6 Things I've Learnt About Self-Care
We are all in a race to be better – a better employee or a boss, a better sibling, a better lover, a better child, a better parent, a better friend, a better person. As we focus on self-improvement, we forget to focus on self-care – the one thing that will actually assure we become our best faster! Self-care is commonly misunderstood. It is seen as pointless at best, and selfish at worse.
1. Self-care is the most selfless thing you can do
We are balls of energy. Each of us has a finite amount of energy. Every day, we deplete some of it. Self-care is what refuels us. We draw energy from things that help us relax and make us feel better. If we don’t regularly do this, we will run out of our reservoir that we draw from.
2. Ten minutes a day is okay!
If you think hard enough, you will find that one thing you enjoy which you can do in ten minutes. If you like to dance, put on two of your favourite songs on full blast and twist and shout in your living room. If you like to paint, get the smallest canvas and paint one every day. But of course, if you have more time on a daily basis, then do more than just ten minutes!
3. Consistence is key
A lot of us wait for the weekend or a holiday to show ourselves some love and care. Sure, this works, but only temporarily. This borders on indulgence, and is not exactly self-care. This is because after a spectacular day, or a two-long retreat, you come back to the daily grind of life without always learning necessary tools to see you through it. Over time, the "real life" will begin to seem harder, and you are more likely to feel not as good about yourself, others and life. This is why we see so many people taking that annual wellness holiday, almost as if that's the only thing they really look forward to. Self-care should not be an escape. It should be a haven you create without having to leave behind the life you're living.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– Audre Lorde
4. Keeping yourself well-groomed is a part of self-care
It may seem like a superficial thing, but keeping yourself in shape, hygienic and looking the best you can will make you feel better. Doing this on a daily basis will help you get your threshold of how you feel a notch higher.
5. Self-care is not one-size-fits-all
There is no prescription for self-care. Your self-care routine needs to be tailored to your lifestyle and your personality. If you believe in God, praying every day might be self-care for you. But if you are an atheist, sitting in prayer might be a source of angst. Perhaps for you it means a regular exercise routine or going out with your friends at least once a week or a movie marathon. Self-care is what makes you feel calm and refuels to face life’s challenges, and that something is different for different people.
6. The best self-care is dynamic
If you maintain the same self-care routine, it will very quickly get boring and become more of a task to finish, than something that makes you feel better. Identify a few things you enjoy and let your self-care routine be a mixed bag. Be open to new experiences. You never know when you might discover a new interest or skill!
Self-care is not a solution to problems in life. Self-care is what helps you deal with life’s challenges without losing your calm and composure, and that is the classiest thing you can do.
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