The concept of self care can sound selfish and over-indulging for those who need to manage a career, build a business, raise a family, look after elderly parents, maintain a romantic relationship and stay connected with friends. But the benefits from self-care on a regular basis will help you improve your overall physical, mental and emotional health. And in turn excel in other areas of your life.
What is self-care?
In health care, self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. Source: WebMD
Benefits of self-care?
Self-care helps boost your immune system
Self-care will help boost your immune system. When you are taking care of yourself by getting quality sleep and exercising, you activate the ‘Parasympathetic Nervous System’ (PSNS).
The PSNS is part of the nervous system. The nervous system sends signals to and from different body parts via nerves. The PSNS is responsible for all the bodily activities that take place when an animal is at rest. For this reason, the PSNS is known as the “rest and digest” part of the nervous system. These actions can include digesting food, excreting waste, crying, salivating, or becoming sexually aroused. The counterpart of the PSNS is the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is responsible for “fight or flight” activities that occur when an animal is deciding to fight another or flee. Source: Biology Dictionary
Self-care improves your self-compassion.
Taking care of yourself will undoubtedly lead to more self-compassion.
Self-compassion is “being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.” Source: Dr. Kristin Neff
Self-care will help you give more to others.
As you take better care of yourself, you will have more energy and patience for people in our lives, especially for our family, friends and community.
Self-care will help you learn more about yourself.
When you take the time to self-care, you learn to identify your boundaries and limitations. You learn to say no when you reach your limit to recharge. You will also learn to develop new skills and find new hobbies as you practice self-care on a regular basis.
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How to practice self-care?
Start small, even for 10 minutes a day, in a quiet place and be easy on yourself when your mind wanders. Bring it back to your breathing. Find a meditation method that works best for you. It may be helpful when you start with a guided meditation.
Work on a DIY project or cook a healthy meal. If you want to improve your diet, and you have a busy work week, prepare your meals on the weekends to nurture your body with protein, iron and vitamins. Preparing healthy meals will also help you maintain a low body mass and improve skin complexion.
Find activities that you enjoy or at least something that keeps you moving for at least 30 minutes a day. Staying active can also make your body seem nine years younger, according to studies. Source: Mayo Clinic
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Regular exercise can slow the aging process and promote healthy and vibrant skin by increasing blood flow, nourishing skin cells and keeping them vital.
As we already know, getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy body, mind and skin. Quality sleep allows your body to rejuvenate and helps the skin by reducing inflammation, and increasing collagen and antioxidant production.
Take a Bath
Soak in a tub for a minimum of 20 minutes with Epsom salt. It will help you relax, detox and destress.
As you implement a regular self-care routine, you will see an improvement with your mood, energy level and overall health. You will also see a positive correlation on how you manage your stress levels and how you interact with your family, friends and others in your life.
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