When asked the question: “Do you take care of yourself?” most of us will answer “yes” — we’d even think, “What kind of question is this?.”
When asked, “How do you take care of yourself?” — well, that’s where the questions start being asked.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What is self-love?
In 10 steps.
- Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
- Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive.
- Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
- Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life.
- Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. Let them remind you just how amazing you are.
- Stop the comparisons. There is no one on this planet like you, so you cannot fairly compare yourself to someone else. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
- End all toxic relationships. Seriously. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than amazing doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.
- Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s incredible the feeling we get when we realize we have achieved something we didn’t know or think we could do before.
- Embrace and love the things that make you different. This is what makes you special.
Although self-care means different things to different people, there’s a basic checklist that can be followed by all of us:
- Create a “no” list, with things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. Examples might include: Not checking emails at night, not attending gatherings you don’t like, not answering your phone during lunch/dinner.
- Promote a nutritious, healthy diet.
- Get enough sleep. Adults usually need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise. In contrast to what many people think, exercise is as good for our emotional health as it is for our physical health. It increases serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and energy. In line with the self-care conditions, what’s important is that you choose a form of exercise that you like!
- Follow-up with medical care. It is not unusual to put off checkups or visits to the doctor.
- Use relaxation exercises and/or practice meditation. You can do these exercises at any time of the day.
- Spend enough time with your loved ones.
- Do at least one relaxing activity every day, whether it’s taking a walk or spending 30 minutes unwinding. Yoga or meditation is a good practice.
- Do at least one pleasurable activity every day; from going to the cinema, to cooking or meeting with friends or family.
- Look for opportunities to smile
- Have a 30 second hug at least once a week, hugs reduce stress.
Set up a 14-day self-care routine and see how you feel before and after. And never forget: As with everything, self-care takes practice!