Self-care is necessary

I was chatting with an acquaintance. He opened up and told me about his impending 30-day trip to Europe. He’s  said hes been taken care of everyone else since the age of 18, he realizes it’s time – at 40 – to finally do something for himself.

I completely applaud his courage. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have been so supportive a few years ago. Sure, I would have  and said something nice, but on the inside, I’d have been jealous.

My secret is self-care.

Art of Self-Care

We’re taught from early on that selflessness is good, and there’s no denying the benefit of altruism to our physical and mental well-being. But how often do we find ourselves pushing ourselves to the limit?  I would push to be productive, put my needs last, put everyone else first.

If you’re not attuned to who you are and what you want, you make sacrifices that limit and hurt you and end up negatively impacting the ones we care about.

You’ve heard the saying you can’t pour from an empty cup? It’s exactly that. If you don’t look after yourself and put yourself first sometimes, you can’t possibly look after anyone else.

Maintaining a regard for ourselves and practicing self-care is fundamental to building a good life for ourselves and our loved ones.

Self-Care Matters

Self-care makes you productive. When you learn to put yourself first at times, you make time for things that matter, bringing your goals into sharper focus and improving your concentration.

When you look after yourself, your body goes into a rejuvenating mode, fortifying your immune system.

Self-care boosts self-esteem. When you carve out time to be good to yourself, you send your subconscious positive messages and in turn discourage negative self-talk.

You also increase your self-knowledge. When you practice self-care, you think about what you really enjoy doing. You get to figure out what revs your engine and inspires you, and this can spark some positive changes.

By filling your own cup, you just have more to give. It’s not selfish to be good to yourself, it actually provides the resources for compassion.

Practicing Self-Care

Self-care is holistic. It’s for your body, mind, and soul. Here are a few ways you can start practicing self-care today.
  1. For the body
  • Clean up your diet – even if it’s one small change this month, work towards a healthier diet so you feel stronger and better.
  • Get moving – take a walk, dance around the house, just make time for yourself.
  • Sleep – create a bedtime routine and you’ll soon feel more rested and rejuvenated.
  • Stretch – muscles carry tons of tension. Whether you take up yoga or stretch every day, make a move to work it all out.
  1. For the mind
  • Meditate – you don’t need to spend hours a day zoning out, just find a spot, sit still, and concentrate on your breathing.
  • Learn something – educate your mind by learning something new.
  • Unplug at night – whether you’re watching Netflix, scrolling through your phone, or following the news, devices keep the mind active. Turn them off an hour before bedtime and get ready for peaceful sleep.
  • Declutter – when things are piled up, it’s stressful. You lose things, you trip, you get annoyed. Get rid of anything you don’t use and organize all the rest.
  1. For your soul
  • Lose negative people – who’s bringing you down? It could be time to cut ties with energy vampires who suck the joy from your life.
  • Your career – it’s hard to find the perfect job, but you don’t have to settle for something you loathe. At the very least, find a job you enjoy.
  • Say no – it’s great being helpful but saying no means you acknowledge your own limits and can avoid stretching yourself thin.
  • Go on a date with yourself – do something that makes you happy and is all about you.
  • Practice gratitude – instead of dwelling on the negativity of the day, remember what’s gone right.
Self-care is about finding ways to strengthen and soothe your body, mind, and soul.

It’s really not selfish to take care of yourself. Getting through life is tough stuff, and your soul can quickly grow weary. But if you remember to refill your cup, you’ll feel replenished, refreshed, and ready for what lies ahead.

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