Self-care talk is all the rage right now. But, what is it? How can you make sure you’re practicing it correctly and getting the benefits?
Self-care can be defined as the action to promotes one’s own physical, mental, and emotional health. According to the American Psychological Association, self-care “is a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.”
A high-quality self-care routine can help you build the resilience you need to deal with the stressors of life. When you prioritize taking good care of your mind, body, and spirit, you are on your way to living your best life. This is why learning what self-care really is and developing a high-quality self-care routine is so important.
Now that you know exactly what self-care is and how important it is to your overall quality of life, it’s time to evaluate your routine. So, how good are you at practicing self-care?
You may be very good at taking care of others but how good are you at caring for yourself? Self-care is a component of our physical and mental wellness that we do not discuss or understand enough. A good quality self-care regimen requires you to be quite deliberate in how we go about taking care of yourself. It can feel selfish and, on some levels, overwhelming.
When was the last time you took a day or even a week off to decompress and explore the meaning of life? How often do you hoard days off and guard them like gold, preserving them for times of illness or family vacation days?
Self-care practitioners challenge themselves on this philosophy. They focus on finding a healthy balance that allows for self-preservation without sacrificing all of the other things they hold as being equally important such as family, career, and community.
Practicing self-care allows us to be there in the way that we want to be for others.
How Do You Know if Your Failing at Self-Care
Some tell-tale signs that you might be failing in the self-care department include feelings of being chronically stressed, feeling burned out, and having poor physical health. Illnesses are often so taxing on your body to the point you are forced to take time away from work, and it can take quite a while to recharge after such an event.
Another sign that you may be failing in the realm of self-care is if you rarely allow others to help you. Self-care can also mean having the skillset to enable others to take the reins of a situation while you take a break or focus on other tasks that need your attention.
Elements of a High-Quality Self-Care Routine
According to Psychology Today, proper self-care can create a pathway to you better managing your stress and ultimately living your best life. It can serve as armor that protects the energy that is necessary for your survival and the survival of those closest to you.
Here are five elements to put you on course to practicing a better quality of self-care.
- Know When to Say ‘No’
As humans, we all have limits in our capabilities. Taking on more than we can do for an extended period can wear you down. It can drain you, rob you of your ability to be creative, and effective in the workplace and your home life.
Practicing self-care requires you to establish clear boundaries on behalf of yourself with others who may or may not have your best interests at heart.
- Schedule Self-Care Activities
Self-care does not just happen spontaneously. You have to schedule the time and actively commit to seeing those plans through to the end. Additionally, you may have to ensure others are aware of your plans to ensure they don’t unknowingly push you to put their needs ahead of yours.
- Make Sleep and Rest a High Priority
Sleep may like a totally different topic, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, sleep and rest are a major component of the self-care equation. Don’t underestimate the necessity of recharging your body. Sleep, rest, relaxation, and meditation can all contribute to replenishing your body and giving it a much-needed restoration period.
Additionally, it helps to keep your mind sharp and can also aid in allowing you to sustain a healthy mood and outlook on life and interacting with others.
- Find Your Fitness
Extreme workouts are not for everybody, however, if you’re going to level up your self-care practices you’re going to have to “find your fitness”. Find what works for you. If fitness is not your strong point, look for ways to naturally incorporate some form of fitness into your day. Challenge yourself to find something you find joy in doing whether it’s walking, swimming, kickboxing, dancing around your home solo, or finding a Zumba class to get you moving. Self-care is not only about getting adequate rest, taking a day off, and keeping your doctor’s appointments. It’s also about helping your body to stay fit.
- Socialize with Others
This one might seem like a surprise. Self-care is also about tending to those relationships that make you feel good. Healthy relationships are essential for our emotional and physical well-being. We all get busy from time to time and incorporating our friends and family into our busy schedule can seem impossible. However, our connections are a must-have. Look for ways to nurture those relationships.
Self-care entails taking the time to manage our individual physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Good self-care habits are essential in terms of how we view ourselves and our ability to interact with others. Take the time today to honestly assess your life and whether or not you are practicing self-care properly. You don’t have to make sweeping changes all at once if you find a few areas are lacking. Target a single area at a time and make small adjustments. Take baby steps. If you must. You will be amazed by the overall improvement that begins to take hold of your life as your self-care routine becomes a reality. Remember, self-care is not a luxury. It is a necessity for living a quality life. You need it and you deserve it!
Be well + prosper,