SELF-CARE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT:

7 min


Self-care is a very important part of everyone’s life. But, it’s a very under-rated term. According to Oxford, it can be defined as, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress.”

It is said that an average person has almost 60,000 thoughts in a day. This is a huge number. Most of us are not even aware of what’s going on in our mind many a time. Thats’ how much we are indulged and used to overthinking.

UNDERSTANDING SELF-CARE:

Self-care is a way of life. It is not a separate regimen. However, in the starting stages, it may be mildly difficult to incorporate this into our daily life. Self-care can be defined as being in a healthy and functional relationship with oneself. It is not about not neglecting our friendships or relationships with near and dear ones. Rather, it is about not neglecting your relationship with your inner self.

Self-care is not a tough job. Moreover, it begins with very small things we do in our day to day life. For instance, it is something we perform to take care of ourselves. It includes simple things like brushing our teeth, choosing a healthier diet or a lifestyle, and all the stuff we do for our own well-being. This not only includes, choosing a healthy lifestyle but also refraining from harmful habits or addictions. It includes refraining from smoking, alcohol, drugs etc. These habits will give us happiness only for a very short time.

SIGNS THAT INDICATE THAT YOU LACK SELF-CARE:

It is really hard to draw that fine line between lacking self-care and problems of time being (temporary flare-up of anxiety, stress from work, everyday life issues). Here, let us try to analyse some pointers that say we might actually lack self-care.

SELF LOATHING:

Self-loathing means a lack of love for oneself. Meanwhile, it can commonly manifest as anger, feeling pessimistic about oneself, low self-esteem and self-sabotage. Further, developing immense hate for oneself, being very hard on yourself even for the tiniest mistakes, creating immense dislike, developing self-pity are some signs. On the other hand feeling guilty, worthless, being the first to blame yourself when something goes wrong are some common red flags.

FEELING OF INSECURITY:

If you feel insecure about yourself a lot while being around others, it is time to check yourself. Further, this feeling often flares up when you are with people who you think are more attractive, confident and successful. You might compare yourself often and always list the shortcomings. This way you start to forget your positives and lose yourself in the process.

NEGLECTING SELF-CARE:

This often shows as refusing to dress well, eat or exercise. You often feel that the least of something is more than enough for you. You can never let yourself enjoy something, often avoid sleeping well etc. This is because our insides are not at peace with ourself often reflecting a deep-seated grudge. You don’t like the way you look. All these are negligence of self care.

A MIND FILLED WITH PESSIMISM:

This often shows as taking compliments in a sarcastic or a mocking manner. In addition, you don’t take other views or points and don’t take criticisms in a constructive manner. Further, you never allow others to help you. You refuse to feel good about yourself and don’t allow others to do it for you.

ISOLATING YOURSELF OFTEN:

You often become very introverted. You isolate yourself and think that others are better off without you. Your inability to love yourself often makes it difficult to accept love from others too.

FACADING AND NOT ALLOWING YOURSELF TO DREAM BIG:

Since you have a difficult time accepting yourself you often hate to express or show your true self to others. You often mask your true feelings and opinions and pretend to be someone you’re not. In addition, you don’t set proper goals and ambitions for yourself because you doubt your self worth and ability to achieve those dreams. Huge dreams terrify you. Your insecurities block you from using your capacities to the fullest. You refuse to step out of your comfort zone.

The above-mentioned points are only a tiny percent of facts on how a person’s life without self-care would look like. It is common for most of us to have at least 2 to 3 signs in common with the above pointers. It’s never late to rectify our mistakes and modify our lifestyle a little bit so that you can feel loved again. Don’t panic !

SMARTS AND SIMPLE TIPS FOR SELF-CARE:

PRACTISE SAYING ‘NO’:

Firstly, this may sound harsh for many of us. But, we swear this is very essential for internal peace. Further, it is not a bad to say ‘no’ to things that demand too much of your energy and personal space. You can avoid a lot of stress and depression simply by this.

ASKING FOR HELP:

When you cannot do a particular task or decide for yourself, always ask for help. Asking for help is human. We are not super-beings. All of us have our fair share of difficulties in our day to day life, which others might not know. Never feel bad or low of yourself for asking for help from others.

By doing so, you may get some great guidance and who knows, we might even make the best decision and save ourselves from a lot of danger. The only note of caution is to be aware of whom you ask for help.

DETACH FROM MATERIALISM:

This is a really hard thing, especially in today’s world. But, trust me this is the most effective form of self-care. Start off with baby steps. Never think you can stay happy, and you cared for yourself well only if you got that smartwatch or that latest mobile you’ve always wanted. No, it doesn’t work that way. In contrast, it lies in letting go of those stuff till you’re comfortable having them. Depending on material needs for happiness is only going to make things complicated.

INVEST ON YOURSELF:

Spend time on yourself. Make an effort to make yourself happy. It is not absolutely selfish to put ourselves before others. Further, it is one of the important rules of self-care. It rejuvenates and energizes you. The point lies in drawing that fine line between self-care and being obsessed with ourselves.

HOBBIES:

It is important to take care of us physically or mentally and as a whole person. Doing what you love or spending time on things that make you happy is very important. And, this demonstrates your worth. Further, this gives us improved quality time, boosts our self-esteem and promotes optimism.

SLOW DOWN:

Ever felt your heart racing, getting sweaty all of a sudden. This indicates that you have experienced anxiety. We experience these types of feelings so frequently that we cannot tell the difference between feeling anxious and feeling normal. Whenever you feel anxious, try this simple candle blowout exercise.

Sit in a very quiet environment. Place your feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes. Inhale air through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Try this exercise three times and feel the anxiety leave your body. This simple exercise greatly reduces the anxiety in your body. Self-care doesn’t always look like a day out, spas, beaches, massages etc. It doesn’t need to be a costly affair. On the other hand, it can always be small simple things we love doing.

EXERCISE:

Firstly, reading this term by itself creates an image of a tough activity. Understand, it doesn’t need to be a strict regime. Do what you love. It could be simple jumps, a walk, jogging, swimming, dancing and literally anything. A body is meant to move. Always give it some sort of activity.

Exercising releases endorphins in the body. Endorphins are happy hormones. In addition, they trigger positive feelings and creates a sense of euphoria. They induce sleep naturally. To sum up, it reduces stress to a great extent.

Exercise

SPEND TIME IN NATURE:

Spending time in nature according to studies improves mood, reduce stress and improve cognitive behaviour. Be an outdoorsy person. Get ur feet on the sands of the beach, grasses etc. This is referred to as ‘earthing’. Further, earthing has a lot of medical benefits. Studies and imaging have shown a great extent in the reduction of bodily inflammation.

CONCLUSION:

Let’s admit, after reading through this all of us have at least some similarities with the above signs. No one is perfect. The perfect person doesn’t exist. But, we can try to become one gradually. Further, all of us have some form of self-destructive behaviour. This hinders and destructs our emotional well-being.

Remember, every single person is valuable. A lot of us struggle with insecurity, emptiness and worthlessness. Leave all these feelings behind you and start afresh. Becoming aware of the setbacks and the stuff that prevents your growth and allowing you to rectify them and have good personal and emotional growth is important. When we choose to pursue a healthy and functional relationship with ourselves, and when we intentionally affirm, meet our needs, set boundaries so that we can be protected, that’s where self-care begins. Your inner self will thank you for this. Happy self-caring!


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Dr Kavitha M

I am an undergraduate degree holder in dentistry. I have a great interest in music and reading. I am a linguaphile. My areas of interest lie in psychology, medical imaging, diagnostics, and oncology. I am a person who focuses more on the emerging areas of forensics.

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