Self-care is a broad term used to describe all the activities you do for yourself to prevent a burnout. It’s about caring for yourself, replenishing your energy and doing things that make you feel good. Integrating self-care activities into your daily lifestyle promotes emotional, mental and physiological well-being. Self-care activities such as eating healthy food, getting adequate sleep, taking medication during illness, maintaining social relations, playing brain-stimulating games, meditating and acknowledging personal emotions are vital for holistic well-being.
Practising self-care is beneficial to you as well as others around you. Studies have shown that practising self-care has long-term benefits for the body, mind and soul. People who practise self-care activities regularly experience improved mood, increased energy levels, higher productivity, stronger immune system, better health, higher self-esteem and are more compassionate to others. Self-care is significant for well-being as it helps in developing resilience towards stress & anxiety that is inevitably in day-to-day life. When we integrate self-compassion in our lifestyle, it is easier to counter the stressors of life.
Types of self-care
Self-care is important for leading a balanced life and must be pursued as a scheduled activity, rather than as something that just happens. Here is a lowdown on the different types of self-care activities that you can plan in your daily life.
Caring for the body – Activities like eating nourishing food, getting adequate sleep and managing personal health are basic needs of the body; Attending to these physiological needs is a vital part of self-care. Humans need a healthy & balanced diet for optimum performance of body and mind; Incorporating the Mediterranean diet is a good self-care practice. Sleeping 7-8 hours at night keeps the mind alert and prevents lethargy. Exercising regularly to keep the body fit or visiting a doctor, taking prescriptive medicines and follow-up visits helps to maintain personal health. Any compromise on food, sleep or personal health leads to fatigue and inability in dealing with stressors.
Social support – Relationships with friends and family are vital self-care practises that most people tend to ignore due to their busy life. Developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with others is essential for personal well-being as human are social beings and need to be loved and appreciated. Time spent with friends, siblings or parents is good for mental health as it improves mood and promotes overall wellness. Even helping others through clubs, church or other organizations gives a feeling of leading a meaningful life and promotes well-being.
Cognitive stimulation – The brain needs to be stimulated with mind games like puzzles, learning a new language or a new subject, reading thought-provoking books and watching inspiring movies. Taking care of your cognitive needs is significant for mental health and promotes psychological well-being. Practising self-acceptance and maintaining healthy inner dialogue is a part of mental self-care.
Emotional & spiritual care – Taking care of our emotions is an important part of stress management, responsible for good health and overall wellness. Emotional well-being is a vital part of self-care that can be practised by acknowledging uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, loneliness, anxiety, depression and anger. Incorporate emotional self-care in daily lifestyle by practising healthy coping skills like mindfulness, yoga and tai chi – all effective stress management techniques.
Religion and spirituality nurtures the soul, and people who include prayers and meditation in their lifestyle have higher emotional quotient, which allows them to deal with anxiety in a better way.
Practicing self-care provides a nurturing experience in life that enhances a sense of contentment and well-being, important for good health & well-being. Self-care activities are proactive responses to our physical, mental and emotional needs involving nutritious food, sleep, exercise and work-life balance. So, adopt self-care activities into your lifestyle and lead a healthy life armored by healthy coping mechanism to deal with stressors.
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