“She snoozed the alarm button for the fourth time, threw her blanket, and pushed herself out of bed to start her day, to rush and finish her chores. She moves in a vicious cycle of work, home, and family. She looked at her image in the mirror, thinning hair losing its shine, dark circles and eye bags encircling her eyes. She pulls out an ill fitted shirt, she has no time to find a better one.
A cup of hot tea would wake up her sluggish mind, she thought. Why she feels drained, exhausted even after a night's sleep. Her mind questions, “Why am I tired all the time?”
Sadly, her exhaustion translates into the form of bitterness that reflects in the way she connects with her family. She sacrifices her well-being for the family, but all that goes in vain. As her unhappy and worn out self adversely impacts people around her."
But Sheena has no time to reflect and ask what she wants, what she likes. What can she do to feel better?
This long pandemic has drained us physically, emotionally and mentally. Our minds are wearing out with these chores and social restrictions. We feel as if we have lost connection, not only with people, but with our inner self.
But we hardly introspect; instead, we seek refuge and get our mind occupied. If we keep ignoring our inner voice, we will continue feeling out of sync. Like a vehicle running on low fuel, we too can halt at any moment.
So if you have a feeling of a sense of stagnation or emptiness, you need to recharge yourself. And the best way to do this is to implement tiny self-care habits every day. To regularly include in your life a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul.
So if you are the one who says ‘I don't know how to take care of myself?” These tips are for you.
How to take care of yourself?
To take care of self, first ask:
What makes you happy? What are the things you like doing? What are you passionate about? Do you have set goals? What do you want to achieve in life? What makes you feel content?
These questions, help you understand what you need to do to be happy and content.
Best practices to take better care of yourself:
Relax, we're all faking it: This is kind of a big deal. Because your whole life - there will always be someone. Someone who you look at and think, did I miss something? How come that person gets to be like that and I have to be like this. Constant comparison is a recipe for disaster. So don’t worry, we’re all faking it up.
Take a moment out to be present:
OK, so you are cramped up with your to-do list or you prefer to go online and check the trending topics on social media. But here is the thing; sometimes all you need to do is sit idle and be present in the moment. Particularly, when you are upset or something is bothering you, just pause and listen to what your feelings are telling you, don’t close your door on them.
It’s OK not to be OK sometimes: Give yourself permission to sometimes not be okay when you’re not. Not all the time you can be cheerful, so when you aren’t better you accept it.
Treat feelings like a visiting guest, be courteous and wait for them to pass away. When you run away from them, they keep running after you seeking your attention. So attend them, once attended, let them make way for some positive thoughts/guests.
Keep expectations from others at bay, to make you feel better is your responsibility, not others; setting wrong expectations brings disappointment. So take control in your hands, pull your head out, stop sobbing and ask "What am I feeling and why is this happening and what can I do about it?"
Also, writing down your feelings helps you see and accept, you can see the difference it makes when you pour down your feelings on paper.
Do things that are worth doing not to get other approvals: Using your fuel, you barely have to prove others and seeking their acceptance increases your struggle. Choose your battles wisely. Pick things that are important to you, not to seek validity from others. It's called having priorities and have some. Also, stay away from people who bring drama into your life
You are as important as your family, so better take care: You may feel guilty about taking moments out of your day to focus on yourself when there are other things to be done. It’s because subconsciously, you are driven innately to feel strong, work hard and sacrifice for the sake of everyone and everything.
But know that these things are not innate, but acquired. It will make you feel like a means to an end, surrounded by many people, but at the same time alone and miserable. How can anyone feel happy when you are not? Take care of others by taking care of yourself first.
Do things regularly that make you happy: Do you have a passion, any hobby? Which songs lift your mood? Do you like to dance? What about gossiping, sharing your thoughts, does it make you feel better. Talking to friends, community work, even sleeping whatever it is, figure out what uplifts your mood and do it.
Any activity that ignites, refreshes and makes you feel better, take it up to replenish your depleting energy.
Schedule a day to pamper yourself: Have you tried spending some time grooming yourself? How does it feel? Isn’t it is uplifting. Personal grooming impacts your overall well-being. Taking some time out to groom yourself, it feels elevating. Who doesn’t want a relaxing spa treatment, a deep massage. You can try recreating the experience at the comfort of your home in case you avoid splurging.
Exercise regularly, eat healthy, sleep well, and drink plenty of water: These 4 EDSW are a must for a healthy self. Include any form of physical activity, a healthy diet, sleep and water to have a healthy mind, and body.
Find happiness around: If you look around, you can find joy in small things, just that you tend to overlook the good things in life. Occasionally, try being silly to enjoy a hearty laughter. Reasons are spread around; all you need to do is choose one to be happy, just make way to laughter in your life.
Not everything is in your control, so relax: You know what is in your control, take care of that, but things out of your range guys leave it to god, and stop fretting about it. Stressing over things out of your control, isn’t going to change the outcome, only it increases the level of stress in your body, so relax.
Also, keep few things in mind; focus on the future instead of reviewing hurts from the past. Focus on your life and solving problems instead of dwelling on problems.
Use breathing to distress yourself: Early in the morning, before going to sleep, or any time in the middle of the day. Sit quietly, take deep breaths, and focus on your breath. A few minutes of deep breathing have deep, calming effects. Try walking in the lush greenery to rejuvenate your tired soul.
Do you know your purpose, yet: Having a purpose in life makes a lot of difference in the way you see yourself. So guys have some goals and figure out what things are necessary to accomplish those goals.
No, you don’t have to start climbing Everest. Start with achievable tasks you were holding for long, get your hands dirty and do it. You’ll see how uplifting it feels when you achieve even the smallest goals. Don’t stop, continue adding new goals as they come up.
Connect with the community: Feeling bad, talk to your friend, get involved in a community activity and you will see how it makes you feel better; friends and community build sense of belonging. While isolation increases stress. Though, isolation is better than bad company and Covid virus. Otherwise, we humans are social animals; we thrive when we connect and lend a helping hand.
You must have realise the importance of taking care of yourself. So now find out, what do you want to accomplish, what are your interests, things that bring you joy and things that keep you motivated, think about the things you want, like where you want your life to go.
Keep an open mind, and know that you may hit barriers along the way. But don’t stop and continue to add new goals as they come up. Connect with yourself, connect with others, connect to your community, and create joy and satisfaction. And make sure you’re at your optimum—emotionally, physically, and mentally.
What is your self-care habits? We would love to hear from you, write in the comment section. Also, share this with people you love and want them to take care of themselves.