I am so excited to be writing this blog post because this is a topic I am super passionate about. Today, I am going to talk about what self-care is and why everyone should practice it in their lives. In the near future, I will provide specific examples of self-care as well as some demonstration videos. So let's get started!
What comes to your mind when you hear the words, self-care? The basic definition of self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
Another definition regards it this way--taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
In essence, self-care is a way of maintaining wellness physically and mentally. As we'll discuss later, there are numerous ways we can do this. To help us fully appreciate the benefits of self-care, first we'll highlight what happens whenever you don't practice it on a regular basis.
To give an example, this pandemic has taken a toll on the mental and physical health of many across all walks of life. However, while some have fallen into a slump, others are staying lively by keeping up with their self-care routine. Sure we may have some bad days here and there. But the benefits of staying the course are definitely worth it. Below we will compare and contrast some of the effects of practicing vs neglecting self-care.
- Difficulty expressing emotions
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Difficulty understanding other's viewpoints
- Has negative outlook on life
- Has negative view of self and others
- Increased frustration; decreased motivation
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of compassion for self and others
- Poor eating habits and dehydration
- Weight gain
- Expressive of emotions
- Improved sleeping patterns
- Understanding of others limitations and self
- Positive outlook on life
- Positive view of self and others
- Increased motivation, acceptance and contentment instead of frustration
- Improved concentration and focus
- Increased compassion for self and others
- Healthier eating habits and staying hydrated
- Weight balance
As you read over that list, which category do you find yourself resonating with more? For the first few months of the pandemic, I was certainly self-neglecting. I stayed up late watching shows on Netflix and Crunchyroll to escape from my bleak reality. I had trouble sleeping at night so I lacked energy during the day. Slept in late so I couldn't make the most of my day. I stopped working out at the gym (because it was closed), and never began a home routine. As an empath, I felt the pandemic was so draining that I had to withdraw my emotions. This resulted in an apathetic and pessimistic approach to life. Long story short, I just felt BAD.
But as the pandemic went on longer and longer, I decided I had enough. I refused to just let my life go by with me being in a bad mood all the time with no energy. It just wasn't me and I didn't feel like myself anymore. I knew I needed to make changes but wasn't sure where to start.
My best advice to myself was that starting somewhere is better than not starting at all. So my self-care began with doing some simple herbal detoxes and cleanses. I prepared more healthier meals until I lost the desire to eat fast-food. I tried to drink at least 1 cup of tea per day and at least a couple times a week. I also started making green smoothies with protein powder for a much needed energy boost. Slowly, but surely, I began to see a change in the way I perceived things.
Sometimes we are so used to neglecting ourselves, that we forget what it feels like to be pampered. We have to remind ourselves that we DESERVE to feel good and then take necessary steps to achieve that. Once we remember what it's like to feel good, we aren't going to want to go back to that slump we were in. But it does take maintenance, and that is okay.
Thankfully, the majority of self-care techniques are things we can start today with some quick planning and little to no money at all. We will thank ourselves in the end once we begin to reach optimum levels of wellness and happiness. So for the next few weeks I will be compiling various self-care tips for our upcoming posts. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more updates :)