They say you can't pour from an empty cup. Yet self- care tends to take a backseat for many of us. So what is self-care and how can it be made a sustainable part of our wellness?
Welcome to your weekly read from Nourish Healthy Habits. A space where we will share and connect on all habits- big and small, good or not so good! This week for our healthy living tip we try to focus our attention on self-care.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you” – Anne Lamott.”
The art of balancing our own self care with all the other zillion things going around is something a lot of us find it challenging at times. This past Saturday- the 24th of July was International self care day and honestly I had no idea a day like this even existed until I came across a social media post somewhere! I was a bit surprised and also curious as to why a designated day for something that should be a part of our daily habits? So what exactly is self-care and how can we take time to recharge ourselves? Taking care of your whole self , goes beyond physical or outward care and can't be felt until we internalize the process and make it work for us. A holistic approach to self - care entails
I had no idea until I studied and dug deeper into the idea of self-care.
Why did I still not feel recharged after coming back from a nice pani-medi? Why did I still feel drained out after a weekend with friends and connecting with them? While one aspect of my self care was being met, the other wasn't. Like any other habit, self care too needs to be built into our daily lives till it comes naturally. There is enough research that will tell you the importance of taking care of YOU so you can be present physically, emotionally and mentally for those all around you. I love to give the example of the flight attendant-
"put your oxygen masks first, before assisting others"
We often times don't realize how important it is to unplug to recharge ourselves, until we start running on an empty tank and then we begin to feel the physical strain, the mental fatigue and the emotional drain out. So how do we do this....how do we begin with this habit and make it a part of our wellbeing? Well like any other habit building, its important to start small and be aware of what your self-care might look like for you.
What you eat- Eating healthy meals and taking time to think about what you eat and how you eat it.
How much movement are you adding to your day- Include daily active minutes to increase your happy hormones.
How much sleep are you getting- Are you rested? Do you get anywhere between 6-8 hours of sound sleep?
Taking some time to reflect on your thoughts- Meditation, journaling and spending some time in quite is always helpful.
Being aware of your triggers.
Taking digital breaks-to unwind your mind
EMOTIONAL WELL BEING
"Me" time- What brings a smile to your face? what makes your soul happy?
Engaging in a hobby- reading, art, cooking, gardening, singing, playing an instrument...the list is endless.
Building social support- your friends and your family.
This list is in no way an all inclusive list. However it does highlight some essential aspects of our daily self-care. Coming to look at it closely- you will see how each self care need might be interconnected and interdependent on the other. Here is fun little activity that I had posted on my IG page sometime back that highlighted some self-care activities.
So what is the take home message here..... One thing that I have come to realize is that the balancing art of self-care starts from being aware of our own unique self care needs and what drains our energy and what replenishes it for us. Knowing what you need and when you need will help you design your own self care routine and will help you feel more physically, mentally and emotionally present for your loved ones. Having that awareness helped me understand, why even while I did engage in self-care activities it did not feel rejuvenating, because it was not serving me a need at that very moment. My self care was not build in as a habit- but rather a once in a while chore- that did not feel fulfilling or purposeful. So here is a question for you- How will you define your self-care needs?