Quick q, how are you getting on with this global pandemic? It’s been a rollercoaster with the number of cases, mask wearing protocols, travel restrictions and more. With some people ready to get out there again, some hesitant to return back to those pre-pandemic days, and some people in between - the only thing we can control during these uncertain times is how we take care of ourselves.
What has taking care of yourself through all of these ups and downs been like?
Now, self-care isn't always an easy thing to do. When you’re feeling great it’s like, “Well I’m feeling great, I don’t need to go outside and take a 10 minute walk.” And when you’re feeling not-so-great it’s like, “Well I’m not feeling so great, there’s no way I can go outside and take a 10 minute walk.” It’s very easy to talk yourself out of simple self-care routines but news flash, you are your best advocate and nothing feels as good as taking care of you for you!
The majority of us may be feeling overwhelmed, overworked, stressed out, and have too much screen time (my social media swiping and tv binge watching has definitely gone up 1,000%). These practices can be pretty self-destructive and if you’re going through the same predicament, I feel you. It is never too late to consider taking care of yourself more - or get back to basics and starting over.
First things first, what is Self-Care?
The term "self-care" can be defined as "caring for oneself” - pretty self explanatory! Lol.
Anything intentional you do to keep yourself healthy – physically, mentally, and spiritually – is considered self-care. Although prioritizing self-care may seem obvious, especially if you want to really live life (and not just exist), it's often the “go-to” activity when we're in a difficult situation - whether it's due to poor health, a financial crisis, job loss, divorce, or, as in the case now, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Self-care is a necessary coping skill. It is also quite essential for your professional and personal commitments so you can do your thing efficiently. Moreover, self-care is essential for developing resilience to life's stressors that you can't avoid. You'll be better equipped to live your best life once you've taken steps to care for your mind and body.
Sadly, many people consider self-care to be a luxury rather than a necessity. As a result, they mostly feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and ill-equipped to deal with life's inevitable challenges.
If I haven’t made it clear...SELF-CARE IS A MUST and with practice, self-care can become easy - more so like a habit or daily ritual. No, let's get to it - here are…
Show up for your life as your best self 🤗
Self-care, at its most basic level, helps you achieve physical and emotional balance. When you’re in this state of balance - you’re able to show up for anything in your life - exciting, stressful, etc as your best self. So yes, I’m saying working more hours doesn’t actually mean that you are MORE productive. Prioritizing some downtime or exercising over extra work hours will help your wellbeing in the long run.
Develop deep self-love and self-esteem 🥰
Did you know that you positively affect your subconscious when you regularly carve out time dedicated solely to being good to yourself and meeting your own needs? When you treat yourself as important and valuable, you can significantly reduce negative self-talk and your critical inner voice.
Increased self-awareness 🤓
Self-care helps you understand yourself better. When you take time to care for your mental and physical state and intentionally and routinely do things to keep it in check, you can start to understand what things affect your mental and physical health - is it certain people that drain your energy, are you not passionate about your career, or are you not getting enough sleep or fueling your body with foods that make you feel good? Self-care = increased self-awareness. Get to know YOU, you gotta live with yourself everyday.
Increased empathy 🥺
People who ignore their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at risk of experiencing greater levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem, and resentment. Those who spend all of their time caring for others are in peril of becoming burned out, making it more difficult to care for themselves or others. This isn’t the goal, right? Self-care does NOT mean prioritizing yourself over your friends and loved ones. It simply means that you are paying attention to your own needs and that helps you better support the ones you care about. When we have a solid grasp of ourselves, taking care of other people becomes easy too.
Improve your disease resistance 🫁
Your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is activated by most self-care activities. This means that your body enters a restful, rejuvenating state, which aids in the strengthening of your immune system. Need I say more? (If yes, check out the research).
Feel well-rested and energized 💪🏽
This one is a no-brainer but...and I’m sure you know this, any level of stress has a negative impact on your overall health. When you take some time for you, breathe, and release the worries and stress in your life - you rest better and find yourself more energized than energy-sucked.
What are some ways you check-in on your physical, emotional, and mental state? Let me know! 👇🏽
Until next time, Hazel B.