Taking care of yourself is important for both your mental and physical health. Some people haven’t learned how to take good care of themselves. Sometimes they haven’t been taught to self care, so it is not a part of their daily lives. However, self care is super important! It ensures you stay healthy, that you know what you need and that you can be there for other people without forgetting about yourself.
You can learn how to self care
Do you want to take better care of yourself? Try and pay attention to the following principles:
Cherishing yourself is a form of self care. It consists of putting yourself first, for example by saying no to things you don’t feel right doing. Or of asking for help, because that will give you the feeling that you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
Expressing positive affirmations can also help you, for example saying: “I am good enough”. It is also important to take good care of yourself physically, by eating healthy, paying attention to enough exercise such as sports or yoga, and regularly taking time to rest and relax. In addition, it is useful to know what you love and dislike about yourself. You can do this by making a list of your likes and dislikes. Putting your own pleasure first is healthy, so pay attention to your “likes” a bit more often!
We often need other people to tell us everything will be alright. But, how great would it be if you could do this yourself! It helps if you have a few strategies or activities at hand, of which you know they can reassure you or help you calm down. You can make a list of these (in NiceDay or on paper), that you can fall back on when you’re going through a difficult time. Think about taking a walk, reading, taking a bath, calling a friend, cooking or cleaning up your house. Read this blog for more ideas.
Improve your self-discipline
Another form of self care is improving your self-discipline. Knowing that you can push yourself to do something even if you don’t necessarily feel like it, is good for you! But also vice versa; not doing something when you should be doing it is good for you. It enhances your perseverance and self-esteem. You can practice this by, for example, doing two things every day, that you don’t really feel like doing. And, not doing two things that you actually should do.
The fourth principle is developing self-compassion, being less strict on yourself. You can read more about self-compassion in this blog. But, in conclusion self-compassion means that you’re just as kind towards yourself as you are towards others, you become aware of your own stern voice and try to take on a non-judgmental attitude. You can almost see this as a conversation with yourself, an internal dialogue. In this dialogue you look at a situation in which you were strict on yourself, but without judgement. You determine what your mistake was and what someone else’s or the circumstances were. You define what you have learned and what you could do differently in the future, so that you can leave the situation behind. It’s important that you allow yourself to be human. Everyone makes mistakes. You do too, and that’s okay.
By practicing these four principles, you learn to take care of yourself. Because you are important!
Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.
– Katie Reed
Write down when you have taken good care of yourself and when you should’ve done that a little bit better, in your NiceDay diary. This will help you gain insight into your learning process towards self care.