What does self care mean to you? Is it a way of pampering yourself or some selfish idea of cutting down some time from To Do list.
Take a moment and answer this to yourself before reading further.
Self care is subjective for everyone; like for some it can be personal grooming, an outing with or without someone, consuming a good soul comforting meal, any sort of physical exercise, meditation, watching a movie. What’s your idea?
Recently it has found acceptance & its importance due to covid lockdowns and deteriorating physical plus mental health conditions. The rigorous ‘Hustle culture’ is expanding day by day and is not limited to only metro cities, but has gained popularity in every tier. Ever wondered how this happened? Maybe because now we are not limited only to 9 to 5 offline workspaces. The Work from home routine has definitely increased work timings but the perk of home comfort has opened options for majority of people to work for a side hustle as well to keep up with the optimisation in a sense of: financial security, a way of exploring one's passion, filling up a void and mostly its around digital work.Digital space has grown magnificently and has created humongous opportunities among the masses and people have built full time careers/business online
In this race of hustle, we take pride in being a workaholic, we want to be number one or a perfectionist but ironically we tend to neglect ourselves only, thus unlocking space for various poor health conditions by keeping good health on the sidelines. This is one of the main reasons that there is a sudden increase in people getting diagnosed with autoimmunity as it triggers autoimmune flares too.
We need to understand that to pay bills, fulfil responsibilities and to maintain a certain lifestyle we are required to work hard consistently but we have forgotten the age old saying ‘Only work and no play makes jack a dull boy’. Neglecting our health and running after endless needs is not a quality to be proud of as later in the run our compromised health will definitely slow us down thus increasing the bills as well. Additionally stress plays a significant role in this.
Many of us have started wearing workaholism as badge of honor and then brag of not taking leaves and this is all done to:
Validate our existence
Want organization recognition or appreciation
Want to fill up our social media profiles with work deets to keep up with our busy profile image
We have started seeing hustle culture as the next glam & cool thing
We just want to be part of the goat race and don't want to feel left behind
In order to impress others we forget that we are ignoring the most important person in our life, that is US and taking our physical health + mental health for granted. The only one that will take us ahead and will be with us is our own body, which we are tending to neglect.
So it is very important that we take out time for ourselves too so that we can fulfil our needs and wants. We need to battle stress, the commonest trigger point of any underlying issues flare up.
My opinion about self care is that it’s a journey of internal healing which works holistically on our underlying infections, physical & mental health. To discover this beautiful journey, here is a compilation of simple techniques which are taken for granted and have been forgotten but if practiced religiously, it definitely brings changes for good.
Start by following basic steps, give time and connect with yourself rather than being late and making rounds to doctors. With small changes comes big transformations.
Read through to learn how to start the healing process rather than fixing yourself
Good Food practice:
The most important and foremost practice to look upon. Generally we have 3 meals per day so we should learn how to give rest to our Gut from unwanted junk/instant meals and to consume nutrient rich meals
Start recognizing what suits our gut and what not
Include positive food items like millets, gluten free options, more veggies
Make a rainbow plate
Cook your own meals sometimes and take it as self healing therapy
Make a habit of eating freshly cooked meals
Eliminate packaged food items
Gain knowledge on different nutrients and correct time to eat those
Let’s take this up as daily practice to do first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep. We have to ditch the bad habit of checking mails, messages and feeds as soon as we get up. This fills our head with unnecessary workload and stress.
Be thankful you have got another day to wake up to
Say thanks to your whole body that will carry you throughout the day physically & biologically
Go out in nature and be grateful to all the natural resources we have got for free and start spending time out in nature
Sunbathing will do wonders
Walk barefoot on lush green grass: immediate sense of calmness will be felt
Take in and absorb the positive pranic energy present in the environment.
Being organized, disciplined and dedicated is the key
Make a practical To do List and prioritize things.
A 5 minute journal point is a structured and guided way of writing a gratitude journal. It is the simplest way to start your day happy, cultivate gratitude, become positive and change the way you think and feel.
Write what are you grateful for that particular day
Write Affirmations: we should always remember that whatever will run on our mind most of the time that is bound to happen as consciously and subconsciously we work in that direction only. Start writing affirmations for yourself like I am or I can multiple times & eventually you will start believing in it and one day it will happen
Read & note down good quotes and try to implement that in your life
You can also write some self care points that you want to follow.
Below are the points for 5 minute journal
I am grateful for…
What would make today great?
Daily affirmation. I am…
Amazing things that happened today…
Living in chaos, running after task completion, impressing clientele, working deadlines, makes our body stressed out
Due to regular stress our body is in constant fight/flight mode and it affects our body in various ways. Not only stress hormones like Cortisol, norepinephrine are released are released but this consistency of body response highly mis-balances our body minerals which in turn give us various health issues
Meditation helps us to get out of constant fight/flight mode and makes us calmer.
Helps in activating chakras
Makes us to learn the switch game of snapping out of social environment and start exploring ourselves
Helps in releasing Feel good hormones: Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins & Oxytocin
Good idea to reflect on our doings and how to improve
For some people this can be the most difficult thing to convert into a daily habit. But we need to understand that strenuous exercises are not necessary, we just have to move our body regularly.
Structured exercise routine works wonders for our body. As well, exercising benefits are very well known to each of us. We just have to twist our schedule and work on discovering what type of consistent exercise routine can be followed.
First target is to follow the set of exercises that we will be able to follow and should be enjoyable too at same time
Include different types of exercise routine which can include: Yoga, cardio, walking, pilates, etc.
Do not strain yourself just maintain a routine
After exercising we should feel jovial and energetic due to release of Happy hormones same as Meditation does
We often tend to ignore our whole hardwork and little achievements and focus only on the bigger goals. If we start appreciating our little achievements as well it will motivate us further and self recognition always comes first. So don’t forget to lift yourself up
Try to spend an hour with yourself
Go out in nature for a picnic
Pamper yourself: have detox baths, take cold showers
Declutter your space
Gift yourself flowers
Get a massage
Do skincare with a good book reading session
Listen good music
Dance your heart out
Take a nap, give your body some rest
Go out to meet friends
Maintain a healthy circle of friends
Don’t shy away to ask for help
Join volunteering communities
Start with 1 thing a day and make it a routine. Slowly start incorporating other steps. After waking up and before sleep ritual should be followed religiously to bring some discipline in life which eventually bring calmness
Start the day with making your bed and setting up the target for the day which should include ‘Me time’ and not with phone scrolling.
Similarly at night there should be no screen time at least 1 hour before sleep.
End your night with reading a book, listening podcast or a skincare routine and sleep in a pitch dark room away from electronic devices.
We all know about these practices yet we tend to push it away, but yes let’s take a pledge to push ourselves towards this routine. Remember our healing is a journey and not simply a short term aim to achieve. Your good health creation and keeping it optimized is in your own hands.