What comes to your mind when you hear the words self-care? Often people think of massages, manicures/pedicures, or shopping. While these are definitely great forms of self-care, there are so many other forms that are equally beneficial for us.
Let’s look at the definition of self-care. It involves doing things that promote good physical, mental and emotional health. All of these areas are important in our lives and are the keys to overall wellness. When we don’t feel good, it impacts so many parts of our lives. Add in the daily challenges of life including coping with a chronic illness and you have a mounting amount of stress.
Practicing self-care is NOT selfish. It’s necessary! I like to think of it as maintenance. We have to be able to look at ourselves and notice when we need a little fine tuning. Don’t feel bad about doing what you need to do in order to feel better and function better. If you wait until you are depleted, you won’t be able to do anything at all.
Remember, it’s not just our physical health that matters. Our emotional and mental health matters too.
Do you often feel the need to say yes when you really want to say no to something?
Do you refuse to set boundaries?
What about ignoring your needs?
None of these are examples of self-care. As a matter of fact, they are just the opposite of what we should be doing. Learning to say no, setting healthy boundaries, and paying attention to what we need emotionally and mentally is saying yes to ourselves.
Self-care helps to balance us out. When you are feeling stressed or your emotions are getting the best of you, take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Maybe get outside for some fresh air and take a walk. Have a cup of coffee or tea. Practice positive affirmations. One of the biggest things for me has been having access to a counselor.
Yes, a counselor. Having someone to listen to you outside of friends and family makes a world of difference. It doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. With depression and anxiety increasing by the day, we need to normalize therapy. There are so many of us who need support without the fear of being judged. We all want to be heard right? Another thing that I’d like to remind you of, is to allow yourself space to just be. Embrace the quiet moments for they will often bring us back to our center. We all need love and self-care is where it should begin.