Many of us can agree, when we feel stressed, we tend to stop doing things that replenish our energy and keep us going through challenging phases. However, self-care is vital to maintain both our bodies’ physical and mental components and also to achieve an overall healthy state of wellness.
What is self-care? To sum it up, it’s the active participation of improving your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, along with your quality of life. Self-care can reduce stress levels, and balance your mind and body, all critical to attaining wellness for optimal functioning.
The benefits of self-care run the gamut, from helping you to “be your best version of you,” to enhancing your quality of life and boosting your physical and mental resources to better deal with daily stressors.
So, if there are so many health advantages, why is self-care so difficult for many people to practice regularly?
For starters, the concept of self-care varies from person to person. Think about it: we are all different individuals with different likes and dislikes. The key is to genuinely listen to your inner voice to discover what makes you satisfied and happy.
The problem is that many of us don’t always take the necessary time to listen to our inner voice as we are programmed to anticipate the needs of those we care about first. Additionally, many people struggle with the notion of putting themselves “first.” Many of us were raised to think we should put others before ourselves and put our own needs on the back burner.
Another problem is that we’ve been conditioned by our societal norms that to be good enough we have to keep going no matter what. That to have a good work ethic, be a model employee, or to earn our living, means to drive ourselves beyond healthy limits to meet unrealistic goals. These unrealistic goals may be placed on us by others or placed on us by ourselves.
We’ve been taught to place all of our energy and drive into achieving goals rather than focusing on healthy amounts of work, attention, skills, abilities, and creativity into the process itself. When we’re chasing a goal without practicing presence at the moment during every day of the process, we disregard our self-care needs and exhaust ourselves.
Here are two other reasons self-care can be challenging:
- We mix-up the concepts of rescuing and caring. Many people don’t practice self-care because they are too busy trying to save everyone around them. However, should learn their own lessons in life, even if it is an uncomfortable or painful process. You may think you are caring by “rescuing” someone else from unpleasant experiences, but in the end, you are denying them the opportunity to face their own challenges and grow stronger – or learn a lesson from doing so. Taking on the responsibilities that do not belong to us also creates unnecessary karma.
- We are in the habit of establishing relationships based on neediness. Many people tend to fall in love with the idea of “being in love” because they are exposed to media and movies that depict love as needing to be with another person around the clock. But when we give from this place, many people end up giving too much. Rather than spend every waking hour pining over that other person – and as a result, not focusing on ourselves, we can ultimately be better served by focusing on ourselves. With this strategy, we are better able to give from a place of wholeness, without anticipating or requiring anything in return.
- We’ve been conditioned to put others first at all costs. When money is tight, the first thing we ration is self-care.
Why Self-Care Is So Crucial
Stress impacts the entire body, minds included, according to the American Institute of Stress, It weakens the immune system, disrupts the gastrointestinal system and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Stress also makes it challenging to get a good night’s sleep, often leading to depression, and in some cases, contributes to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
While stress is pretty much unavoidable in the world, from significant life disruptions to minor daily frustrations, being stressed out is simply a part of life. However, it’s when stress is severe that health issues can arise.
This is where self-care comes in – and by practicing self-care regularly, you can better manage everyday stress, so it doesn’t evolve into a bigger health problem.
Here are several simple ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine:
- Get enough rest. When there are countless things on your to-do list, eight hours of sleep each night can feel indulgent. However, when you aren’t rested properly, your productivity can take a big hit. In addition, a sleep-deprived brain is less resilient to stress, which can make minor stressors feel enormous. Our energy needs are dynamic as is our need for rest. If you’re body signals you to rest during the day, honor your body’s needs by taking a nap or going to be earlier than usual.
- Just say no. As noted above, others’ overall happiness should not have to come at your expense. If taking on more responsibility at work or putting more on your plate in your personal life than you can handle, it’s important to realize you can always say “no.”
- Spend time with a pet. Did you know that spending time with your dog or cat can benefit your mental health? Petting and stroking animals have been shown to elevate feel-good hormones while lowering stress levels, and if you exercise outside alongside your pet, you get triple the benefits (animal therapy, fresh air outside, and physical exercise). Science has also shown that the purring of a cat soothes our nervous system.
- Meditate. Even a five- or 10- minute meditation can serve you well. If you can find 15 or 20 minutes, even better. If you need expert guidance, there are numerous apps, like Headspace or Calm, for guided meditations or expert tips.
- Do what makes you happy. Try to laugh at least once every day, steer clear of negatively when possible, and make time for the people you care about the most. Also, make a point of reflecting on the good things in your life as often as possible.
- Consider Gemstone and Diamond Therapy. Gemstone and Diamond Therapy is a complementary alternative modality that follows well-defined procedures to support the body’s ability to self-heal physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, using high-quality drilled and spherical crystals. As part of the process, gemstone necklaces are laid on your body and applied above and around it. Gemstone aura sprays are also sometimes applied above your body, depending on your treatment type. Diamonds are used by highly skilled practitioners and may also be applied directly to the body, the aura or used to repair components of the energetic anatomy such as the chakras, micro vortexes or toroid field. Generally, treatments last an hour. At the end of a session, you will feel calm, at peace and more relaxed. (Keep in mind: Gemstone and Diamond Therapy work differently with different people, so it’s crucial to visit a qualified, experienced practitioner).
The Bottom Line
Self-care should be anything that helps you be the best version of yourself. Try starting with the basics – from getting enough rest each day to just saying “no” to excessive requests.
By following the above tips, you will be well on your way to developing healthy habits that can support your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health to live your healthiest and happiest life possible. For further information regarding Gemstone and Diamond Therapy and a complimentary consultation with a practitioner, book your free consultation here.