We sometimes neglect ourselves due to the hustle and bustle of daily living and allow life to just happen without taking control. In particular, finding that time to love ourselves can be extremely difficult. At other times, we simply forget that we also need to care for ourselves. At different times, I have been in situations that i forget to care for myself or got overwhelmed with work to the extent that I started feeling spent, exhausted and battered quite frequently. This affected my basic activities of daily living which became hard to adhere to. The fatigue I felt cannot be described and it told in all areas of my life. It even affected how i related with others around me as i was easily irritableI turned up for everyone, all occasions and I did not think it was necessary to take breaks to turn up for myself.
Self care is the focused care of just about anything that you do to be good to yourself. It is the care for you and provided by you.
Benefits of self care
1. You have more to give. It may seem like self care is selfish but on the other way round you are able to give more. Whether it is psychological help or physical help, self care tends to equip you for yourself and others.
2. Your self esteem is enhanced. When you regularly create time to care for yourself. This is because subconsciously you are speaking to yourself that you are important and of great value.
3. Self care increases self awareness. Self care helps to discover one’s self and improves self knowledge.
4. Your immunity increases with self care. Self care ensures one does activities that are good to self. This activates certain molecules in the body that have anti-stress properties and enhances the body’s ability to fight infection. This increases resistance to disease and better health state.
5. Self care makes you a better care giver.
6. Self care tends to boosts productivity. Self care helps with improved productivity by giving you breaks from stress. Taking care of oneself
Types of self care
Many things exist that one can engage in for self care. No matter which type or strategy one chooses, the aim is to identify what works for you and regularly implement it in a routine that you make for yourself. The different types have been identified as spiritual, physical, social and sensory self care.
Spiritual self care: this has to do with being in touch with what matters to you, your values, purpose and principles. Examples of spiritual self care ideas are;
.positive affirmations that solidify your sense of purpose and wellbeing.
.attending service whether religious or humanistic
Physical self care: physical self care practices is essential for the whole well being of the body, also aids to let off steam and mood elevation. Examples include;
.going for walks
.dancing to music
.jogging or running with friends
.sleep at night
.short nap during the day
Social self care: this refers to how we are able to relate with others. No man is an island may be an overflogged phrase but it is true most importantly when it relates to self care. It is not about relating with others for the sake of it but relating with others because it makes you feel good. Examples of social type of self care includes;
.lunch dates with friend(s)
.chat with a great friend you have not heard from in a while
.hangouts with people of similar interests
.strike up a conversation with someone you find interesting
.laugh out loud
Sensory self care: this is based on the senses (touch, smell, sight, sound). Practicing the sensory type of self care helps calm the mind. Different people react or respond differently to the various sensory self care type. Examples of how to practice the sensory type of self care includes;
.lying down and listening to music
.taking a walk by the seaside
.sitting underneath a tree away from city center and just breathing in fresh air
.having a massage
.cuddling under a soft duvet
The list is by no means exhaustive but the above is a starter guide. Do not restrict your self to the above alone but find what works for you and practice it.
It is not enough to fall sick before you take care of yourself. Practicing self care is not always easy or convenient but it is extremely important for a healthy body, mind and soul. Whichever type you choose to practice whether indoor or outdoor, looking for ways to incorporate them into your life is extremely important. The more you work out your daily schedule to include it the more you get used to and the greater the benefits.