Psychotherapist Sol explains why we should make time for self-care in our lives, and how we can do this. Self-care is an important way to help maintain a physical and emotional balance.
In the times in which we live, our lifestyle has become a long-distance race in which we carry responsibilities on our shoulders that sometimes destabilize our emotional balance. We tend not to listen to our body, ignore our emotions and demand more of ourselves without paying attention to the present and the essence of everything around us. It is essential that we understand the concept of personal self-care.
Personal and emotional self-care is to take care of ourselves and help us move forward in our daily lives in a satisfactory way without the need for our emotional balance to be altered.
It is necessary to maintain a balance and keep in mind the importance of giving ourselves space for our hobbies, defending our values, setting boundaries, and giving ourselves time to encourage and continue building personal growth.
Many times, we worry about others that without realizing it we leave ourselves in the background. This is when we forget the things we like or what we enjoy, often feelings of sadness and frustration may appear, we realize that we have neglected ourselves.
How can we carry out good personal and emotional self-care?
Accept yourself as you are: this does not mean that you leave aside things you can do to allow yourself to improve, but rather, you are able to identify weaknesses to work on them.
Be grateful: being grateful allows us to see things in a more positive way and helps improve our mood.
Do not ignore your emotions: allow yourself to feel your emotions, identify them and express them.
Avoid toxic people: choose wisely the people you want around you as they influence your emotional and mental health.
Discernment: list and describe your current lifestyle habits and assess their impact on your health.
Action strategy: establish a daily routine and incorporate these new habits little by little into your life and, simultaneously, eliminate unhealthy habits.
Support network: seek and request the necessary help to carry out this plan, both personal (family, friends, etc) and professional (nutritionists, personal trainers, psychotherapists, etc).
Self- Care Tips
Self-care means taking time to do things you enjoy. Usually, self-care involves everyday activities that you find relaxing, fun, or energizing. These activities could be as simple as reading a book, or as big as taking a vacation.
Self-care also means taking care of yourself. This means eating regular meals, getting enough sleep, caring for personal hygiene, and anything else that maintains good health.
Make self-care a priority. There will always be other things to do, but don’t let these interrupt the time you set aside for self-care. Self-care should be given the same importance as other responsibilities.
Set specific self-care goals. It’s difficult to follow through with vague goals, such as “I will take more time for self-care”. Instead, try something specific, such as “I will walk for 30 minutes every evening after dinner”.
Make self-care a habit. Just like eating one apple doesn’t eliminate health problems, using self-care just once won’t have much effect on reducing stress. Choose activities that you can do often, and that you will stick with.
Set boundaries to protect your self-care. You don’t need a major obligation to say “no” to others—your self-care is reason enough. Remind yourself that your needs are as important as anyone else’s. See Michelle’s blog post on setting boundaries.
A few minutes of self-care is better than no self-care. Set an alarm reminding you to take regular breaks, even if it’s just a walk around the block, or an uninterrupted snack. Often, stepping away will energize you to work more efficiently when you return.
Unhealthy activities don’t count as self-care. Substance use, over-eating, and other unhealthy behaviours might hide uncomfortable emotions temporarily, but they cause more problems in the long run.
Keep up with self-care, even when you’re feeling good. Doing so will keep you in a healthy routine. Plus, self-care might be part of the reason why you’re feeling good!
Author: Sol Matossian