Self-love seems to be the solution to many of the things that bring us down.
Sadness, anxiety, stress, guilt, anger…you name it.
And taking care of yourself or self-care is one of the most crucial components of self-love. It isn’t difficult to practise, but you need to invest a little bit of time upfront experimenting and figuring out what works for you. But the process sure is fun.
Self-care has a few different dimensions –
Let’s go over these one-by-one and I’ll tell you the ways I practise self-care within each of these dimensions.
Now this isn’t just going to be all about workouts and yoga! This is all about LOVE. Body love. So here’s what I have:
– Identify a natural setting in your area that you LOVE and hopefully feel recharged in, like maybe a park or the beach. Take yourself on a quick walk. Or how about a hike? Exercise + endorphins = quality self-time.
– Give yourself a foot massage (or if you can, get a professional massage) – they work wonders.
– How about some dance? Figure out a style of dance you really like, and see if there are any classes nearby. No classes? How about YouTube? Not your thing? It’s alright – just blast some music on your phone, shut the door and dance it off on your own. No one cares if you’re going to be goofy and a clutz. Just go crazy having fun.
– Get yourself into a daily reading habit. It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is, as long as you think it’ll make a positive difference in your mindset or expand your mental horizons in some way. The most successful people are the ones who never stop learning.
– Learn a new skill like cooking, art, writing…anything! When we learn something new, our self-confidence immediately gets a boost and suddenly, there’s a lot more positivity! Or better yet, how about a new language? Research shows that learning a language fires up old, gray neurons in our brain – literally enlarging the active parts of your brain…how cool is that?
– New hobbies or just re-energise old ones! Hobbies help us experience joy. Most hobbies are also things we tend to do on our own – so this is wonderful quality time to spend with ourselves. Need I say more?
Self-care can never be about isolation. Having a support network is critical to lead a well-balanced life, whether that’s coming from your family, friends or partner is up to you. Although, my suggestion would always be to devote enough time and attention to all those people in your life.
– Work on building and renewing old bonds. Your parents, your childhood friends – basically the people who’ve known and loved you the longest – don’t ever take them for granted.
– Make new connections. With social media and apps like Meetup, we don’t have any excuses to not make new friends anymore.
– Equally importantly, be able to see through and weed out the toxic people from your life. You’ll be surprised at how much negative self-talk and self-esteem issues come from having a poor social circle. Trust your gut feeling – energy and vibes don’t lie.
– Connect with yourself on a deeper level – there are tones of ways to meditate that are super easy and very beneficial (and these don’t involve renouncing everything and heading into your nearest forest!)
– How about a few mindfulness exercises? Mindfulness is just another kind of self-connection – a beautiful kind.
– Get some spiritual reading on! I don’t know about you, but a part of me feels a deep-seated relaxation just by simply reading some good spiritual literature. Here are some great recommendations.
– Do good! Self-care is also about learning to not sweat the small stuff, and not taking anything for granted. It’s about taking little blessings and realising the power within them. It’s about seeing ourselves in the correct context of the world. Habitually, spare a little of your time to do something for your community or for your society which makes a difference.
– Emotional self-care can be tricky because the nature of emotions as well as the intensity to which they are felt, differ from person to person. Journaling has been a wonderful habit for many people. There are so many benefits to journaling – too many to ignore.
– Engage in a few ways you can practise self-love to get a handle on your emotions and to see them in the proper light.
– Invest time in recognising the emotions behind your thought patterns. You can read up on a few Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to reframe negative emotions and thoughts.
– Never underestimate or undervalue the power of professional help to help you take care of yourself emotionally. If you can’t personally have sessions with a licensed therapist, you can opt for online counseling sessions too.
At the end of the day, taking care of ourselves will be the most important thing we do. This isn’t a one-off thing either, it’s something we must strive to do as often as we can.
After all, it’s only when you take care of yourself can you possibly think about taking care of others – be it your family, your community or beyond.
Have I missed out on something that’s an important self-care measure to you? Hit me up in the comments.