What do you think?
Is it an essential need or just a luxury that not everyone can afford?
Even long and strenuous debates on this can sometimes leave people polarized. This topic has left people divided as some feel that it is a luxury that only a few privileged can avail. While others feel that it’s a basic right of every person to look after their needs and emotions.
This article is an attempt to highlight some aspects and decode what self-care means and what it looks like.
What is Self-care?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Self-care is “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Although WHO gives a specific definition of Self- Care but for modern folks, it may look like taking care of one’s emotional and physical needs. It may feel like putting yourself and your mental health a priority and doing the needful.
How self-care may look like to different people?
- Taking time off for oneself
- drawing boundaries
- Exercising or trying meditation
- Saying ‘no’ to certain things or demands
- Staying away from certain toxic people
- Indulging in things that make you feel good
- Keeping yourself healthy- physically and mentally
Now it is important to understand that self-care looks and feels different to different people. What works for some may not work for others. Not everyone may follow the same route to self-care.
Reasons why self-care is important-
1. Can help regulate your emotions-
Self-care can make you more informed of your feelings and emotions. It can help by giving you a way to express your emotions. Thereby making you feel better once you start giving time for your needs. It can also be a cathartic experience.
2. Help deal with stress and exhaustion of life-
Stress is inevitable but dealing with it becomes manageable when you put yourself first. Doing what you love and practicing self-care can help reduce your stress levels. It may also help in elevating your mood.
3. Can help with stress and anxiety-
Studies have proven that self-care can help one deal with stress and anxiety. As you focus on yourself and what is helpful for you, your mental health starts improving thereby helping you reduce anxiety and stress.
4. Can improve your other relations-
It is said that until you have peace within, you cannot have peace outside. Likewise, until you have a strong relationship with yourself you cannot have a good relationship with your loved ones. Self-care helps you in connecting with yourself so that you can connect with others.
5. Make yourself more aware of your behavior-
Taking care of yourself ensures that you are giving priority to yourself. After a time you start observing that you tend to better understand and interpret your behavior. You can understand your needs and the importance of your ‘me-time’.
All the above-mentioned points speak volumes of why self-care is important. But have you noticed that they are also pretty basic? Self-care is not a luxury but is essential that helps you protect your mental health.
We have to realize that self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant or time-taking. It can be doing anything which brings you comfort and brings you peace within. To give an example would be one of my uncles who likes to spend his time watching motivational videos. While my friends like to watch the same series that they watched a million times because it gives them comfort. That’s their way of self-care.
Find out what’s yours.
And remember Self-Care is not being selfish.
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