Self-Care: Why is it so important?
Self-care is one, maybe even two, of the legs of a three-legged stool holding my philosophy of how to achieve food freedom. Self-care is so important, and in this crazy world, it is easily pushed aside. When you start to engage in a higher level of self-care, your self-respect, self confidence, and self-love all increase, subconsciously at first, and then consciously. Making choices that make you feel good will empower you to continue to make better choices. Self-care can be a helpful tool to launch yourself into an upward spiral. It’s such a simple concept, but one that can make an incredible difference in your life.
So what’s Self-care?
Self-Care is all about identifying your mental, emotional, and physical needs and deliberately taking the steps to meet them, “for you, by you.” In simpler terms, it is things that fill up our bucket instead of drain them. It’s important to understand that self-care isn’t always something that is fun or that you want to do.. Self-care is knowing what you need and taking the steps to fulfill that.
There are thousands and thousands of things that I could list as self-care practices. Because we are humans, and our moods/thoughts/feelings change day to day, so too, does our self-care. Some days, my mental/emotional/physical self-care includes staying home from the party and curling up in my bed with Netflix on and some cookie dough. Other days, it’s getting things done like the cleaning, laundry, and shopping so that I can relax later on in the day knowing it’s a positive thing that my house is clean and I have (nutritious) food in the fridge. Sometimes it’s doing something scary like applying for a job or making that dreaded phone call. Your self-care changes every day!!! Now, I do have a few things that I do daily to help keep me centered and feeling good. These include journaling, prayer, scripture study, and movement (or a formal workout depending on how my body is feeling). Doing these specific things every day help me feel motivated to keep making good choices that propel me closer to my goals. It takes time to intuitively know what you actually need, and that’s okay. Remember, like most things in life, self-care is a journey.
Common Self-care Practices:
- Eating a nutritious diet/mindful eating
- Getting enough sleep (7-8 hours)
- Movement that you enjoy (walking, yoga, weight training)
- Going to the doctor
- Doing something you enjoy (walking, crafting, movies, cooking)
- Taking a quick power nap
- Calling a friend or family member
- Quitting a bad habit (smoking, illegal drugs, etc)
- Doing the dishes, washing the laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping
- Talking to your spouse/partner about difficult topics that have been avoided
- Forgiving others
- Choosing faith and optimism
Before every flight, the flight attendant will tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before aiding anyone else. Self-care is the same kind of concept. It’s so important for us to take care of each other, but first, we have to take care of ourselves.