Self care is self-esteem.
Spending most of your days working hard to reach the destinations you have set for yourself is not a simple job. Whether that destination is finishing a first book, editing, or meeting a publishing deadline, it consumes your time and energy on unhealthy levels.
And in meeting the deadlines, we put ourselves through so much pressure, our body and mind being neglecting become a usual thing.
Admit it, we’ve all been there.
What we need to focus on the goals with a rational mind and face some blocks in our way is to embed a routine in our life that won’t feel like we are wasting our time or ignoring our goals. Feeling guilting is the last thing you want to think about while taking care of yourself.
First, let’s see what territory we are heading towards:
What Is Self Care?
Have you ever googled ‘what is self care?’ Or maybe you read Wikipedia’s article about self care.
No? I have. Definition of self-care on google says, ‘the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health’. Sounds great, but when you try taking those “actions” with no external guide, it’s hard not to fall on your face.
Self-care has become a big deal recently, and rightfully so. But for me self care isn’t about big steps and changing your life upside down, it’s about baby steps toward a less cluttered life. It’s not a new concept, neither it is unpopular. In this growing anxious world, everyone is doing what they can to take care of themselves.
There are a great deal of key dimensions of self care like emotional, physical, psychological, social, intellectual, spiritual and sensory, etc.
Overwhelming, isn’t it? But as I said, baby steps. So let’s look at some ways that help create a healthy routine.
Having a proper hydration plan throughout the day helps you to stay energetic and prevent any fatigue you might feel because of dehydration. Some of you might already have a proper hydration schedule, but if you don’t, let’s make you one.
On average, drinking 2-3 liters of water a day is the right choice. You should scatter drinking throughout the day to avoid drinking too much water. Drinking 3-4 liters of water in a short period of time can cause hyponatremia or intoxication.
If you feel like, you can’t keep up with all this, then you can use a water tracking app. There’s a lot of them to help you stay hydrated. My favorite is an app called plant nanny. This app tells you how much water you should drink according to your body type (height and weight). It sets daily alarms with enough time in between to balance the consumption.
With each glass you drink, it water this cute plant animation so both of you get hydrated and grow together. You can use any other tracker if it doesn’t suit you or you can just set reminders in your device to remind you when to drink.
Starting your day with meditation of any kind stabilizes your mind to stay focused the whole day. In my words, meditation is the deletion button for all the caches in your mind.
If you are more into motion work, then exercising or stretching is another option to keep your body balanced and calm. If you want something to assist you through meditation or exercise, then you can use apps. I use calm for a long time now, and it has a premium plan, but it works just fine for free.
Free ‘Me’ Time
There’s nothing more important than giving yourself some space and time. I know with isolation making a big impact on everyone’s life, no one wants to be alone. But I’m not talking about forcing yourself to be alone. I’m telling you to relax and enjoy your company as if there’s no one around (even if there is). In this me time, there’s no work and deadlines, just you and free time.
Do you want to go out to buy candies? Do it. Wanna help your neighbors move in? Or just want to walk through the woods alone?
Do anything you can fit in with your mood. Your me-time can be anything from 5 minutes to an hour, it doesn’t matter how short or long it is.
Your day can’t go well without a proper night. Our body functions accordingly with our sleeping schedule. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can slow you down, hence keeping a proper sleeping pattern is important.
First, you need to know your body’s needs. How many hours of sleep did you take the day when you felt refresh? Note that down. For an average human, a sleep of 7-9 hours is recommended. But having a sleep of fewer than 6 hours is a big no. Self-care or not, you shouldn’t be messing with your rest.
Most people stop eating their regular food and start eating strict diet food when it comes to self-care and body positivity. And while it might be good for you but changing your diet on a big scale can impact your mental health in the wrong direction.
So instead of adopting a healthy diet, focus on adding healthy food slowly, so your mind won’t be turned off by it. Look at your diet and note what nutrients are lacking in it. Try not to think about elimination first cause if you eliminate food and the healthy food turns out to become your duty instead of eating time, then you have to start all over again.
The phone is a major distraction during working hours. You grab it to check the time and next thing you know; you are on YouTube watching cat videos. Performing phone detox, especially during working hours, helps you stay focused on what needs to be done.
You can try using the old method of leaving your phone in the other room. Chrome extension ‘digital detox’ is very in use, another chrome extension that I think can help with it is StayFocusd.
To start StayFocusd in Chrome’s incognito mode, click the icon at the top right corner and select Tools > Extensions. Look for the StayFocusd extension and check the “Allow in incognito” checkbox.
Goals And Breaks
Most of us set goals to stay motivated, and it helps, but if it is not done properly, you might feel hesitant and lazy with all the extensive work to reach the goals.
Breaks in between are important for your mind to process the information. You can use the Pomodoro technique where time is broken into 25 minutes to meet the goals followed by a small break. Each time you start the cycle, the breaks get bigger, which ends at a 15-30 minutes’ break.
You can add as many steps in your self-care routine as you like, the list isn’t short. While I have mentioned some that you should involve in your daily life. There are some that can be used according to what you are facing. So let’s look at them too.
Self Care For Stressed And Overwhelming Times
- Go outside.
- Talk to a friend or family member.
- Take a shower.
- Get a healthy drink of your choice.
- Learn happy feet dance move.
- Celebrates minor achievements.
- Breathing exercise.
Self Care For Down And Sad Times
- Take a nap.
- Write a pleasant thing about yourself.
- Read a book or article (or blog).
- Grab a healthy snack of your choice.
- Take a break.
- Draw or paint something.
Life is always going to be rough and tough, but thinking that you will take care of yourself when you are done with achievements is not the right thing to do. To stay strong through and through, you need to be a little mushy on yourself sometimes.
Tell me what you do to keep yourself healthy and sweet? And go drink some water.