Have you ever felt so drained that you want to drop everything that needs to be done and just shut down? When this happens, it’s often because you’ve neglected the one major thing that helps you function everyday–yourself.
Self-Care is Not Equal to Selfishness
Some people have the notion that putting your needs first is a selfish thing. But self-care and selfishness are two entirely different concepts.
Selfishness is when you want to take something from others, which will be to their detriment. You are selfish when all you care about is satisfying your needs without consideration for others.
Self-care is about taking care of yourself so you can recharge without depleting someone else’s resources. Self-care is about taking time to rest and doing things that you like or whatever you need to do to restore your energy. When you do so, you’ll be better equipped to help others.
When you take care of yourself properly, you’ll be healthier, which in turn can have a positive impact on other areas of your life like your job or relationships. It might even help you get rid of negative habits that were caused by lack of self-care.
9 Methods of Self-Care
Now that’s it’s been established the self-care is important, what are the ways that we can take care of ourselves? Here are 10 different ways to do it.
1. Move Your Body
Find time to exercise, especially if your job requires you to sit majority of the time at your 8-hour shift. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. It can be just an hour of yoga or even taking the stairs whenever you can. The important thing is that you have a physical activity that keeps you moving and your heart pumping.
2. Schedule a Date with Yourself
Set aside time for “me time” when you can be alone to relax. You can declare a “pamper myself day” where you can indulge in a warm bubble bath. Or you can catch up on your reading or watch your favorite movies. Take a day trip and explore an unfamiliar place. Do anything that makes you happy as long you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.
When you spend time in your own company and do the things you love, you’ll be recharged and ready to face the new day.
3. Get Enough Rest
Sleep is something that we often take for granted. It’s only when our bodies shut down when we realize belatedly that our bodies need time to rest, repair and recover. They can only do that when we sleep so when we lack hours of it, our bodies are sure to break down.
This is why we need to get 7-8 hours of sleep or else we can’t function well. When we can’t function well, our quality of life suffers.
4. Dress Up and Go Out
Are you working at home? If you are, you’ll probably feel lazy and just wear sweats around the house day in and day out. While doing this is comfortable, it won’t do your self-esteem any favors. When you look good, you feel good and vice versa.
Take a shower and dress as if you’re going out. Go out at least once a day even if it’s just to the grocery to break the monotony of your routine.
5. Find a Hobby
Look for something that you enjoy doing outside of your work and your home. It could be as simple as doing DIY projects or even an exercise like running. Some hobbies even turn into second careers especially when you hone it like writing.
Having a hobby also helps defines your individuality which is a key factor in maintaining yourself. If you don’t have one yet, try to explore new things and you’ll eventually find something that you enjoy doing.
6. Set Boundaries
There are times when work or people forces us to go out of our comfort zone. This can be a good stretch for us since it will help us grow and hone our skills. However, we also know that sometimes, too much stretch can cause us to break down.
This is why we need to set boundaries and learn to say “no”. When you need to decline an offer and request, don’t feel guilty about it. If we try to take care of everyone, it would just sap the energy out of us. The truth is we can’t make everyone happy. But we can make ourselves happy.
7. Adapt Healthier Eating Habits
Aside from exercise, there’s a need to be more conscious of the food we eat. I have to admit that this one of the more challenging aspects of embracing a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy is always a work in progress. But just try.
Try eating more fruits and vegetables and cut down on junk food. Drink more water and less sugary drinks. If you’re trying to lose weight, do it in a healthy way and not crash diet. Consult with a dietician to find out which diet will work best for you.
8. Keep a Journal
Some people think that keeping a journal is too much effort. But what they don’t know is that writing is form of de-stressing and writing down even just the events of the day can help you release pent up emotions you didn’t know you had.
If you weren’t able to confront a certain person, you can write down what you wanted to say to him or her. You’ll feel lighter after you’ve put these feelings into words and it’s easier to let go of whatever hard feelings you were harboring.
Another spin on the journal is the gratitude journal wherein you write the different things you are thankful for everyday. On particularly stressful days, you’ll find that there is still something to be thankful for. That’s why we should always count our blessings.
9. Learn Something New
Do the very last time you learned something new? If you can’t, you’re long overdue for a lesson in anything and everything that interests you. Learning something new like a new language helps to stimulate your mind especially if you have a routine job. If languages don’t interest you, you can try something artistic like painting.
It doesn’t matter what new thing you try as long as you go out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Challenge your limits and you’ll discover just how much more capable you are than you think.
10. Call a Friend
When things get complicated and no amount of self-care can get you out of the rut you’re in, call a friend, a family member or close relative. But if what your struggling with has to do with family, it’s better to talk with a friend.
Having someone outside of your family whom you can trust is necessary for self-care. It’s reassuring to have that someone who listens and with whom you can talk about what you’re going through. This is already a sort of therapy.
Do you believe in self-care?
If you do, how do you take care of yourself? We’d love to know them. Share your tips in the comments below.