Adulthood is overrated. A great many people utter this statement out of frustration, and it's not surprising. Being an adult sometimes comes with overwhelming responsibilities. There are targets to meet at work, and there is a lot of work to do at home. When you factor in social activities and other engagements, you will relish the opportunity to trade places with that baby who has nothing to worry about. But we all know that's next to impossible. The only way to be at peace with yourself is by embracing the numerous responsibilities and taking some time to focus on what is essential. This includes self-care.
What is self-care? Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. As simple as it sounds, many of us pay little attention to self-care. This is why ‘deliberately' is one of the most important words in the definition. You need to be conscious of your well-being before you can achieve true self-care. It starts from the simple acts like not checking emails at night when you know it affects your sleep and extends to more important decisions like going for a vacation or booking a massage when you feel you need one.
Why is it important? Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can transmit the good feelings to others. You cannot give to others what you don't have yourself. While some may misconstrue self-care as selfish, it's far from that. When you pay adequate attention to your well-being, you're not considering your needs alone. You're reinvigorating yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself for the people around you. Everyone around you also benefits from the renewed energy and joy you exhibit.
1. Pay attention to your physical health
Physical health is a core part of self-care. The body and the mind have a unique connection, and it's difficult to be in high spirits when you are not feeling good about your body. Research has shown that regular exercise increases the level of serotonin in our body significantly improving mood and energy. When exercising for self-care, you should choose an activity you love. It could be a regular run, brisk walking, swimming, or just about any other thing that makes you feel alive. You derive extra fulfillment from doing what you love, and it is the love that encourages persistence even when it seems you do not have time for it.
2. Get enough sleep
Too many people are sleep deprived, and it takes a toll on our physical and mental health. We seem to have made the maxim ‘hard work pays' too seriously. We now spend so much time working and very little time sleeping. Sleep scientists recommend that adults need at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Your body needs time to rest and renew. Daytime naps are also excellent for refreshing our body and improving concentration levels.
3. Be a healthy eater
Your diet is a major part of self-care, and it's an aspect you should be wary about. When you ask people about foods that make them feel good, you get answers like a juicy steak, mounds of lasagna, or extremely delicious cupcakes. However, consistently indulging in these delicacies is NOT self-care. Healthy, nutritious foods are one of nature's best gifts to us. Make a habit out of consuming good foods that build your body.
4.) Identify the things that matter to you
This may seem easy, but it can be challenging to practice. You need to ask yourself the tough questions to identify the things that matter to you the most.
When the chips are down who do you want to be with?
How do you want to be remembered when you're gone?
How do you want to make a difference in the world?
Is the pursuit of material wealth worth the strained relationships that are left on the path?
Your answers to these questions should determine your approach to living. Spend more time with those you would love to be with and deliberately live your life the way you want to be remembered. Keeping an eye on your priorities will help you make decisions about how you spend your time.
5. Change your mindset / Gratitude
Too often, we focus on the negatives while showing little appreciation for the beauty that's all around us. It's what happens when you have a bad breakup, and all you can remember is how badly the person hurt you. We tend to forget all the amazing things that the relationship brought us. Cherish the good memories and hold them dear even if the unpleasant ones attempt to consume you. Show gratitude and appreciation for the little gifts in life. Take take time to be still and meditate more. If you can adopt a gratitude mindset, you are on your way to achieving the highest level of self-care.
6. Learn to say No
Too many times, you say yes to every request in order to not hurt the feelings of another party. When you do this at the expense of your own peace or health, you are going against the principles of self-care. It's good to realize you're only human and you can't possibly make everyone happy. Saying yes to everything predisposes you to burnouts, and it's bad for your physical and emotional health.
Self-Care is personal, and no general principle will always work. What motivates you and inspires you is different than the person next door. Look for the things that make you feel alive. Make dates with yourself and when you commit to working out or doing something for yourself, keep the commitment you make to yourself. . We don't back out on our friends, don't back out on yourself. By being healthy about self-care, you will feel be better equipped to help others. Go live your best life.