• Michelle

The Truth Behind Self-Care


There has been a lot of buzz around the term self-care lately. And while I think self-care is very important in promoting a healthy lifestyle, I think there is an important distinction needed to be made between self-indulgence and self-care. Often times I hear people say, “I’ll just treat myself to something as my self-care” or “I decided to binge watch a show all last night, it was my self-care”, and as much as these momentary actions might make us feel better, there is more to self-care than masking it by things we enjoy doing.


So what is self-care? Self-care are self-initiated behaviours and actions that people use in their life to promote good health, and one’s general well-being. This includes learning to be more self-aware, promote self-regulation, and find balance in one’s daily life. Without this important practice, individuals are often faced with feeling overwhelmed, burnout or experiencing unmanageable amounts of stress that leads to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. By integrating self-care practices into our everyday life, individuals will be able to develop resiliency, emotional stability, and enjoy life to its fullest!


Now when we talk about self-care, there are actually several realms of self-care that should be considered including, professional, physical, psychological, emotional, personal, and spiritual. Below I’ll be breaking down each of these aspects and providing suggestions of how you can practice self-care!


Professional:

Whether it’s managing work-life balance, dealing with a difficult colleague, or meeting strict deadlines; work can have a large impact on how we function throughout our days. Some ways to help promote self-care at work could be:

  • Taking small breaks

  • Taking a lunch break

  • Stretching or tense & release muscles at your desk

  • Taking all of your vacation days

  • Listening to a podcast or music if you can

  • Disengaging at the end of the day, leave work at work

Physical:

Oftentimes when I talk to individuals about physical self-care the first thought often goes to working out. And while maintaining exercise is extremely good for one’s physical, mental, and emotional state, there are also other aspects to consider and ways to care for our physical health including:

  • Quality & quantity of sleep

  • Safe physical contact with loved ones

  • Basic needs (food, housing)

  • Making your space comfortable

  • And moving your body

Psychological:

The demands of life can take quite a toll on our mental and psychological state. What are ways that help you to unwind, relax your mind, or help manage a stressful day? Some ways could be:

  • Journaling

  • Art-making

  • Reading

  • Gardening

  • Asking for help if necessary

Emotional:

When balancing all that life has to offer, it can be challenging to find time to experience or even access emotions. It is important to take care of our emotional state so that we are able to regulate our emotions in a healthy way. Maybe care for your emotional state by:

  • Allowing yourself to cry

  • Taking time to laugh

  • Practicing self-forgiveness and forgiveness towards others

  • Being compassionate and patient with yourself

  • Allowing yourself to experience feelings, even when uncomfortable

Personal:

As individuals we are wired for connectivity, but it is also healthy to find balance in our free time and to also make time to spend with ourselves. Perhaps personal care could look like:

  • Setting personal goals

  • Relaxing with loved ones

  • Nurturing friendships

  • Engaging in self-discovery

  • Spending time alone

Spiritual/Mindful:

Whether you are religious, spiritual, or mindful, have you considered how you have been caring for this realm? It is important to strengthen our self-awareness and to find out what this means to us. Would you care for your spiritual/mindful self by:

  • Connecting to a higher power

  • Walking or connecting in nature

  • Meditating

  • Having quiet time

  • Accessing your playful side

Let me know how you incorporate self-care into your life! And stay tuned for tips on creating a self-care plan.


Thanks for reading,

Michelle


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