is Self-Care important?
- Rejuvenate Yourself and Prevent a Burnout: Self-care is truly important because hustling 24/7 can cause you to burn out in the long-run. To give you a real-life perspective, it would mean that you would rush in the beginning of the race but you’d get too tired to even walk in the end. Now, we’re no professional athletes, but we’re sure that’s not a desired strategy for anybody. A good self-care routine helps you to rejuvenate yourself, replenish the energy that is required to keep striving towards your goals in the daily hustle life. Anita didn’t have a rejuvenating routine before. But, now she tunes in to listen to her favourite jazz songs every now and then while sipping down a glass of fruit juice.
- Improves mental health: You’ll be amazed what a little self-care can help you out with! It has been medically proven that having a good self-care routine helps one out by reducing depression, anxiety, and hypertension. Of course, it goes without saying that it helps you increase your focus and efficiency in doing tasks. With better mental health, the benefits also spill over to your personal relationships with your family, friends, and other loved ones. And guess what? It’s never too late to gain a good habit!
- Improves physical health as well: A little jog in the wild, or keeping a little healthy meal on your food plan, and a little exercise are all ways to take care of yourself and also to remain healthy! The results of self-care on medical health are now clinically proven. So, it is always great to give your body a break from your regular 21set century, tech-obsessed life and rejuvenate itself to perform better in the future.
Seven simple ways in which you can take care of yourself
If you’re tired of your usual weekend bubble bath and are looking for new ways to spruce up your self-care routine, we’ve got you covered!
- Take a walk down the memory lane: Open up your photo albums and your old bunch of documents! Go through your old school reports cards, and watch your life happen again before your eyes! You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn from introspection and what a little jump it adds to our steps! Remember, even if you have a painful past, it taught you something, and hey, you’re here- still alive, victorious over all the battles you’ve fought till date. Anita remembers her entrance exam that she triumphed in after grinding for 2 years. That’s a stellar record for a fighter like you! Keep going!
- Learn to say no: Now, a prerequisite for all your self-care plans needs you to learn the importance and the art of saying no. Carving out some time for yourself would usually require you to cut down on your time with something or someone else. Hence, the art of saying ‘no’ becomes crucial. Had a self-care routine but your colleague asked you to cover up for them? Learn to say no without offending them. How you ask? A good rejection is followed by two things: empathy and reasoning. For instance, “I’m sorry, Jill, but I won’t be able to cover for you this weekend. I really wish I could be of some help to you, but I am totally burnt out with the amount of work I have been doing in the past weeks, so I’m in need of a little rest”. But remember, a justification is not always required for a simple ‘no’.
- Talk to someone who made you feel good but you didn’t get a chance to connect with till now: You know that long-forgotten school friend of yours that you haven’t talked with since time immemorial? The cousin of yours who you’re too busy to talk to, the loved ones you haven’t spent any time with lately? As cliche as it is, a little human-touch and strengthening relationships with old but gold friends might do your mental health some good. Self-care does not always have to be as expensive as it is portrayed in the media and on Instagram. Sometimes, a simple pep-talk from your old pals can do the trick!
- Do something you love: Now, this one was obvious- do something you absolutely love to do! It doesn’t have to necessarily be something you are good at! It just has to be something you enjoy doing- it could be painting even if you paint like a toddler, it could be dancing even if you dance like you broke a hip bone or it could be dancing even if that means burning your kitchen down (okay, not that maybe, but you definitely don’t have to be a michelin star chef to try out some cooking). People are uniquely different in their own ways- rock or metal music might interest someone while it may sound like a hundred honking cars to someone else- but what is truly important is that you love doing that! And if you don’t know what you love doing, do not worry, we’re not born with an instruction manual. Everyone you see walking around you- no matter how sorted they may look- is a beginner in discovering themselves. So, it’s never too late. School really exposes us to 5 or 7 subjects, but there’s a lot more in the real world to know about, to learn, to cherish, and to enjoy! Therefore, keep trying new things until you find out what you truly love and stick to it!
