The term “self care” has become quite the buzz word these days. Though it is not what most people think. I wanted to discuss how to mentally and physically practice self care.
When I was much younger I never thought much about self care or the fact that everyone needs to practice it.
First we should start with the meaning of the term “self care”.
What we have come to know when thinking about self care is often portrayed in social media as needing expensive products, treatments and tools.
Self care is more the act of intentionally caring for our mental, emotional and physical selves than adding more things to our to do list.
Self care is truly about building a life we love rather than one we must escape from.
First and foremost in our self care practice is the physical side.
Physical Self Care
Practicing physical self care is quite obvious with getting ample sleep, exercise and feeding our bodies well.
But practicing a healthy work and life balance is also part of the physical equation.
Having the abilities to say no to things that may take away from your physical care.
Each of us have our own preferences on physical self care like bubble baths, meditation and taking long walks to name a few.
We are all vastly different and so are our personal, physical self care needs.
One person may practice physical self care by going to the gym but for you that may add stress to your life by adding one more thing to your to do list.
Your physical self care may be taking naps because you get up super early to have time to work out at home.
These examples show that every situation is different and you need to take the time to figure out what you need to do for your physical self care.
Maintaining our mental self care is equally important but not thought of as often as the physical care.
Practicing Mental Self Care
Mental self care is of utmost importance especially with the current state of our lives these days.
We as a society need to practice being kinder, gentler and more accepting of ourselves.
Practicing self compassion is a huge part of the practice of mental self care.
Some ways of practicing mental self care would be to start a gratitude journal where you list out the small things you are grateful for on a daily basis.
Having a gratitude journal will help you to see the positives you may not even realize until you think about them and write them on paper.
Being self aware and being truly present in the moment even if those moments are difficult is key to mental self care.
Being accepting of what is happening and remaining positive during difficult times.
An important part of mental self care is slowing down and giving yourself social media breaks.
Social media though wonderful at times can really affect our mental well being.
Of course just like practicing physical self care what is best practice for you may be different from what is best for me.
These general practices are a starting point to discover what will work for you.
The next idea of practicing self care is the emotional aspect and possibly the most difficult for many.
Practicing Emotional Self Care
An important part of practicing emotional self care is allowing yourself to experience a full range of emotions.
Giving ourselves grace to feel all things in our lives helps us to release the stresses of holding in our feelings and emotions.
Many people have been taught that they should keep their feelings to themselves or save them for more appropriate time.
I do agree there is a right way to express and experience our emotions and there are things that can help us through that.
Some things that can help with practicing emotional self care:
- Have the support of friendships whom you can discuss work and life issues with.
- These friends should encourage and lift you up.
- Creating boundaries for your time and attention.
- Writing in a journal is a great way to be able to look back and see what brings you happiness, pain, anger and sadness.
Becoming aware of negative emotional triggers will help you to create boundaries for those particular things.
The Importance of Self Care
These practices are important in giving you the skills to face difficult situations that arise in your life.
Practicing these things daily in order to decrease the stress of life is extremely valuable.
Through these practices we become more resilient and content with our lives, while creating emotions that directly lead to good feelings.
No better time than the present to begin the daily practice of mental and physical self care.
Till next time