Women, in playing a multifaceted role as care-givers, homemakers and bread earners, often forget to take care of themselves. Self-care is not just about taking a trip to the spa or getting a yearly check-up. It involves a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, wherein the three are committed to supporting and taking care of each other for your holistic growth. Self-care comes with self-love. While sayings such as “If you can’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else” or “You can’t give out of an empty pot”, are true to a certain extent, it is also a fact that there is no one who doesn’t love themself. Self-love comes from a primal feeling of self-preservation, so while it may not be perfect and might even be mixed with self-loathing at times, but it is there. That’s why we see people who may not be in the best of health or mental state themself being kind and loving towards others.
One of our goals is to enhance self-love. How do we do that? Let’s revisit the first few lines – we need to take care of our three selves: physical (health and body), our mind (strengthening our mind, clarity and focus) and metaphysical (our spirit or spirituality).
Physical self-care: We all have health issues, weight issues and are afraid of aging. Let’s start by acknowledging the problem and not live in denial. If you’re overweight, check your weight. Know how much weight you have to lose and start with a program. It could be becoming vegetarian, vegan, keto, high carb, low carb, etc. Choose a plan that’s good for you, which is sustainable and doesn’t give you stress. Weight loss or being at a healthy weight is an important part of being physically and mentally healthy as carrying extra fat is harmful to the overall well-being of your tissues, muscles, and organs. According to WHO, a healthy weight is not a particular number, for example – a woman who is 5’3 can weigh between 50 to 58 kg (an eight kg bracket), so focus on getting into that bracket. Make physical exercise a part of your program, whether it’s walking, jogging or swimming, any sport or dance, yoga, etc. It can be anything that makes you appreciate your physical endurance, flexibility and takes your mind off stress.
Emotional self-care: Self-love comes from accepting everything about yourself, and being ok with what you are, knowing that you can change anything you want in order to make yourself happier. While it’s important to acknowledge that you might be a lazy, indecisive, anxious, obsessive or negative person, it’s also important to realise that you have the power to change any of this. The mind acknowledges both sides of the coin; it knows anxiety and sadness as well as happiness. It knows both negativity and positivity because without knowing one, it will never know the other. We have to go through a certain amount of emotions to want to change them. For example – Only if you know fear, can you overcome it and know courage. Acknowledge, accept and remember you have the power to change anything you like. It might take time, even a lifetime, but you will only be going forward, growing forward and becoming the best that you want to be.
Metaphysical self-care: Our divine spirit is the chariot on which our mind and body ride. The spirit is neglected in the distractions of the external world. Make sure that you do something every day that truly gives you joy, the kind that comes from being with nature, meditating or doing something for the less fortunate. Tap into your spirit by spending quality time with yourself. Meditate, close your eyes and envision your light. Keep a gratitude journal and write 1-3 things that you are grateful for. Envision your possibilities, and let your spirit, mind, and body take you to them.
Here are some simple steps for Self-care:
- Move! Our bodies are made for movement
- Good health starts with what you eat. Eat real, unprocessed food
- Be regular with your required blood tests
- Take time out to be in nature
- Manage your stress levels by including meditation in your daily routine
- Make time for hobbies
- Spend a little time with yourself every day without electronics
- Spend time with people who make you happy
- Don’t compromise on your sleep
- Practice gratitude
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