Self-care, in simple words, is taking care of yourself. In today’s day and age of hustle culture, burnout is common – and the only way to prevent it is to take care of yourself. As a wise person once said, you cannot pour from an empty cup. No matter how indulgent it sounds, it is absolutely crucial for your mental as well as physical health to take time out for yourself. Now, self-care is personal. Some may like to dance their stress away and some may find comfort in curling up with a good book. Self-care requires consistency. It has to be sustainable enough to practice on a regular basis so you can really feel its benefits. This list is in no way exhaustive – pick and choose what appeals to you and hopefully, by the end of this article you will have found a few more ways to unwind and recalibrate.
Move your body
If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for hours, then take a few minutes to stretch. Move your neck, rotate your wrists and stretch out your legs. Take a break and have a mini 10-minute dance party in your living room before going back to the humdrum of daily life. It will get your blood flowing.
It has very real healing powers, no lie! On a weekend, take a walk through a park or even have a picnic with your friends. Get some wine, some cheese and fruits – make it fun! Get your dose of sunshine and fresh air. Nature grounds you and makes you feel more at peace. Try it out!
Be kind to your mind
Made a mistake at work? Said something rude to someone you care about? Forgive yourself! Instead of beating yourself up about it, remember that you are human and humans make mistakes. It doesn’t make you a bad person. As a part of your self-care ritual, make amends to people you have hurt or rectify any errors that have been weighing on your mind. And if you can’t - darling, let it go!
Take your meds
Yep, this counts as self-care too! Set an alarm and take your vitamins and daily meds on time.
Set healthy boundaries
If you have trouble saying no or being firm with people, try setting some personal boundaries. Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves by setting our personal limits. Your boundaries may be physical, intellectual, sexual, financial or emotional. For example, the next time your boss asks you to work on a weekend, firmly say no instead of being guilted into another working weekend. Respect your mind and body and listen to its needs.
Get enough nutrition
If you’ve been missing meals may be time to take a step back and revaluate how our diet affects our moods and our energy levels. Take time to cook your favourite meal and settle down to actually savour it – not eat it mindlessly while you work on your next big project.
Pick up a hobby
Having a hobby gives your “thinking mind” a break. It can be yoga, pottery, dancing or basically anything that makes you feel fulfilled and happy.
Remember, self-care isn’t one-size-fits-all. Make your very own self-care plan before you reach your breaking point. The goal of self-care is to build resilience and happiness, find joy in the little things. Now, go take a breather!