Self-care is not self-indulgence
Thanks to our fast-paced lives of today, it has become increasingly hard to find time to relax and look after our physical and mental health. These days, we almost always tend to delegate self-care to the back burners of our existence. Parents are the worst offenders when it comes to ignoring the cues for recharging their batteries!
However, it is good to remember that neglecting your well-being and putting everybody else first will only lead to stress and burnout. Therefore, it is quintessential that you take the time needed to focus on your own needs too. This is not just important but also mandatory, in order to live better. Clearing your body and mind of clutter is a must for a fuller life and giving your best to your friends and family.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– Audre Lorde
So, here’s a reminder for the bare-minimum that you must do when it comes to taking better care of yourself.
Consider what you consume
Yes, you are what you consume. Whether it is the jobs you take on, the information you listen to, or the food you eat, if it is having an adverse effect on your life, it should be limited or stopped. What you take into your mind and body should be a means to nourish it. It should be a positive force towards your wellbeing, not the opposite.
Think about whether the food you’re eating on a daily basis is good for you or not. A diet that involves the constant intake of fats and sugar isn’t going to be good for your physical health. It will also impact your mental welfare in the long run. Of course, this does not mean that you have to give up your favorite treats.
On the contrary, balance and moderation should be the key. And any kind of extreme should be avoided when it comes to your diet. Just bear in mind how often you are reaching for “treats”, and try to cook from scratch as much as possible.
Like “junk food”, a regular intake of harmful information, whether it is from acquaintances or colleagues, should be kept to a minimum (whenever possible). Try not to involve yourself in (unnecessary) conflict or drama; it will only drain you and turn you into an unhappier version of yourself. Be a positive force that changes people’s opinions, or, if that’s too difficult, simply remove yourself from unfavorable and gloomy situations. By putting your needs first and your mental health in the balance, you’ll feel much lighter and at peace.
Release negativity and seek advice
If you carry around your worries all day long, it will soon become an illness. Sharing the troubles you have will help take the weight off your shoulders. It is the best way to let others understand what you’re going through so that they can be supportive and empathetic.
If you’re not used to talking to family and friends about your feelings and issues, there is always plenty of professional help available. It might be worth contacting a counselor or visiting a recovery village if your problems are having a negative impact on your life. This will help you get back on track equipped with new coping techniques.
Even when you think your life is going good (more or less), acknowledging the same can definitely make you feel good. According to narrative psychology, the way we tell the story of our lives can provide the key to our well-being. Once you’ve done the hardest thing and opened up, things are bound to look up.
Enjoy the little things in life
Last, but one of the most important. Taking the time to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, doing something for yourself just because, etc. will immediately release the burden and stress of your everyday life.
Do an activity on a regular basis that makes you feel happy, calm, and content (even if that activity equals “doing nothing”). Whether you take a walk around the city for an hour, read a book with your feet up, or grab a coffee with friends, your time out should be all yours.
Check out these 30 additional ways to treat yourself and choose the ones best suited to your personality.
By treating yourself well, you’ll enrich not just your own but other people’s lives too (the ones you touch). Taking care of your mind and body empowers you to tackle whatever life throws your way in a positive frame.
And the next time guilt or busy-ness tries to put your self-care needs on the back-burner again, remember this:
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.”