It’s not easy to look after yourself, especially when you’re crazy busy. But if you neglect your own needs, performing at your best will become more and more difficult.
Often, in our desire to fulfill all our responsibilities and the needs of the people we love, we neglect the one thing we should take care of first – ourselves.
Self-care is not selfishness.
We have been brought up to believe we should take care of others first before ourselves. So it’s natural to feel a bit guilty when we take our own needs into account. Caring for others is a good thing, but sometimes caring for yourself means you are more able to care for others.
For instance, if you’re overworked, you would feel burnt out and it would be very difficult for you to focus on further tasks. If you’re deprived of sleep, how can you keep up with your kids or enjoy spending time with your family?
Many people have caring responsibilities and competing demands for their time and attention. However, we must learn to recognise when our own resources are running low and need to be replenished. Remember: you can do more for others if you take care of yourself. This will help sustain the effort required and maintain healthy relationships with those who rely on us.
Self-care is not a luxury.
There is a misconception that self-care is expensive such as travelling far, checking-in at a five-star hotel or spending tons of money on expensive clothes, skincare products and such.
Although there’s nothing wrong in doing that, keep in mind that you can reinvigorate yourself in simple but healthy ways. When we stress, it’s often the healthy habits that we drop off. So try to :
- Set a few minutes of quiet time.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Prepare yourself nutritious meals at home instead of getting takeaway food.
- Drink enough water.
- Take a hike or walk down the beach.
- Organising your things can help declutter your home and your mind.
- If you make a mistake, cut yourself some slack.
- Exercise! It doesn’t have to be high intensity training, but a few minutes of exercise to get your blood circulating should be good enough.
Not everything that feels good is self-care, so be aware of coping mechanisms that provide immediate but temporary relief. True self-care will allow you to give more of yourself, inspire you to work better and it has long term benefits for your overall health and well-being.
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