|When was the last time you took action to really promote your own health and well-being? For some people, it can be tough to dedicate time and energy towards self-care activities, and many of us are not adequately taking care of our own mind, body, or soul. If you also have a habit of putting other people first, you're not alone!
What is self-care?
You have mostly likely heard the term before, but what does self-care actually mean? An easy way to think about this concept is that it is an intentional act done by you, for you. The main objective is to make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you can be there for others.
It can be easy to misconstrue taking care of yourself as a selfish act, but in fact, taking deliberate action to maintain or enhance our physical, emotional and mental well-being is an important part of being able to regulate our fundamental human state. Doing so can help us to handle stress better, reduce feelings of anxiety or depression, and promote an overall sense of well-being (among other benefits!).
Self-care is unique for everyone, and it may be necessary to identify healthy strategies versus detrimental forms. Harmful self-care or coping include substance use, procrastination, self-harm, or isolation.
By slowly adding small ways of enhancing your well-being into your daily life, you can start to feel like the act of taking care of yourself is more natural over-time, rather than adding too much to your overflowing to-do list. Set the intention to take care of yourself rather than overwhelming yourself with unrealistic goals.
"Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~ Eleanor Brownn
There are 3 main categories that a person can add self-care strategies into their lives:
Tip: Click here to learn more about the Anatomy of a Great Self-Care Routine
10 Self-Care Strategies
Let's consider 10 self-care strategies to promote your own well-being:
1. Visit the doctor and maintain physical health
2. Talk to someone and enhance your mental health
3. Regular exercise
4. Eat healthy
5. Explore or travel
6. Pet an animal
7. Be altruistic - give back
8. Look at the sky - learn to practice mindfulness
9. New routine - mix up your daily schedule
10. Garden - plant a herb garden, get your hands dirty
What are some self-care strategies that would work for you?
If you are just starting to practice self-care for the first time, or perhaps you've left it on the back burner for too long, consider starting by writing a list of all the areas of your life that can benefit from creating deliberate acts of kindness for yourself.
When in doubt, one of the simplest forms of self-care is to allow yourself to laugh. Put on that funny movie, or discover a new top 10 funniest cat compilations video on YouTube and let the giggles flow.
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