Along with the day of recognition in celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, raising awareness of what has been done, and continues to be done for International Women’d Day ….
It is also important to pause, reflect, and make time for self-care … before heading out into the world and continue to make the great forward strides.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care can be defined as the actions taken by an individual in an attempt to achieve optimal mental and physical health.
At the most basic level, this can include daily activities like
- Taking care of yourself (personal hygiene)
- Eating regular meals
- Getting enough sleep
There are also activities that promote emotional well-being, like traveling, meditation, and therapy, that are examples of self-care.
Recently, there has also been a movement towards “unplugging” from electronics, which has become a popular way to spend time in nature, quietness, and reconnect with other people.
All 3 of these actions: basic care, emotional well-being, and ‘unplugging’ can positively affect your mental health.
Why Self-Care Is So Important?
While women have made great strides in many facets of social, economical, professional, and cultural areas, sometimes when it is busy time working or caring for others, we making the time for the activities that nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits are reduced, skipped, or just not done at all.
Maybe at times like these, your monthly cut-and-color appointment, your weekly meal prep, or your daily yoga practice may seem like luxuries you can’t afford to spend the time or money doing. The truth is, you can’t afford not to do them. Neglecting even simple self-care practices may lead to short- and long-term consequences for your own mental, physical, and emotional health.
Core Pillars Of Self-Care
While basic self-care practices were mentioned above, there are a few additional pillars or areas (domains) of self-care, which are generally five areas to be having a focus on to ensure you are taking good care of yourself: physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and professional. While you may not be able to plan an activity from each domain for every single day, a well-rounded routine will include elements from each of these areas on a regular basis.
What Are The Benefits of Self-Care?
There are many benefits of self-care:
- Taking time for yourself can improve your self-esteem
- Increase your productivity
- Bolster your immune system
- Make you happier in the long term by helping you find and pursue your passions
- Caring for yourself can also help you better care for the other people in your life
What Are Some Barriers to Self-Care?
While practicing self-care is important for overall health and well-being, sometimes there are some barriers that may creep up …
- Lack of time and money
- Responsibilities to your employer, family, and friends
- The idea that caring for yourself is selfish
Yes there can be some reasons people do not make caring for themselves a priority. The thing is, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. And, if we’re honest, most of us could spend less time watching TV or browsing the internet. Furthermore, investing in your health and wellness benefits every other area of your life. So, eliminate the excuses, and treat yourself! Care for yourself, before helping others.
Here Are Some Self-Care Strategies . . .
Chances are, your self-care routine looks completely different than your partner’s, your parent’s, and your best friend’s. That’s because what each of you finds interesting, nurturing, and relaxing is different.
Not only that, but we all operate on different schedules and budgets. The good news is it doesn’t really matter what self-care activities you do or when you do them.
If you want to nurture yourself by getting your body moving, you can choose to go for a brisk walk early in the morning, even walk around the block on your lunch break, or head to a fitness class after work — whatever makes you feel good.
You should also take the time to relax and unwind, no matter if you curl up with a warm mug of tea, read a few chapters of a good book, or enjoy a movie night with friends.
What’s important is that you create a sustainable routine that works for you.
My Final Thoughts
Yes the great progress that has been achieved for women globally, in professional to economical and cultural areas are to be celebrated and respected. Yet, an important part of making those achievements is keeping in check with self-care.
Self-care plays a vital role in your overall health and wellness – from staying active to eating a healthy diet to making time for hobbies, there are a lot of ways to care for yourself.
While everyone’s activities and schedule will be different depending on their health level and interests, a successful self-care routine starts with a commitment to yourself to make your mental and physical health a priority.
Committed to your success,
CEO & Chief Medical Exercise Specialist @ the Other Pain Clinic Inc.™