Adulthood is overrated. The length of effects and stress brought about by the sometimes overwhelming responsibilities of adulthood is underestimated. Workload, deadlines, work at home, family relationship, financial responsibilities—the list could go on and on. When you factor in social activities and what social media tells you to consume, you will relish the opportunity to trade places with that baby who has nothing to worry about. But that’s next to impossible.
Especially these days. We wake up each day not knowing exactly what to expect. There’s good news and bad news and we are all on an emotional roller coaster ride. Our bodies and brains are adversely affected by stress, fear, and anxiety. And chronic stress can create long-term health issues.
But of course, there’s a way to be at peace with yourself and the world we are in—embrace the numerous responsibilities but focus on what is essential. And this includes self-care. Yes, self-care, believe it or not!
So, what really is self-care?
More formally, self-care is “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.” It is vital for building resilience toward those stressors in life that we can’t eliminate.
Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. By that, many of us overlook this very important ‘responsibility’. And this is why ‘deliberately’ is one of the most important words in the definition. We need to be conscious of our well-being before we can achieve true self-care.
It can start from very simple acts or habits, like not checking emails at night when you know it would affect your sleep or bigger things like going for a vacation or booking a massage.
And why is it important?
Is it true that self-care borders to being selfish? Hmmm, well what’s so wrong about pleasing yourself (as long as you don’t undermine anyone in the process)? So, that’s a big NO. This is not about doing something at the expense of the other. But in fact, it is about doing something to enable you to actually do more of the other. When we pay attention to our well-being, we are not considering our needs alone. We are reinvigorating ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves for the people around us. Like a mother finding the time to rest the body and mind or do an evening self-care routine so she will have a richer self to take care of her child.
Self-care encourages us to maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves so that we can transmit the positive energy created on to others.
How to practice it?
But self-care isn’t just about a one-time trip to the massage therapist or vacation. It is best practiced with consistency. Like a small evening routine to make you feel rested when you wake up and face another day. You can also add a few bigger steps during the weekend or every other week or so. The key here is not waiting for yourself to reach body and mind fatigue before doing something but regularly and consistently unloading the negatives to make space for the positive. To consistently build on small habits and steps to create a sturdier, happier version of yourself.
What’s the best way to do that?
There is a lot of stuff online that could give you ideas. And it’s always more fun to find someone or a buddy to do those things together. But always choose the best feeling path. What motivates you and inspires you is different than the person next door. So look for the things that make you feel alive.
At the end of it all, every creature on Earth, including us, human beings, have limitations. And self-care is simply about reminding us to recognize and respect those boundaries while living our best lives.