The Importance of self-care
Habits that will help you take care of yourself


This post is available in: Español

Self-care is very important to achieve a balanced life, to feel good and to be happy.

Having some time for yourself will make you notice that this is not wasted time, it’s an investment to feel good emotionally, mentally and physically.

Accept yourself. Love yourself as you are. Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing comes when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Reveal in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it as you would sunshine. Melodie Beattie

Why self-care is important?

Sometimes life becomes so chaotic that we become so busy and we tend to neglect ourselves. We tend to think also, that we are not allowed to take care of ourselves or if we take some time to relax or to sleep is being taken is if we are indulgent with ourselves or that is selfish and sometimes even frowned upon. But the important thing to realize is that if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to be as productive as you would like, or as patient as you normally are or simply put you are not in a place where you could enjoy your life.

Taking care of yourself helps you avoid feeling worn out.

It happens to me a lot that after a long time of stress or with too many occupations or worries I feel totally exhausted. And this is totally normal because stress causes you to feel tired, it may cause anxiety and in some cases high blood pressure. Of course, the cases where stress causes a major impact is when people don’t take care of themselves appropriately.

Self-care when you have had a lot of stress, or worries or just a lot of work is essential to maintain calm and react appropriately. Moreover, it can even help you to be more productive and not to be in bad shape or to have other habits that are not so positive for you.

Take the time to rest and relax, this helps you physically and mentally.

It helps you to be more productive and efficient.

When you are rested your mind is also relaxed, you can focus more and you are even more creative. Feeding well, resting, feeling relaxed helps you have more energy to do the things you should and even allow yourself to experience new things. Also, when you include a routine of self-care you also allow yourself to be more resistant to external situations. What does that mean? Well, regardless of the circumstances that arise, the problems and things that are out of your control you can keep calm, you will be more resistant to stress and have greater ability to respond to problems.

It helps you to have more balanced personal relationships

Personal relationships start with yourself. How you treat yourself establishes a baseline of how you allow others to treat you. You are the main responsible for your own care, to love yourself and to show other people that love and respect that you have for yourself.

Do you know that doing things you like helps you have better self-esteem? Yes, when you do the things you love then you feel good, you are able to recognize that you are good at what you do and that increases your confidence and love for yourself. When you feel good about yourself it is more likely that you can have healthy and lasting personal relationships.

Evaluate how you react when you feel stressed

It is important to realize how you react when you are tired, or you feel stressed or when you haven’t been paying attention to you or your body. This will make you recognize when it is necessary that you take some time to rest and take care of yourself.

Remember that many times we get carried away by the demands of our work, our family, friends and our own goals, and we do not realize that it is necessary to rest in order to continue attending all aspects of our life as we should.

Personally, it happens that when I’m already tired or I haven’t been sleeping well and I keep pushing myself to fulfill some goals and objectives that I have established, I tend to get cranky or in a bad mood, and not really in control of my emotions. Nowadays, it’s easier for me to realize when I need to take a break, to get some energy and to feel better.

In addition, I can also realize that I’m less patient, especially with my daughters who are the people I love the most, so it is better to take care of myself if I want to treat them as they deserve and not according to my mood.

I know that many mothers have it difficult because some of us do not have family support close and many of us also have to support our husbands when they are away from home travelling. These are the days that we have to be much more patient and compassionate with ourselves since the workload and responsibility rests solely with us.

To identify your skills and the mechanisms you use to handle difficult situations or when you already need a break, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How do you typically attend to the demands of your daily life?

Can you identify when it is necessary to take a break or rest?

When you are stressed, you are in a difficult situation or have problems

How do you react? What mechanisms do you use to face these situations or the challenges in general?

You can use positive or negative coping strategies, then I give you some examples of them. Choose which ones you use the most.

Positive Strategies

  • Deep breathing
  • Stretching or doing yoga
  • Meditate
  • Listening to music
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • Walking
  • Taking a bath
  • Going out with your friends
  • Taking a walk in nature

Negative strategies

  • Yelling
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Binging
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages in excess
  • Smoking
  • Biting your nails
  • Consuming drugs
  • Skipping meals
  • Isolate yourself
  • Engaging in dangerous activities
Try to be honest with yourself, this evaluation is simply for you to realize in what moments it is necessary that you take some time to take care of yourself and that you make the decision to choose other methods to handle these situations and your emotions.

Self-care habits

After having done the previous analysis, it is recommended that you establish a routine of activities that allow you to take good care of yourself in all areas.

Physical care

Physical care involves everything you need to feel good physically. For example, eat well, choose foods that really nourish you and avoid emotional eating. Do some physical activity, as I mentioned before, exercising will also help you to have some mental clarity and making you feel happy. When you do some physical activities your body produces endorphins and helps you manage stress better.
The fact that you attend the doctor for annual check-ups is also part of that physical care and caring for you and your body.

Emotional care

Your emotions are energy in movement, and although your emotions are not you, it is important that you pay attention to them. I always say that emotions are your navigation system, that is, according to the way you feel you can know if something is wrong or if there is something to which you should pay attention to fix it.
As part of your emotional care, it is good that you can develop emotional intelligence, which will allow you to pay attention to what you feel and to handle it appropriately. It also involves the adoption of practices that allow you to remain in the present moment and not be tied to the past, or stressed by what will happen in the future. Do some meditation,  practice mindfulness, and breathing techniques that help you manage your emotions and feel calmer.

Spiritual care

Your spiritual care does not mean that you affiliate yourself with any religion or something similar, simply that you maintain practices that make you feel good from within and that allow you to connect with yourself and not with your personality. Meditation and mindfulness are some of the most effective and most recommended practices to achieve this.
I always say that if you want to improve your emotions and your behaviour it is necessary that you take the time to take care of yourself spiritually and mentally and the most effective tools for this are meditation. From my point of view, it is the shortest way.
But there are also other things you can do to feel good, for example, aromatherapy, cleaning your personal space and pamper yourself a bit.

Mental care

It seems that this type of care is one of the most neglected, simply because we do not have the habit of doing it or we do not pay attention to it. When we hear mental care we imagine going to the psychologist or something, but in reality, it is just paying attention to that part of you that is your mind.
How can you do it? With very simple things like saying NO to things, you do not want to do.  By taking time to do things for you, to enjoy. Practice some hobbies, going out with your friends, or just taking the time to relax and watch a movie. Things like reading, how to enjoy a bit of peace and silence, you can also take time to write in a journal, learn new things and even go with a life coach to help you increase your satisfaction and happiness level.
On a sheet of paper write down for each area of self-care, the strategies you currently use and then the activities you want to adopt.

What do you think about these habits and practices? Are you ready to make a self-care routine?

Tell me about yourself, do you already have some self-care practices?

 

This post is available in: Español

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