Some questions are hard to answer. We’re not talking about the complex equation from high school math or the mind-numbing physics derivations. It’s not when someone conquered someone else or the duration of a president’s reign. The most complex questions are the ones that you have to ask yourself about yourself. How am I feeling today? Am I happy in this moment? The toughest, perhaps, is: What have I done to take care of myself today?
As a society and as an individual, we spend a lot of time taking care of our physical and intellectual health. Visits to the doctor when you get sick and regular health checkups for your physical health. Reading the newspapers and keeping track of the latest updates in your field of work for your intellectual health. But the one aspect of health we rarely take care of is our emotional and mental health.
What is Self-Care?
Most of us have heard of self-care. Be it through trending hashtags or self-actualization videos. Self-care is any activity that a person does for themselves and their mental peace. To put it simply, an activity that energizes, rather than draining us is self-care. The important thing to remember is that self-care is not about doing something monumental and huge. The beauty of self-care comes from the fact that it is often the simplest act.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you design a self-care routine for yourself.
Self-care is not serendipity. It’s something you plan and do over a certain period of time. Understand that anything you enjoy can be an act of self-care, but only if you treat it like that. Doing something you enjoy on a whim is not self-care. Doing something you enjoy to soothe your own self and to make time for yourself is self-care.
When it comes to self-care, keep things simple. You don’t have to hunt out a grand task that keeps you occupied for hours. Instead, opt for simple things that keep you peaceful. Take the time to figure out the things that soothe you and develop a rhythm out of it. Over time you will start to figure out what activities are doing it for you.
Stay aware of your feelings and thoughts. Keep track of what you’re experiencing, and analyze how it’s helping you. Self-care is about taking time for YOURSELF. So when you do such an activity, make sure you’re focusing on yourself.
Simple Things that Say “Self-Care
Sleep: There are a few things that keep your body and mind more peaceful than sleep. Getting sufficient sleep is one of the simplest and most important things you should make a part of your self-care regime.
Keep active with a little exercise: Exercise seems dreadful for many people. Self-care with exercise doesn’t mean spending hours in the gym or cardio till you’ve sweat through your shirts. A little bit of yoga or half an hour playing a sport you enjoy is also pretty good. If nothing else, go for a 15-minute walk after lunch or dinner.
Learn to say ‘No’: The world drills us to say ‘Yes’. Be it work, family or friends, always say Yes. But one of the most important ways of self-care is by saying ‘No’ to anything that takes away our energy or peace.
Get organized: Sometimes the anxiety or stress you’re experiencing comes from the disorganized or messy surroundings you may be living in. De-clutter your living space and workspace. You don’t have to do it all at once. For your home, do one room at a time. For your workspace, tackle one table or one cabinet at a time. For your tasks and assignments, start by making to-do lists.
Taking up things that take care of you is so easy it won’t feel like you’ve done a lot or changed too much. But the peace it’ll give you and the good it’ll do for your life will make it seem like a new life altogether!