The act of self-care is the intentional care of one’s mental, physical, and emotional health through everyday practices and activities. When you care for yourself, it helps to maintain your mental health.
Self-care can be as simple as taking time out in the morning or evening with meditation and/or exercise, so that by the afternoon, when things are more stressful, you’ll be able to handle these situations better.
Why self-care is important?
When it comes to self-care, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be aware of your feelings ‘in the moment’. Practicing an increased self-awareness (also referred to as mindfulness) will help you recognize the patterns in your emotions and identify what activities or tasks might trigger or worsen your progress. Being self-aware can also allow for better stress management and a better work life balance. Self-care has the following benefits:
- Increases productivity.
- Helps you not over-extend yourself.
- Teaches you to slow down.
- Allows you to focus on your goals.
- Improves your resistance to disease.
- Self-care activates the peripheral nervous system.
- Helps your immune system.
- Enhances your self-esteem.
- Making time for yourself, doing things you enjoy.
- Helps you be more open and honest with yourself and therefore, being able to be open and honest with others.
If you love yourself, it’s easier to love others
Ever heard that saying, ‘you can only love others, if you first love yourself’? When it comes to understanding the basis of self-care and its internal and external benefits, you’ll come to find that this nurturing of ‘the self’ overflows into your environment. Loving others as a result of loving yourself minimizes those unrealistic expectations that we may have of others which may lead to disappointment. For example, once you get to a point where you only seek validation and approval from yourself (realistically), it puts less pressure on others to be perfect, allowing you to love unconditionally.
Some ways to practice self-care are:
- Daily meditation
- Going to the gym or regular exercise
- Taking time for yourself to relax without distraction
- Speaking to a mental health practitioner (available on the CWS app)
- Practicing healthy eating (nutritionists are available on the CWS App if you need advice)
- Visiting the dentist regularly (this is important to avoid future problems)
- Having a relaxing bath with candles and aromatherapy oils
- Engaging in your favourite hobbies
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Dress to impress – this can really boost your self esteem
There are many other ways to practice self-care. With a bit of thought you will surely be able to come up with more ideas.
Finding your balance
We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by work and then struggling to find time for ourselves, but how can you have a successful life balance if it’s not first within your own control? It may sound like an impossible goal, but there are actually some easy ways that both employers and employees can benefit from self-care in their everyday lives at home and at work. We should encourage others to adopt more creative outlets that differ from office tasks (after work hours of course), or perhaps spend more time in the outdoors with family and friends. If you work at home, it might to be best to think about enforcing workplace boundaries that allow you to enjoy the same benefits you had when you were able to physically knock-off and enjoy your private life.