- Try to eat healthily (or healthier, if the thought of healthy food kills you): Yes, the thought of adding those dreaded, leafy-green vegetables onto your plate instead of your usual greasy steak might sound daunting at first, but it might save you from a heart attack one day. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even begin to love it! Remember, the recipes don’t have to be so boring, not that veganism is becoming a popular way of life and as new recipes and restaurants keep popping up. What might be a better way of taking care of yourself than eating right to replenish nutrients for your body! This is also a great way of extending gratitude toward your body for doing what it does daily and making sure that you never take it for granted!
- Take a small vacation: If you are not a fan of fancy, this doesn’t have to be as fancy as it sounds. Or if you like fancy, this could be a gala! Really, from a simple road trip to the town next-door to a Bali vacation- this could be anything, depending on the number of holidays you have and your budget. Exploring different cultures, learning a new language, meeting new people, tasting their cuisine, and learning their way of life could be an apt refreshment to your stale routine if nothing seems to help you! Make sure that you take this vacation with people you adore so that it remains stress-free!
- Meditate: Our mind is doing so many things at once that we have become used to multitasking, but it shouldn’t always be so! Sometimes, giving a task your full attention, time and energy might lead to better results and surprise you with the outcome. Meditation is a nice way to take your mind off things that do not matter in the long-run (as Keynes said ‘in the long run, we’re all dead’). Meditation is an art, a science, and a skill. The more you master it, the more you master yourself and the more you master the world around you.
Therefore, the art of self-care and self-mastery is of prime importance and can change your very perception of life. As new and expensive ways of taking care of yourself keep popping up, it is absolutely imperative that you remind yourself that self-care is not a luxury, instead, it is a necessity- meant for everyone. Sometimes, self-help might mean to help someone take care of themselves. These 7 tips for taking care of oneself will be very helpful for Anita and many other readers like her who struggle with self-care.
Ask your partner or family to weigh in with some responsibilities. You cannot and should not handle it all alone. Make sure that you get a sound sleep and take a little break to be a better parent than your worked-out self would be. We understand that this is easier said than done, but even asking for professional help from nannies, baby-sitters, day-care facilities, would be a welcome move! As emphasised in this article, do not overwork yourself. Remember that what matters truly is that you gave your best shot to an opportunity, then why worry about what the results might be? Make sure that you keep yourself hydrated and healthy and that you follow a proper sleep schedule, where you keep your electronic gadgets at bay at least an hour before sleep. A good habit to gain would be to do assignments a day before the deadline so that you don’t stress about it at the last moment and don’t lose your sleep over it! True well wishers would always understand that a bit of rest is important to keep yourself going in the marathon of life. If the people around you do not understand that self-care is important for you, even when you’ve tried to patiently explain its benefits and importance to them several times, ask yourself, are they really your well-wishers?
I have young children and taking time out for myself becomes really difficult. What should I do?
How do I take care of myself in college or school when the deadlines are close?
What to do if people around me do not let me take care of myself?
Ask your partner or family to weigh in with some responsibilities. You cannot and should not handle it all alone. Make sure that you get a sound sleep and take a little break to be a better parent than your worked-out self would be. We understand that this is easier said than done, but even asking for professional help from nannies, baby-sitters, day-care facilities, would be a welcome move!
As emphasised in this article, do not overwork yourself. Remember that what matters truly is that you gave your best shot to an opportunity, then why worry about what the results might be? Make sure that you keep yourself hydrated and healthy and that you follow a proper sleep schedule, where you keep your electronic gadgets at bay at least an hour before sleep. A good habit to gain would be to do assignments a day before the deadline so that you don’t stress about it at the last moment and don’t lose your sleep over it!
True well wishers would always understand that a bit of rest is important to keep yourself going in the marathon of life. If the people around you do not understand that self-care is important for you, even when you’ve tried to patiently explain its benefits and importance to them several times, ask yourself, are they really your well-wishers?