What is self care?
Many of us are unfamiliar with the idea of self care and how important it is for a person. Self care activities are all about directing your attention to yourself, your needs, interests, the things you want to accomplish – other than your duties – and finding time to engage yourself in them. Since the word has been floating around everywhere, it has lost its meaning to a great extent. Despite everything, all must realize how caring for ourselves can change us and the way the world sees us.
Self-care doesn’t just mean spending some quality time with yourself over the weekend. It is something that everyone must incorporate into their daily routine. As parents, we’re often so focused on our kids and their needs that we tend to forget that we have our own selves to look after as well – that we’re more than just parents. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of self-care and how one can indulge in it amid work and familial commitments.
According to a Harris Poll, people think that self-care is doable for those with enough money and time. They assume that it requires a considerable chunk of time and money when this certainly isn’t true.
Why is self care important? Does it matter?
Short answer: yes, it does.
It refreshes your mind and gets rid of the toxicity that accumulates within you. Whether you’re stressing over an assignment at work or you return home exhausted after a day’s work, taking some time off for yourself may help relieve fatigue. It enhances mental and physical vitality so that you can carry on with work without forcing yourself to do so.
It prevents you from frustrations, fits of anger, and stops you from lashing out at your kids and other loved ones.
A study found that medical students from the US reported having lesser stress and a better quality of life if they indulged in self-care.
A lot of adults may think that self-care is selfish. That is not the case. By practicing it, you tend to your needs and desires as an individual in an attempt to nourish or reward your mind or body by simply doing what pleases you. You want to focus on yourself, even if for 15 minutes. Following the same old routine can be tiresome for everyone. Thus, it would do you good besides busting stress to brew a cup of tea or coffee and watch your favorite show.
Self-care introduces you to a new perspective. It gives you the chance to take a step back and understand that things may not be as bad as they seem. You want to practice self-care so that you’re mentally and emotionally in the right place and that you’re able to fulfill the needs of your kids and loved ones, including your own.
Self care ideas: How to find time for yourself
For the ones with children, finding time for themselves can be difficult. Especially for those with toddlers or newborns, it can be challenging to indulge in self-care.
With some planning and scheduling, one can overcome this hassle. Try to note when your kids go to sleep at night; or tuck them in a few hours ahead of your sleep schedule. You can try to use this extra time for yourself. Prepare a bubble bath, read a book, or spend some time with your partner.
Likewise, you can have some time when kids are off to school.
More self care tips: Practicing self care around work
- It is advisable to make plans for oneself. You can take on some extra work beforehand and be done with it during the weekends when kids are at home. You may then take leave on any weekday when the kids would be in school. This mini-vacation can be relaxing especially if you feel tired and drained in the middle of the week.
- Everyone needs a little push sometimes, and a great way to reward yourself is to keep a treat jar on your work desk.
Set a goal for yourself so that every time you accomplish it, you can have a treat. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. Maybe a candy bar or a note to yourself.
- You can also do the opposite and have a jar for all the times when you’re feeling low. It can contain positive notes or words of encouragement written by your family members.
- Focus your energy on the positive side. If you feel that someone or something is holding you back from being productive at work, try to avoid them.
- Your mental well-being should be your priority. Try to make friends and surround yourself with supportive colleagues.
- Take a break whenever you feel stressed. You can use a stress ball or meditate until you feel better. You can also try deep breathing exercises to relieve stress.
- You may not always be able to find the solutions to your problems. If you think your problems are affecting your mental health, counseling and therapy can be tremendously helpful. Make sure to reach out to healthcare providers who may assist you by offering their professional help.
Self care around family
- Hand your kids different activities that will keep them busy while you indulge in some self-care. Always try to keep the space as positive and uplifting as possible.
- Hardly any approach can be as good as training one’s kids to look after themselves and then slowly leaving to find time for oneself. When kids are self-dependent, they’ll learn to look after themselves and the house; this could give you some freedom to explore things of interest in your “me time.”
- Occasionally, you can find a good babysitter or leave the kids with their grandparents or other relatives so that both of you can enjoy the change. That could prove to be a kind of getaway that you and your partner can enjoy.
- Head out for a jog early in the morning and practice gratitude journaling for a few minutes each day. Using virtual journal self care apps might come in handy. Some are free to use, and one can publish private and public self care journal, posts, and more. You can write down the things you’re thankful for, or even note down snippets from each day.
Self care is more like a journey. You can’t expect to have better, stable mental, physical or emotional health overnight. You need to work hard, love yourself as you are and always strive to be a better version of yourself.
It’s important to know that:
It’s okay to take a break and feel exhausted. You’re human, and you’re not supposed to have a fake smile plastered on your face. Try to be a better person by placing yourself first. Get yourself together so that you can help your kids and your loved ones with their needs.