4 simple ways to utilize self-care

self-care

Self-care has taken the world by storm, becoming a normal topic of conversation.

Defining self-care

Pop-culture has turned it into a buzzword, but it neglects the true essence of what self-care truly is. Self-care represents deeper than facials and treat-yourself desserts. Self-care is not escaping daily responsibilities or avoiding hard situations. Self-care does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. 

According to the Oxford Dictionary (2019), self-care is the “practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” or “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

In other words, self-care means recognizing one’s needs – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally – and taking action. This trend is not a brand-new phenomenon. For centuries, there have been self-care practices such as meditation and prayer. This new inspiration for self-care seems to be born out of a mental health crisis we experience in today’s society. Today’s society values busyness which often results in lack of rest, exhaustion, and overworking. Eventually, people have seen what overworking does to you as a person. Health declines, relationships deteriorate, and a person’s sense of identity is defined by their performance. 

Reclaiming of personhood and allowing rest is the essence of self-care. When you take time to rest and self-care, you become a more productive worker and a more balanced person. Self-care should not be saved for a rainy day or when you are burnt out but should be used as a preventative practice and discipline. The hardest part of self-care is giving yourself permission to take care of yourself. As you work toward self-care, remind yourself of your value as a human being and the essential need we have for rest and play. 

“When you take time to rest and self-care, you become a more productive worker and a more balanced person.”

4 Simple ways to utilize self-care in daily life:

  1. Write down your schedule of things you must do – work, school, going to the grocery store, etc. Not all things are “musts”, so look for things that you might need to cut out to provide more time for the things you love. Find where you have time to rest. It could be that you have to wake up earlier or se aside other time in your day to be intentional with self-care.
  2. Make a list of things you find personally rejuvenating, such as: taking a walk, yoga, painting, calling a dear friend, visiting a museum, facial, reading a non-work/school-related book, visiting a church service, meditation, recreational sports, working out, or traveling. Be realistic in regard to finance, time, and energy. Not all these activities are feasible in everyone’s day-to-day life. Find what works best for you and your lifestyle.
  3. Keep this list of self-care activities and share with a trusted friend/spouse/colleague. Try to implement a self-care practice once or twice a week. Scheduling it in your calendar makes you see it as a priority to be met. 
  4. Honor your self-care. Learn to say no to things that prevent your care for yourself or exist outside your time, energy, and resources. Sometimes things will come up that prevent self-care. Life happens, but when you have to miss a self-care session, reschedule with yourself. This allows you to get back to setting aside time for self-care. 

Reference

“Self-care, n.1.& n 1.1″ OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2019. Web. 6 August 2019.

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