Not everyone is on the same page about self-care. Though we often hear of it nowadays, some think of self-care as merely indulgent. Others think of self-care as simply for those who can afford it. Meanwhile, some people do understand its necessity and why it is a healthy habit to cultivate.
As cited from Wikipedia, “self-care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.”
Framed in the context of our times, self-care can appear like a luxury that not everyone can afford. Due to our busy lifestyles and increasing set of distractions of modern life, self-care has also been viewed rather incorrectly as either an additional obligation to add to a person’s long pile of to-do’s; an emergency button you hit when you’re on the verge of burnout or when feeling very overwhelmed; or a selfish lifestyle. But, put rather simply, self-care is a health and wellness maintenance plan to achieve better health long term.
When you see health as a form of wealth, as something irreplaceable, and of great value, integrating self-care into your daily routine becomes a must. Subjecting ourselves and our bodies to toxicity and stress without helping it recover can backfire in the form of various illnesses. If machines need downtime to keep functioning efficiently, then our bodies are the same in that regard.
Here are important self-care habits for wellbeing that you can start doing immediately:
Spending Time Outside
Going outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D, being with nature, or going outdoors to be able to walk are all great forms of self-care. Vitamin D is a nutrient needed by the body to maintain strong bones, and not getting any or enough of this vitamin could result in bone diseases like osteoporosis. Meanwhile, simply finding time to be with nature or going out for a walk are both rejuvenating activities that can help you relieve stress.
Decluttering and Getting Organized
Going home to a messy house each day can be a great source of stress. And yet, how many of us could honestly say that our houses are spick-and-span 24/7? Without a house help, it takes enormous discipline to take the trash out, clean the laundry on time, and clean the living spaces regularly all by ourselves.
So it is not uncommon for many people to be going home to a messy house at the end of a stressful day. But living like this adds to our chronic stress. By not perceiving this as an additional task on your long list of to-dos but more as a form of self-care from which you mainly benefit as well, you’ll be able to maintain cleanliness at home, stay more organized, and reduce your feelings of stress.
Taking Care of Your Gut by Eating Well
Food is the body’s medicine. The more we eat mindfully, the better our health is in the long term. By eating food that is healthy for our bodies, we are likewise taking care of our gut. The gut houses essential bacteria and plays a vital role in maintaining wellness and feelings of vitality. In other words, a happy gut results in a happier life overall. Eating well is a form of self-care that is very worthy of our efforts.
Getting Sufficient Rest
The simplest form of self-care is getting enough sleep each night. Even if the only self-care habit you maintain is good sleep, it still significantly relieves your body of stress. Essentially, our bodies are self-healing – while we sleep. During sleep, our blood pressure drops and our heart get its much-needed rest, enabling the body to naturally facilitate healing from inside. With 7-8 hours of daily recommended sleep, you’ll notice your energy levels pick up, too.
Establishing Your Boundaries; Saying No When It Doesn’t Feel Right
Being able to say no when something doesn’t feel right to you is a necessary step to self-care. Knowing your boundaries and being able to assert them at the right times is a form of love and respect for yourself and your needs as a person.
Being able to practice gratitude regularly and at every turn is a form of self-care as it effortlessly helps you to live more happily. Gratitude sometimes requires the ability to appreciate another person or our circumstances, but its significant positive effect on our wellbeing is dramatic.
Doing A Daily Workout
Now the gym is a great place to release stress, renew your energy, and sweat out all those toxins in your body. Though not all gyms are created equal, if going to the gym gives you that positive vibe all over, then it’s a wonderful self-care process you should invest your time and resources in. However, if the gym isn’t your thing, you can still work up a good sweat doing a home workout such as Yoga and it’s just as effective for releasing stress, increasing energy and of course helping your body eliminate toxins.