No matter who you are, what you’ve done or what stage of life you’re at, there’s ONE thing you absolutely must implement into your life. And that is self-care!
Without self-care, you can spend your life constantly stressed, sick, and exhausted. Without taking the time to care for yourself, you can also miss out on the truly important things in life like spending time with loved ones or doing what makes you happy.
I have to admit I was that person that had to go through this several times before I started to listen and learnt how to take care of myself and put my needs first and do what makes me happy without feeling guilty about it as well.
Neglecting and ignoring your needs is not noble. It’s not something you should be proud of.
Putting everything and everyone else above your physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health is actually a sign of martyrdom, low self-esteem, and workaholism – not selflessness or a good work ethic.
Are You Neglecting Self-Care? Here are some red flags you need to look out for.
1.Anxiety and worry.
2.Mind won’t shut off.
3.Constant tiredness and fatigue.
4.Irritability (little things annoy you)
5.Poor sleep quality
6. Muscle Tension
7.Chronic illnesses (e.g. colds, flu, infections
8.Neglecting family or friend time
9.Rumination (mind won’t shut off)
10.Constant low-grade depression
11.More dread than excitement
12.Disconnection from your body
13.No time to do what makes you happy
14 All work and no play
15. Negative and self-sabotaging thoughts
16. Low self-worth and insecurity
There are many signs I’ve missed. But I think this gives you a good enough idea.
If you’re feeling like one of these is not your natural state, it’s your body and soul raising your attention to them, please do not ignore them and get things checked out..
Why Are We Resistant to Self-Care?
You’ve probably heard it before. “I’m too busy to do that,” “I have too much on my plate right now,” “I’m inundated with work,” “I’ve no time to spare”! in my past I’ll admit I have been very guilty of using these excuses more than once, let me assure you!
One major reason why we overlook self-care is that we have our priorities completely wrong. Backwards if fact! Growing up we weren’t taught how important and essential taking care of ourselves is as children and now as adults, we have no concept of self-nurturing – only until we fall chronically ill, develop a mental illness or go through a traumatic life experience do we sit up and start to listen and sometimes it can be too late.
Our society and lifestyle has become so unaware of the importance of self-care, we place other things like work commitments above our health, because that’s all we know and thats what we’ve been shown (martyrdom) at then detriment of your own health.
Self-care to many is unfortunately associated with selfishness. This is such an old and very outdated perception, that taking care of your needs first equals being self-centred. However, if we closely examine this belief, we can see how ridiculous, mad and short-sighted it really is.
How are we able to take care of others if we cannot take care of ourselves?
How is it possible to let others “drink from your cup” so to speak, if you have no water inside to give in the first place? Taking care of yourself equals taking care of others. The more sensitivity you show towards yourself and the entire expanse of your being, the more sensitivity you’ll be able to show towards others.
It’s as simple as that. Yet many people carry an unhealthy martyr mindset where they believe that they must do everything for others 100% of the time.
Being a martyr isn’t dignified or heroic – it is in fact quite dysfunctional and after we served our last drop from our cup it then figuratively speaking turns into resentment and a toxic form of behaviour that makes both oneself and others miserable.
Poor self-esteem is another reason why some people are resistant to self-care.
The belief that “I’m not worth it” is so pervasive in our society that it’s an epidemic. Inevitably poor self-worth results in self-neglect, sometimes even as a form of self-punishment. However if you struggle with low self-esteem I encourage you to go ahead and practice the self-care ideas below.
The more you incorporate them into your life, the better you will feel about who you are at a core level.
Easy Self-Care Ideas For the Body
1. Sit somewhere in nature. Feel relaxed by the scenery, the fresh air, and the birds singing.
2. Take a deep mindful breath. Oxygenate your body, reduce the tension, and refresh your energy.
3. Take a nap. Find a comfy place and drift off into dream time. Set a timer if you’re worried about sleeping too much.
4. Dance to your favourite song. Get in touch with your playful side and sing along enjoy a good workout while you’re at it!
5. Take a walk in the sun. Get some vitamin D. Clear your mind. Fit some exercise in while you’re at it.
Self-Care Ideas For the Heart
1. Give yourself a big hug. Stand somewhere quiet and hug yourself. Feel held and comforted.
2. Have a good laugh. Watch or read something entertaining
3. Have a good cry. Let out all your feelings. Watch a sad movie. Have a tissue box and a blanket to snuggle in handy.
4. Show gratitude. Find something to be thankful for in your life.
Self-Care Ideas For the Mind
1. Feed and expand your mind. Learn something new. Read up on different topics and open your mind to new perspectives. Enrich your understanding of the world.
2. Journal and self-reflect. Record your journey with self-care and write down your key discoveries. Reflect on your progress and feel proud.
3. Still your mind. Find a way to calm your mind each day. Meditation or mindfulness are two excellent very powerful practices. Pay attention to the present moment and get out of your thoughts and into your heart space.
4. Take a break from social media. Clear the stream of your mind for a few days. Give yourself a break from the comparison, egotism, and drama that stems from social media. Delete social media apps from your phone and spend time doing something else.
5. Create a routine for your day. The mind thrives with structure. Create a habit by setting in place clear routines that help you. Just ensure that you are flexible and allow these structures to shift and evolve through time as need be. As being rigid only stumps you moving forwards.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, please do share your comments and connect with me.
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