Personal Development

Keys to Living a Better Life [Indulge in Self-Care]

From all of the previous articles that I’ve written (I’m hoping you’ve at least read some of them!), you would clearly be able to tell that I’m all about encouraging self-awareness, mindfulness and promoting the growing need of understanding yourself in order to truly grow in life. Well, today I would like to discuss Self-Care; what it is, its importance it holds in one’s life, and many different ways one can indulge in self-care on a daily basis: Key to Living a Better Life. 

Self-Care is essentially any activity that we engage in that benefits our mental, physical and emotional health; all of which are very crucial to maintain to prevent any burn out in each of these health areas (Michael, 2018). Self-Care is a topic which is significantly discussed in various self-help books or motivational books not only because it allows us to increase self-worth in our lives but because of the innumerable advantages its practices possess. 

Read More: 6 Books to Read during Quarantine 

Some of the benefits include: 

1. Increase in Self-Awareness & Focus 

  • Indulging in Self-Care allows us to truly step back from the noises and various distractions of the world and spend time with ourselves, and reflect (understand what it is that we like/dislike) in order to understand whether the current priorities we have set in our lives are actually worth the struggle
  • As we indulge in Self-Care, we also learn to say ‘no’ which allows us to disengage in any commitments which might have been a distraction and truly focus on things that matter to us, ultimately increasing productivity two-fold (Hurst, 2018)

2. Increased Self-Esteem

  • Continuously engaging in self-care practices (carving out a few minutes of our day for certain habits and doing them daily) allows for habits to be formed which then is stored in your subconscious mind 
  • As a result, we then start giving ourselves more importance and treat ourselves as we have intrinsic value
  • Increased self-esteem also discourages negative self-talk and overthinking, all contributors of anxiety (Hurst, n.d.)

3. Improvement in Mental Health

  • Self-Care is crucial to lowering stress levels; taking part in Self-Care practices will allow our mind to take a break from the stimulus/event triggering the stress response, allowing us to then be able to tackle the problem with a refreshed state of mind 
  • Self-Care allows us, in a sense to ‘replenish our resources’ and ‘refuel us’ (Michael, 2018)
  • Self-Care is also shown to lower anxiety as we are engaging in self-compassion and mindfulness

4. Strengthened Immune System

  • Studies show that most self-care practices activate our parasympathetic nervous system (PMS) allowing our body to rejuvenate and relax further protecting our immune system (Hurst, n.d.)
  • Self-Care practice includes exercising which is known to better physical, emotional and mental health in addition to boosting the immune system through a number of mechanisms (“Self Care & Supporting”, 2020)

5. Better Relationship with others

  • Self-Care allows us to understand “If I don’t take enough care of myself, I won’t be in the place to give to my loved ones either” (Michael, 2018)
  • Indulging in self-compassion will be one of the prime way we are to have compassion for others

Also Read: Top 10 Best Self Improvement Books of All Time

There are numerous ways one can indulge in self-care and PLEASE don’t make the excuse that you don’t have the time or you would rather use the time to complete other tasks or attend to other prior commitments. A particular quote I swear by is, “If you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to love anyone else.” Although this quote is a bit harsh, for me personally, this is the blunt truth which allows me to always make time for myself and do the littlest things for myself. Remember, self-care practices don’t need to take a lot of your time, they can be as simple as sitting down for 10 minutes and having a cup of tea while watching from outside your window or focusing on your breathing for as little as 5 minutes. There are a foray of self-care practices one can indulge in, some of which I will list down below to inspire you (they’re some of my favourites as well!):

  • Going for a 10-20 minute walk 
  • Exercising (Highly Recommended!)
  • Reading a book (If you aren’t a reader, take any book you like and make it a commitment to take out 15 minutes of your day to read some pages of it)
  • Journal
  • Learn to say “No”
  • Appreciate the little things 
  • Have a cup of tea/coffee in silence (Herbal teas such as chamomile teas and peppermint teas have numerous health benefits)
  • Declutter your living space (Again, Highly Recommended! Doing this always helps me gain control of my environment and focus on what I have to get done for the day)
  • Tech Detox (Highly Important; I would recommend putting your phone and computer away and engaging in DIY’s, journaling as mentioned above or simply relaxing and fully living in the present)
  • Sip on hot water with lemon 
  • Appreciate the little things 

The most important one would be to ‘Learn to Forgive yourself’. Engaging in this self-care practice is easier said than done and I understand that it would be extremely hard at times, but is crucial if you want to move on in life, grow and live without regrets. 

Read More: How to Write a Journal [8 Steps]

Shekhaa Hameed
Latest posts by Shekhaa Hameed (see all)
Sharing is Caring

Shekhaa Hameed

An aspiring lawyer and entrepreneur currently pursuing a double major in International Relations and Economics. She has been a guest speaker for the World Tolerance Summit and aims to bring a positive change to society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *