Could Self-Care Mean More to Us Than Just Feeling Better?
By Cheryl Alker
There is no doubt that the internet has given us all many opportunities to be far more knowledgeable on various subjects that were maybe not so well documented before. Personal health care is one. Not only is there a plethora of information easily attainable on the subject of self help, but it is also certainly the number one trending subject at the moment with, just on instagram alone, over four million #selfcare posts.
I would like to go a step further, as taking care of ourselves is not just a trend, it is an act of social responsibility. If we all treated our own wellbeing as a top priority who knows what might happen! Personally we would all have a life that we didn’t feel that we needed to escape from. We could choose to live a life that made us the strongest, healthiest, happiest and most relaxed version of ourselves. Our health care institutions would not be over worked and under funded trying to cope with illnesses that could be easily avoided if large percentages of the population were not overweight. Health insurance would be far less costly and attainable for all, if there were not so many claims. The snowball effect could be huge if we all started taking on the responsibility of our own health and began to make proactive changes in our lifestyle so as to practice preventative medicine instead of trying to ask a professional to “fix” us after the event.
An effective program of self-care begins with the basics:
- Eat nutrient dense, whole and energizing foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise portion control.
- Get plenty of sleep.
Once you’ve established a foundation for self-care that has become second nature to you it will be easier to focus learning how to manage the stress in your life.
- Knowing your limits and setting boundaries will mean that you no longer get to the stage where you feel overwhelmed.
- Learn how to say “no.” Decide who and what you will give your time and attention to.
- Remove any no-value-added agents from your life and cut ties with people who create negative energy.
- Explore things that relax you.
- Learn some strategies that teach you how to cope with stressful situations.
- Whilst there are times to put yourself first it shouldn’t always be about you. Find a balance between you and others. Much can be gained emotionally from putting others first.
- Identify the things that make you happy and relaxed and make them a priority.
- Surround yourself with the kind of people you would like to see yourself become.
- Recognize the power of community.
There are always going to be times when we lose sight of what is important, so cultivate various strategies that you can use to pull yourself back when needed.
- If your job is stressing you, literally change your view. Get up, walk outside take some breaths and return when you feel calmer.
- Say thank you. Letting someone know that you value them is not to be underestimated, not only do you make the person you are thanking feel good it also makes you feel good. It literally is a win, win.
- Help someone. Putting others first is just the best feeling, even if at the time it takes a lot of effort on your part.
- Treat yourself. Rewarding yourself is not wrong, so do it, but make sure it’s not always with a sweet temptation. Have a massage, try a new activity, buy yourself something new whatever it is enjoy!