Importance of self-care
In these modern times every one of us are always busy with something. Life would often feel like a constantly flowing river flood where we are trying our best to ride it safely with a canoe. Specially us adults have a hard time dealing with pressure that’s in work, managing our family needs, maintain social calls and commitments, taking care of interpersonal relationships and so on and so forth.
In all this hustle we forget to take care of the most important and a permanent relationship of ours, our commitment that we have to our own selves. The only permanent person who is going to travel our whole life with us, is us. Also self-help is the easiest and the most effective form of help on can get. Not only will it benefit us with astounding results but we can start to learn a lot about ourselves in that process. Now let’s see more about self-love.
How not to practice self-help:
The self-care stigma as we can see is getting widely popular, especially in our lockdown its trending wild. Whenever we scroll through our Instagram, or when surfing through the internet, watching a video on YouTube, you would see at least a post daily on the title maybe like “This is why you are unhappy” or “This is why you fail every time” and being in our boring schedule we watch them. Though the posts are created with a good intent how could we be sure that it can always bring a positive change.
The virtual world is flooded with loads and loads of misconceptions. With no one left to correct them we start to accept them as the truth. So is most of the self-help tips. They use those words like “Psychology says”, “Studies show” and we believe the content without question. This tells us that we should question and check whether what we hear is a fact or a myth and that comes as a first step in self-help.
How and why to practice:
i) Dealing with emotional turbulence: Stress is the best example for extreme emotion gone out of control. It is what we feel when there is too much of anything that triggers our emotions to go out of check. May it be a work crisis, a relationship issue or a conflict with a friend, we tend to get stressed without us knowing.
The first thing to do to rectify it is to identify the cause, the stressor. When we do that, the next step is to change the way how we react to the stressor.
For example, if we face a stressor and our reaction is to start an eating binge, we can try to change our reaction, let’s say, by drinking a lot of water or going for a walk which tends to calm our mind then we have dealt with a particular stressor. We can apply the same to any kind of extreme emotional response.
ii) To control negative impulses: Normally, an impulsive reaction results from the tension that has been built to the point where the individual can no longer control it. The sudden sense of relief because acting on impulsive behavior is just short-lived, most of the time.
Strong feelings such as guilt and shame may follow, re iterative impulsive acts might lead to a number of offsetting consequences, such as greater amounts of emotional distress when experienced in a longer than usual duration.
Though it is always to share our troubles with someone we trust, sometimes we just might not be able to do it. In such situations we can learn some self-control measures and lay down firm ground rules which we can be assured will prevent us from acting out based on an impulse.
iii) Eliminating harmful habits: Everyone has harmful habits that they feel like to break, but instead of despising yourself for feeling so helpless to break them, we can use the basics of forming habits to our advantage. Habits work in this way
- Trigger -> Action -> Reward.
- The trigger as the name suggests is the pushing force that leads us to do an action. The action is how we respond to the trigger. The reward will be the benefit for the response we gave. As with all steps, a little bit of inspection and introspection is required to find out the trigger. Then comes examining our action that we do every time. The next step is trading it with a beneficial habit instead of a harmful one. Of course obviously we can’t change it overnight, so repeating the sequence during the triggers in necessary.
iv) Understanding ourselves: The best thing about practicing self-help is not to deal with problems but the things we learn about ourselves during the process. Most of us have never take the time to think about who we are, what we are like, what we like. We will understand much more when we start taking care of ourselves.
The self-care methods:
- Self-care can be classified for our convenience into 3 types:
- Physical: A sound mind in a sound body is what it takes at all to lead a healthy happy life. Any problem with our mind will reflect on our body and vice versa. The physical care includes our sleeping routine, eating habits and our physical state. Exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy foods, maintaining a sleep schedule all falls under the methods we can use for practicing physical self-care.
- Emotional: It is absolutely necessary to have a coping mechanism for dealing with the common emotions of anger, sadness, anxiety and similar. We can either share our emotions with a trusted partner or take some time off daily to reflect on our emotions. This also includes taking care of our social relations. Developing interpersonal skills and relationships will also develop our emotional well-being.
- Psychological: The way we see and perceive things greatly affect our mental health. Psychological help is just a mental help here. Training our mind with puzzles, introspection of thoughts, reading your favorite books, learning something new, all these will improve our mental capacity and overall health. Some may even find solace with spiritual practices like meditation, zen and so on, which is also beneficial in many ways.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Love is a virtue by itself. It does not matter if it’s to yourself or others. When you start caring for other along with caring for yourself, I am pretty sure that life will hit you with a different way of happiness.