What is self-care?
As a breast cancer survivor, I learnt about Self-Care after my grueling chemotherapy. I learnt that Self-care is not selfish and we all need the self love and compassion that we give to others. Self-care helped build my self-esteem and confidence which then and allowed me to become a yoga instructor. Yoga changed my life and it all started with me making myself important in my own eyes and learning to STOP and breathe.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, self-care can be defined as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” In simple words it is taking small steps to take care of yourself.
Self-care includes all the things you do to take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual health, it is a legitimate practice for your overall wellbeing.
By giving yourselves some of the love and compassion you give to others and by prioritizing your wellbeing you can be better equipped to take care of your loved ones, therefore self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is personal for each and every one of you. Making a list of things that bring you joy and trying to do a few of them each day is important because “Knowing” doesn’t bring change, action does. When you begin to take action each day, self-care will eventually become a lifestyle, not a to-do list. When self-care becomes part of your lifestyle, you become more productive, have more confidence and can achieve more work-life balance, which ultimately leads to optimal wellbeing.
Promoting lifestyle factors like healthy eating, regular sleep, hydration and regular physical activity can strengthen your ability to adapt to stress and help you to bounce back from adversity or stressful situations. It can help against anxiety and depression.
As a NYPBeHealthy Wellbeing Coach, my goal is to help empower employees in making small meaningful and realistic goals which can help with resiliency. Small successes may lead to lifestyle and changes in habit. Mindfulness is one strategy in helping my clients with their personal wellbeing.
Learning to be mindful in your daily life can help when you are overwhelmed. Mindfulness is the ability to be in the present moment and pay attention to the task at hand, it can be practiced any day and any time, the key is remembering to do it. You can be mindful in your daily tasks, from breathing, movement, eating, in fact being intentional in whatever you do is mindfulness. It allows you to stop, refocus and come out of your autopilot and any negative thoughts. You are more likely to be engaged and productive when you pay attention to the task at hand.
Now more than ever, do we need to take small steps to focus on our optimal wellbeing as every little thing we do counts in helping manage our stress. Here are some ideas: