As an empty lantern cannot provide light; similarly, we need the fuel of self-care that allows our light to shine brightly. Self-care is not a luxury, but a priority and a necessity. In this article, we will understand the actual meanings of self-care, and clarify some misconceptions about it. Additionally, we’ll discuss what is self care?
Of course, everyone takes care of themselves. We mean it’s natural that we love our self and also care for it, but how we do this? Hers, the confusion begins. Everyone has their way of taking care of themselves self, and they consider it the most accurate method of self-care but what is self care in actual? What is the self care definition? And what is the real self care meaning?
What Is Self Care?
It has broad meanings, but in a nutshell, it is about being kind and caring to yourself. The term self-care characterizes all the actions and activities that an individual might perform to achieve optimal mental and physical health.
What is Self care definition?
Mental health professionals consider the abilities of a person to take care of the activities of daily life (ADL) as mental self-care. These activities include taking proper and balanced food, brushing teeth, taking a bath, wearing clean and comfortable clothes, and looking after medical concerns. While, physical self-care is all about proper sleep, daily exercise, and of course, ADL’s.
“What is self-care definition” is not only a question to answer but it has deeper meaning other than just definition of self-care. Moreover, its impact are physical, social, and spiritual.
A Little Elaboration of Self-Care Definition:
The activities to attain emotional well-being or relaxation, such as meditation, counseling, or journaling, are also referred to as self-care. Integration of self-compassion in anyone’s life that helps to prevent every possibility of collapse. Managing anger, anxiety, frustration, and sadness is also an important aspect of self-care and termed care of emotional self.
Make it clear that self-care meaning is not a selfish act. When we do not care about our personal physical and emotional needs before trying to resolve these issues of others, the decline may begin in our own emotional and physical needs.
What Self Care Isn’t?
Every one of us has different requirements for self-care. But in general, it is explained as:
‘’’Finding a state of good physical and mental health, meeting personal emotional needs, reducing stress and anxiety from life. Moreover, maintaining relationships of both platonic and romantic kind, and keeping balance in personal, academic, or professional life”.
Here, one more thing is noticeable that everything that feels good is not self-care. Unhealthy coping mechanism attracts us, and we get tempted towards smoking, alcohol consumption, over-eating, and risk-taking. All these self-destructive activities provide temporary relief, although these activities are challenging to the emotions.
On the other side, an individual, when accurately meets their needs of care, often finds themselves in a better position to assist others in meeting their needs.
Although the activities such as attending the basic daily needs of our self, getting a massage or a haircut, having a trip to the favorite destination place, eating at one’s favorite place, or getting anything that gives you, please also include in self-care. But sometimes, after attaining these entire conditions, one may experience difficulty with self-care. There are several reasons for that:
- Self care skills can be impaired by the cognitive decline associated with dementia.
- Depression is the main factor that leads to a lack of self-care. And causes conditions like a sense of self-hatred, lack of motivation, and loss of appetite.
- Sometimes mental conditions also affect the abilities of a person to take care of their self. Some of these conditions include delusion or hallucination, and Psychosis.
- People who faced any violence or abuse in their past may also find it hard to maintain good caring habits.
Types of self-care:
Mainly there are five types of self care. These five types define this concept quite effectively. And we are going to highlight it below.
The full engagement of an individual with their emotions is the best emotional self-care. Facing your emotions head-on actually will help you to resolve stress issues. Maybe most of us have a misperception that pushing down the feelings of anger and sadness is a good practice. But just keep in mind that emotions are not good or bad themselves, but the way we respond to them makes the difference.
It is a healthy activity to feel every kind of emotion you have. Whether they are good or bad, sad or happy, and beautiful or ugly, just feel your emotions in depth and control them according to the situations and requirements.
Sensory Self Care:
Keeping your mind calm and composed is all about sensory self-care. It is an ability to tune into the sensational details of all around. It helps you to keep living in your present. Being in the present helps you, so let go the miseries of past and anxieties of the coming future. It is about practicing sensory self-care. Additionally, it includes all of the senses of sight, smell, taste, and sound.
Physical Care for yourself:
We think our body is the only place for us to live in. What do you think about it?
It is really important to take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. Physical Self Care meaning involves physical aspects of health also. Being physically healthy is not only for bodily well-being, but a healthy body keeps a healthy mind.
Social Care For Yourself:
Man is a social animal, and socialization is simply in our genes. For a large diversity of people, happiness is all about connecting with other people. Maybe everyone considers it differently depending on whether a person is an introvert or an extrovert. But no one could remain all alone on his or her own. Everyone needs a social circle of their kind around them that keeps them motivated, charged, and supported. So, socially caring about yourself to do things with others that make you feel better.
Getting in touch with your values and what matters for you is something directly linked with your soul. And keeping your soul-healthy is the true meaning of spiritual self-care. If you think spiritual self-care is about being religious, then you’re completely wrong. It is also applicable to agonistics and atheists people. It is a journey to explore your soul. Reading poetry, walk in nature, and attending any service, whether it is religious or humanistic, all are the practices of spiritual self-care.
Benefits of self care:
Do you know why is it actually important?
Frankly speaking, it is difficult to discuss all of the health benefits in this small article. But in one line, there are so many benefits of it. Let’s discuss some major benefits of self-care here:
Know Your Worth:
It boosts the self-esteem and confidence of an individual. It produces positive feelings to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s self. Moreover, it motivates you to be good to yourself. Treat yourself and your needs as a priority. This will discourage the negative feelings and critical inner-self talk. So, you’ll feel better.
Stress in a little dose is healthy to give us a nudge to finish our tasks and to meet deadlines but constant stress and anxiety convert into depression and it hurts our physical and mental health. It cuts off the toxic effects of stress, improves mood, and boosts confidence and energy level. Practicing meditation, eating healthy and connecting with your family, friends, and loved ones are perfect stress-relieving activities.
Start making time for the things that matter in your life and learn to say “NO” to the things that make you overburdened and over-extend. Moreover, being friendlier with yourself helps you to pay proper attention to what you are doing. This will also bring your aims into sharper focus.
Improves Physical Health:
It includes the physical well being of your body. Better self-care means a better immune system and lesser stress. It also includes adequate sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper hygiene.
Resistance to Diseases:
Connective to the previous point it is evident that most of the self-care activities charge your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This PNS is a rejuvenating system mode that helps your body to fortify its immune system. So, just stay healthy by caring for yourself.
A healthy Balance in Life:
To stay sharp, motivated, and progressive in personal and professional life it is not necessary to overburden yourself. The workaholism accompanies stress and exhaustion. It can make you disorganized and less productive. Overwork can lead to depression, insomnia, anxiety, heart diseases, and emotional depletion. Following professional self-care instructions such as setting professional boundaries and taking intermediate breaks during work can keep you stay healthy, sharp, and motivated.
Be good to yourself, And Give more:
Being compassionate to others requires being good to yourself first. Self-care is not self-centering but it is a way to treat yourself in a way that you deserve. Helping others is like filling a bucket. And you cannot fill other’s buckets if you don’t have enough of your own.
Practicing Care for Yourself:
Practicing self-care meaning is learning about your physical, emotional, and professional needs. By understanding your needs and learning to put yourself first, will make you able to take care of yourself even more batter and allows you to fulfill your other responsibilities more progressively.
You can practice self-care in the following ways:
- Practicing emotional caring for your own self
- Practicing professional caring
- Additionally, Physical self-care practicing
- Practicing spiritual self-care
- And Improved self-care approach
Practicing Emotional Care:
Emotional aspect covers the following areas to improve:
Today’s world is full of stress. The major sources of stress are a lot to do with school, college, office work, or taking care of others. We have simply no control over stress producers, but we can control reactions to stress. By practicing techniques to get relaxed will enhance productivity, energy, and motivation. You can use the following techniques to reduce stress.
- Take a regular morning walk of 25-30 minutes.
- Devote at least 5-30minutes for meditation in the morning.
- Practice deep breathing and perform progressive muscle relaxation by alternatively tensing and relaxing the muscles throughout the body.
- Sit straight in a quiet and calm place, close your eyes, and use your senses to imagine a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
- You can also try YOGA exercises.
- Take a hot shower or bath to get more relaxed
Manage Some Fun Time Activities:
Engaging yourself in fun-loving activities cut down your stress. Involve yourself in entertaining and enjoyable activities with family and friends. You can choose from the following:
- Read and re-read your favorite author’s books.
- Or, Plan to watch a movie with friends.
- And, Engage yourself in some hobby to get relaxed.
- You can use some stress relievers such as stress busters, stress-relieving toys, and adult coloring books.
- You may plan a date night once in a month or week with your spouse or friends.
- Listen to melodious music, or you can even dance to get relaxed.
Create Positive Surroundings:
- Spend quality time with your family and friends; it will make you feel good about yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who respect your feelings, care for you, and help you when you need them.
- Try to remain with the people having positive energy and avoid people with a negative attitude.
Never Avoid Counseling:
There is no need to get afraid of seeking professionals’ help. In case of having severe stress, anxiety, or depression, it is necessary to consult a professional for help. Never consider it your weakness to share your problems with a devoted friend or a professional. It will not break you down but strengthen you in every way.
- Counseling will prepare you to deal with daily worries and stress.
- It will guide you towards getting an objective opinion.
- Gradually will encourage you for a better lifestyle.
Never underestimate your abilities but always validate and encourage yourself. Being positive in every way is the key to ultimate success. Think something positive, precise, powerful, and provoking about you. Such as:
- I am the best.
- I can do this better than anyone else.
- And, I believe in me.
- I am created to make difficulties easy for myself and others.
Practicing Professional Self-care:
Professional life is the most stressed part of our life. We are so much engaged in professional activities that we have forgotten to practice professional self-care. Practicing professional self-care meaning:
Must Take Regular Breaks:
It is very important to take regular breaks during your professional activities. Working in a non-stop and break less routine make you exhausted sooner. Moreover, it also affects your abilities and performance.
- Take small breaks to get up, walk around, and to rehydrate yourself.
- Make a phone call to a friend or parents to refresh and reenergize you.
- Stretch yourself after some work of an hour or two, talk to co-workers, and clear your thoughts at work when it feels stressed.
Don’t Take Work Home:
Keeping a balance between work life and personal life is the real secret of happiness. Keep your work restricted to your office or workplace; never take it with you at home. Not only avoid taking physical work home but try not to think about your office work and worries at home.
In the case of working from home, it is suggested to schedule your work hours according to your convenience. And never sacrifice your family time for extra work hours.
Practicing Physical Care:
Physical health is the basic component of self-care. A healthy body keeps a healthy mind, and all the possible wealth, whether mental, communal, or financial, all are dependent on being physically healthy.
Daily exercise for 30 minutes, at least. You can choose some fun physical activities that can keep you active. Try to keep the morning walk as an essential part of your life.
- Dance to keep you fit.
- Gardening is also good exercise.
- Moreover, do some stretch Yoga exercise.
- Join a gym for a proper workout.
- Choose a healthy activity that can contribute to body workouts such as swimming, skipping, running, cycling, etc.
Food keeps us alive. It provides energy, protein, and other essentials to keep us active and healthy. Mostly we do not pay attention to our diet because of so many reasons. Our lifestyle, tough working routines, busy schedules restrict us to cook something healthy for ourselves. But it is essential to modify our food routine and include a healthy diet in our meals.
- Avoid fat-containing products or use low-fat products
- Include a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits in your diet
- Moreover, eat dark leafy vegetables and whole grains
- Never starve for too long and keep taking regular meals and snacks
- Always intake sufficient water to get hydrated
Taking sleep of 7-9hours is an essential part of a healthy routine. Adequate sleep resolves stress and anxiety issues and keeps you fresh from performing more progressively in every field of life.
- Strictly follow your bed-time routine and never change it due to workload or any other reasons.
- Make your bedroom a calm, peaceful, and comfortable place to sleep. Use comfortable bedding and soft light in your bedroom
- Avoid using a cell phone before sleep; Moreover, it badly affects your sleeping habits.
Intimacy Is Necessary:
Physical touch is a way to reduce stress. It provides you comfort and reassurance. Moreover, hug your friends, parents, or kids to keep you relaxed. Neglecting sex life can also create so many psychological issues and increases stress. Be intimate with your partner, and make love to be healthy and happy.
Physical self-care also requires proper monitoring of your health after regular intervals. Schedule regular checkups and always remain aware of your bodily tissues. Traveling is the most effective technique to keep you physically healthy. Moreover, it refreshes you, prepare you for the upcoming challenges, releases stress, and provides you unique and memorable experiences of life.
Spiritual Care For Yourself:
Spiritual self-care definition is ‘’exploring the needs of your soul and then keep care of these needs’’. Our soul indeed feels what that our mind ignores. Keeping your soul healthy for better self-care, you must be spiritually satisfied.
- Never leave daily meditation or a kind of mindfulness practice.
- Be creative and utilize your creativity in any kind of activity that provides strength to your soul, such as do paint, write poetry, sing songs, make clay pots, etc.
- Attend religious services if you are a believer in any religion.
- Moreover, serve humanity and try to play your part in helping and saving nature
Improve Self-care Approach:
You need to be a little more concern about you in case of improving self-care. Actually, caring for yourself is giving the world the best of you, not the left of you.
- Keeping yourself first is not being selfish at all. But being more caring about yourself helps you to care for others in a focused way.
- Never hesitate to get help from others and always ask for help when you need it.
- Time management is also very important to keep yourself more productive and less stressed.
- Listen to your heart only. No one can keep happy everyone. Only care for those who care for you.
Hope now your are now pretty much clear about what is self care, self care definition, and self care meanings and now your are very much able to understand self care meanings.
Life is a precious gift, and it is better to utilize this gift to have a more meaningful existence. We accept you have so many responsibilities in your life. They range from paying electricity and utility bills to searching for a job, dealing effectively with your boss, getting worried about your kid’s school progress to taking the wife to the shopping, there is a huge list of problems that require your attention.
Life is very short. Please doing exist only but try to live it. Deal with the issues of daily life, but never sacrifice your well-being for this. Keep feeling small but the most elegant and decent moments of life. Try to feel joyful cuddling of a baby, have a bubble bath, sip tea while enjoying raindrops racing down, observe blooming flowers and chirping birds, and lost in the beauty of marvelous sunrises and sunsets.
Let us know about your opinion regarding self-care and tell us how you enjoy your life and give importance to yourself.
Take care of yourself.