It doesn’t matter how many steps you take to relieve stress if you aren’t taking basic care of yourself. There is no point in meditation if you’re not getting enough sleep. In fact, you’re more likely to find yourself cat napping during your allotted meditation time because your body just can’t keep up. Just like exercising at the gym once a week isn’t going to do much against the tide of junk food you gorge on nightly.
Before you can take stress relief seriously, you must first meet your basic needs. Self-care is acting in a way that will promote your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Self-care is a necessary building block when laying your life’s foundations. To overcome life’s stressors we have to build resilience, and you can’t have resilience without self-care. You are much better equipped to deal with life when you take steps to care for yourself.
Unfortunately, many of us look at self-care as an elusive luxury. It’s for other people. It’s not a priority because you’re not one of those people that has the time and money to invest in self-care. As a result, you feel tired, overwhelmed, and unable to deal with the challenges and changes that life throws at you.
There are acts of self-care to cover every area of your life.
To operate efficiently, you have to look after your body. Don’t forget the link between your mind and body. So, acting in your body’s best interests will naturally enhance your mental health as well. Physical self-care isn’t just about exercise, it’s to do with the fuel you choose, the sleep you get and looking after yourself medically as well.
When dealing with physical self-care, ask yourself if you’re getting enough sleep, if you’re eating the right fuel, if you’re truly in charge of your physical health, and whether you’re exercising enough.
How you think, the thoughts that you fill your mind with, these are the things that influence your mental well-being. You can keep your mind sharp by completing puzzles, reading books, watching content that inspires and sparks creativity. It’s also choosing things that will help you stay healthy mentally, which means acceptance of self and self-compassion.
When you address mental self-care, consider whether you’re making enough time for the activities that stimulate you mentally and if you’re being proactive about staying healthy mentally.
Your social health requires self-care, too. Yet, it’s often one of the easiest aspects of our lives to ignore. Life gets busy, it’s hard to keep up. It’s crucial to your overall health and well-being that you maintain close connections and act in the best interests of your social life.
As you address your social self-care needs, consider whether you spend enough time with your friends (face to face) or whether you do enough to nurture the friendships and relationships in your life.
Don’t neglect the spiritual side of yourself, whether you involve religion in your life or not.
We all need to have coping skills to address negative emotions. Sadness, anxiety, and anger are natural parts of life, but they will cannibalize you if you don’t know how to cope. You can practice emotional self-care by doing activities that address your emotions. It could be a trip to visit your therapist or a long chat with a friend.
When considering emotional self-care, think about how you process your emotions, and what activities you can incorporate to recharge.