How utilizing self-care helps you care for others
The concept of self-care is one we hear about more and more these days, but many people are confused by what it actually means. What is self care? And what are some self-care activities that you can use to ensure you are taking care of your mind, body and soul?
Think about the safety speech you hear every time you’re on a plane. If you’re traveling with other people who might need your help in case of an emergency, the flight attendants tell you to be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before tending to those in your care. Why? Because if you try to help others without ensuring your own safety first, you might pass out.
The same logic can be applied to your everyday life. Have you invested in taking care of yourself? Many people shy away from the term “self-care” because they assume the notion is founded on ideas of selfishness or a lack of caring about others. On the contrary, self-care is essential to our lives. When you’re able to care for yourself physically, emotionally and mentally, you become better able to pursue your goals and enrich the lives of the people around you.
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What is self-care?
Self-care is a generalized term that’s recently grown in popularity. A good self-care definition is regularly doing things for yourself that make you feel good. These can be small self-care tips like picking up your favorite latte on the way to work, or something on a grander scale like booking an international vacation.
Self-care activities are critical to our mental health and emotional well-being. When you prioritize yourself, you not only ensure you are the best “you” possible, but you also reinvigorate yourself. You have more energy and joy to give in other areas of your life.
Why is self-care important?
As we mentioned above, you can’t be your best for others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Effective self-care is also important to reduce stress at work and at home, reconnect with yourself to strengthen your true nature and set a good example for your kids or others who look up to you. When you practice self-care, you improve both your physical and emotional health, are able to view problems as opportunities rather than obstacles and are better positioned to create breakthroughs in all areas of your life.
Self-care looks different for everyone. What may be soothing to one person could be stressful to another. An extrovert may find that socializing with friends is an excellent form of self-care while an introvert would find this draining. However, there are some tips that work for the majority of people and will help you get some ideas on how to practice self-care in your own way.
1. Get physical
We often overlook our physical health when discussing mental and emotional health, but the mind-body connection can’t be denied. When your body feels healthy and strong, your mood soars, and when you’re in a great emotional state, it shows in how you move your body. Make it a point to regularly engage in physical activities you love as a form of self-care. Whether it’s going for a run, swimming or attending a yoga class, changing your physical state from sedentary to active is a simple and fulfilling way to take care of yourself. It can even be something as simple as going for a walk with a coworker during your lunch hour. Whatever self-care tips you decide to incorporate, make sure they bring you at least some level of happiness. Forcing yourself to jog every morning if you’re miserable the entire time should not be on your list of self-care activities.
2. Change your mindset
It’s hard to feel fulfilled when you’re constantly focusing on the negatives in life. Why? Because where your focus goes, your energy flows. Say you’re at a restaurant on an incredible date with someone you’re deeply interested in. Everything’s going well until your waiter mixes up your order and you end up getting the wrong dish. You decide to eat the incorrect order but are secretly fuming about it. When you look back on the evening, you can hardly remember your connection with your date, but you still remember receiving the wrong order.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, learn to adopt an abundance mindset. This is perhaps one of the most life-changing self-care ideas you can incorporate into your life. Reframing your thoughts and shifting your focus is a deliberate practice that takes time. However, if you’re able to accomplish it, you’ll experience greater joy and fulfillment in all areas of your life.
3. Eat nutritious foods
When you think of how to practice self-care with food, you might envision treats like cupcakes or huge meals of savory, rich foods like lasagna. While it’s certainly beneficial to treat yourself once in a while, you should envision self-care in the form of more sustainable foods like leafy greens, alkaline foods and items that will make you feel energetic and strong. Instead of viewing food as a reward, try to reframe it as fuel for your body.
Reward yourself with activities you enjoy, like giving yourself an hour to read or checking out a new fitness studio. When it comes to food, treat yourself by going to a local juice shop and finding a smoothie that calls to you or try cooking a healthy new recipe at home. Understand that the food you put into your body has a direct effect not only on your mood and energy level, but also on the quality and length of your life. Eating a healthy diet is not just one of the best self-care tips you can incorporate, but it can also mean the difference between an active, fulfilling life and one plagued by sickness and limitations.
4. Say “no”
Knowing when to say “no” is one of the self-care activities that people have the most trouble with. Between work and your personal life, it feels like you’re always saying “yes” when people ask you for something. It can be rewarding to have a full calendar, but it’s also important to know when to say “no.” If you’re feeling run down or spread thin, grant yourself the ultimate luxury: downtime. By taking the necessary time needed to recharge, you’ll bolster your energy and be able to return to your regular schedule with increased energy and gusto. Carefully choose when you say “yes” and make sure you are only agreeing to activities or requests that align with your values or bring you happiness. When following your passion is one of your self-care activities, you seamlessly create a business and life you love.
5. Practice focus and gratitude
Self-care tips don’t all have to involve making major changes to your lifestyle – they can be as simple as finding a few minutes to reflect each morning. Instead of reaching for your phone or hitting the snooze button when you wake up, try a priming routine. This 10-minute exercise requires you to become conscious of your breathing, practice gratitude, visualize what you want and focus your newfound positive energy on accomplishing goals that are important to you. Creating a morning routine can help you to stay on track and centered throughout the day. It can also help you deal with challenges as you learn that even the biggest roadblocks can be reframed into an advantageous opportunity.
Adding some self-care products such as supplements and nutritional shakes can help you increase immunity and ensure proper nutrition. When you have the right nutrients, you feel better both physically and mentally and have more energy to give to others. When choosing self-care products, do your research and check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting the most effective and safe supplements on the market.
How to practice self-care
If you’re not used to taking care of yourself, it may be difficult at first to figure out how to practice self-care. If this is the case, you’ll benefit from scheduling in “me time” on a daily or weekly basis. Reserving 20 minutes in the morning to read or meditate and blocking off one evening a week to indulge in a long bath or visit with a friend over a satisfying dinner are great ways to keep yourself on track and make self-care part of your regular routine. It’s also important to let those close to you know what you’re doing so they can be supportive of your new self-care practices.
Above all, never forget that self-care activities are personal and highly individualized. What’s important is incorporating the self-care tips that resonate with you and bring you inner peace. Find hobbies and activities you enjoy and make the time to luxuriate in them. Whether you find yourself reading a good book in a bubble bath or going on a 10-mile run, know that the way you engage in these self-care tips is yours alone. Incorporate these acts of self-kindness into your normal routine so you can continue feeling energetic and excited about your goals. Remember that taking care of yourself is not a selfish activity – it’s the way you can best position yourself to help others and add to the world as a whole.
Feed your body, mind and soul
Prioritizing self-care and self-kindness is crucial to maintaining a mind and body capable of achieving your goals. Combine these self-care tips and healthy lifestyle routines in order to reach the results you desire with Tony Robbins’ free digital Ultimate Health Guide.