“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”- Anonymous
In this hustle-driven, post-pandemic era, hasn’t there been an increasing emphasis on the importance of ‘me-time’? From running a long, warm bubble bath to meditating amidst nature, aren’t our social media feeds trending with self-care ideas?
But, there’s truly more than what meets the eye! A recent survey showed that while 74% of people considered the meaning of self-care as taking care of their bodies, 57% believed that it meant taking a mental break.
With manifold benefits to improve your overall being, it is increasingly important to prioritize yourself and tune in to your needs and wants to replenish your mind, body, and spirit. Self-care is just not a to-do checklist, but it’s about adopting an attitude of ‘Me too’ and self-compassion!
Self-Love and Self-Care: The Yin to Its Yang
Have you ever wondered why you’re advised to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others in case of an emergency during a flight? Well, if you don’t tend to yourself properly, then how can you productively help those around you? Call it ‘self-preservation’, kindness to oneself, or ‘self-respect’, it all gravitates toward one thing- Self-Care.
Stemming out from learning how to love oneself, let’s understand what self-love primarily means. It refers to unconditionally accepting ourselves and promoting the “instinct or desire to promote one’s well-being; regard for or love of oneself.” Including how we talk and feel about ourselves, self-love is an intentional practice that teaches us to embrace ourselves, despite our strengths, weaknesses, and perceived flaws. Yes, self-love is wondrous and empowering, but as humans, it is impossible to always feel our best. And that is OKAY!
Helping us put self-love to practice, self-care encompasses all those things that we do to care for ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Ranging from a host of activities such as brushing your teeth or eating a healthy breakfast, the concept of self-care resonates differently with people.
On a deeper musing, wouldn’t it be apt to call self-care, an expression of love language as we all seek physical and mental nourishment from such activities in our own way?
Salvage Your Soul: Types of Self-Care
A common misconception, most people think that self-care is only meant for the privileged. A necessity in today’s times, good mental health and well-being enable us to think positively and approach the various ups and downs of life head-on.
From reducing stress and anxiety and the risk of serious ailments to bestowing our lives with a sense of purpose and abundance, self-care consists of six integral pillars or realms that in the truest sense, complete us and our sense of identity. You need to find a balance between these facets and identify, which one needs more attention.
Read on to know about the six pillars of self-care and simplistic, DIY ideas to tend to the same.
- Physical Self-Care: This refers to how well are you replenishing and taking care of your body through exercise, nutrition, good hygiene, and adequate sleep, which can further boost your mood and self-confidence. Such fundamental activities include:
- Eating a balanced meal filled with greens, proteins, and minerals.
- Exercising at least thrice a week for 45 minutes
- Sleeping for 7-8 hours, daily
- Drinking enough water
- Mental Self-Care: Stimulating your mind, mental self-care involves cultivating a healthy mindset through constant learning, curiosity, and mindfulness. Such faculty-awakening activities include:
- Going on a social media detox
- Indulging in puzzles
- Make a to-do list and prioritize aspects of your life
- Update yourself on the current affairs
- Learn a new skill and keep your brain engaged
- Declutter your mind and space to help you think clearly
- Emotional Self-Care: This refers to catering to your innermost feelings and unhealthy thought patterns, and practicing healthy coping strategies and self-compassion. Understanding this realm helps you to accept yourself as is, and allows you to efficiently deal with setbacks or challenges while developing proportionate emotional responses and dialogue. An integral area to foster, such activities include:
- Journaling your thoughts and feelings
- Practicing gratitude and positive affirmations
- Talking to a loved one or a therapist when needed
- Practicing meditation, grounding, and relaxation exercises
- Practice forgiveness towards yourself and others
- Setting healthy emotional boundaries and learning to say ‘No’
- Becoming your own best friend
- Social Self-Care: Humans thrive on positive social connections. Social self-care, therefore, means establishing and maintaining long-lasting, meaningful relationships and boundaries with others. Some examples of such belonging and acceptance-inducing activities include:
- Spend time with your friends and loved ones
- Talking to a support group
- Joining a club or a community of like-minded individuals.
- Spiritual Self-Care: This facet refers to those soul-stirring activities or practices that imbibe a sense of meaning, direction, and purpose to your life. It further helps you feel grounded and one with your being. Such activities include:
- Identifying your values and what’s meaningful to you
- Volunteering or contributing to a cause you believe in
- Connecting to a higher power or belief system
- Recreational Self-Care: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Haven’t we heard this adage time and again? Recreational activities bring about a sense of peace and enjoyment that thoroughly helps us rejuvenate and relax through hobbies, fun experiences, or just being. Some ideas include:
- Taking time out for creative pursuits such as painting and music
- Spending time outdoors amidst nature such as hiking, camping, or exploring a new place.
- Simply doing nothing
- Reading a book
- Watching a feel-good movie
- Playing video games
- Appealing to your five senses and pampering yourself with a spa day or immersing yourself in aromatherapy.
Now, now! It isn’t so hard to invest in yourself, is it? In fact, tapping your own ‘Reload’ button reduces burnout and increases resilience, productivity, and feelings of happiness. You will come back ready to conquer your dreams and serve others better.
SELF-CARE CHECK: HOW TO MAKE YOUR REGIME
Taking out time to indulge in some downtime, are you ready to meet a happier, relaxed YOU? Since you are well aware of the six pillars of self-care, it’s easy to make a fulfilling regime for yourself, isn’t it? To help you kickstart this wonderful journey, keep in mind the following tips:
- Identify your needs: Make a list of different parts of your life and the activities that you are engaged in, daily, such as your family, friends, school, work, etc
- Evaluate your stressors: Introspect and pin down the trigger that causes disharmony amongst your various realms of functioning.
- Devise Self-Care Strategies: Starting with a simple checklist such as drinking more water and eating healthy, make a list of your hobbies and activities you enjoy, along with the areas or traits that you can rectify to improve your well-being.
- Start small: Proceed slowly, take baby steps, and account for smaller goals and tasks that will help you regain perspective. Challenge yourself and come up with a coherent plan to work on your weaker areas.
- Consciously schedule your ‘Me time’: Prioritize yourself, and adhere to the time that you remove for self-care, religiously. We promise that this activity is super worthwhile, making you give a 100% to all other tasks. Most importantly, do not feel guilty.
HARMONIZING BLISS: AROMATHERAPY TO THE WIN
You may have heard that the natural, 100% plant-derived essential oils enhance relaxation and self-care. Transporting you to a state of inner peace, happiness, and focus, we at SA strive toward promoting a holistic lifestyle. Living up to its name, our Relaxation range of highly efficacious, easy-to-use essential-oils-based-infused Roll-Ons works wonders to nurture one’s wellness. Reducing physical and emotional symptoms, the following products help restore the balance between your mind, body, and spirit while allowing you to heal from within.
- Dream-Sleep Inducing Oil: Infused with calming ingredients like Juniper and Roman Chamomile, enjoy a peaceful and revitalizing slumber.
- Breathe-Cold Reliever Oil: Breathe in the beauty of each moment, and get rid of bothersome colds with this Eucalyptus and Lavender-based oil.
- CALM-Anxiety Reliever: Go stress-free with this Lavender and Rose-based therapeutic concoction.
- Soothe-Migraine Relief Oil: Get rid of those throbbing, productivity-hampering headaches with an elixir filled with Basil and Peppermint.
- Self-Care Relaxation Oil: Filled with a refreshing mix of Lavender and Cypress, feel completely relaxed with this gem.
As parting advice, all we’d like to say is “Take time to do what makes your soul happy”. You’ve got this!