The Essence Of Self-Care
Imagine that you have a rare flower of extraordinary beauty. You are very fond of it and want to ensure it retains its luster for as long as possible. How do you go about providing the right care? First, you need to learn what kind of plant it is and what it needs to survive, along with how to protect it from harmful influences and provide the ideal conditions for growth.
We have a secret to reveal: just like that flower, we also need quality care in order to thrive.
So, what’s involved in taking care of a flower as valuable as ourselves?
There are two main areas of self-care: physical and mental. Each of them is important. Moreover, they are interconnected, so one is impossible without the other.
Proper and tasty nutrition.
Nowadays, we often consume too much food without even thinking about whether it’s really necessary or beneficial for us. So, the main idea of this point is to fill yourself with positive things — both for your health and your tastebuds. Notice which foods give you energy and inspiration, and which foods leave you feeling lethargic. Food enriches our body with the energy necessary for a full life, so consume selectively.
Physical activity that you enjoy.
Physical exercise stimulates your body’s production of endorphins and serotonin, accelerates the conduction of nerve impulses to the pleasure center located in your brain, and provides joy, vitality, and a feeling of lightness. Moreover, it's incredibly rewarding to see your own growth and to recognize that you can now accomplish feats you couldn't before. There’s a huge number of physical activities to choose from, so your primary task is to find one that you really like.
Sleep is not only a pleasant activity, but it’s also an important element of our health. It’s vital for the immune system, remembering information that we received during wakefulness, and restoration — melatonin is produced during sleep, which is the hormone responsible for full rest and recovery of the body.
Once again, it's important to find what works for you. Perhaps you simply need to wash your face with cool water, or maybe you enjoy a multi-step skincare routine using a variety of serums, creams, and masks. The main factor is to enjoy both the process and the result.
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Taking care of your emotional health.
If you thought this step was simply about being happier and less sad and angry, that’s not quite the case. All emotions are necessary and they are neither bad nor good. Emotions in their purest form are indicators that reflect our internal state and reactions to certain events. They help us to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Emotions have biological implications, so we cannot completely control them. But we can choose how to treat them.
When we call certain emotions bad, we try to avoid them — as with anything bad. But avoiding suffering, pain, and fear doesn’t work because these emotions are necessarily present in everyone's life from time to time. If we treat certain emotions negatively, it will become more difficult to experience them; we will begin to worry, fearing that they will appear, trying not to notice them in ourselves, and finally suppressing them. And suppressing emotions is very harmful to our psychological well-being because nothing we experience simply disappears.
Take it easy.
Don't try to solve all the problems of the world and learn to rest when you need it. Sometimes we forget about the most important thing — our internal resources are limited, and we must replenish our energy supply. By not giving ourselves a break, we start to feel weak and depleted. Don't stress the small stuff, but it can be hugely beneficial to rejoice in the day-to-day trifles.
This list could go on and on because each person has their own ways to help themselves feel better. That’s why each of us has important tasks: to understand what makes our body and our mind happy and healthy. And the first step is listening to your own feelings. After all, we all share the same core needs and you also have personal needs that are uniquely important and beneficial to you. Whether it's reading a book before bed, taking a long weekend walk, or eating your favorite breakfast dish.