Are you taking care of yourself ?

absHave you ever pondered on what is self care? Have you ever felt the need for the same? And have you ever made the efforts for the same? Caring for self is one of the most important things one can do and yet it is also one of the easiest things to forget or overlook.

Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.

Why is Self Care is Important for Women?
Women spend much of their lives nurturing others. When one finds focusing more on others than self, it burns out the person and hence feeling stressed out and run down. For those who spend time helping and caring for others, it is too easy to neglect own needs. Whether working or stay at home mothers eventually all women multi task and try to take care of their partners, children, pets, friends, family members, employers and employees. Add to that the numerous volunteer activities, errands, family functions, meetings, etc.-and there isn’t much time left for caring for self.

Women need to balance the stress and activity of daily life with activities that bring a sense of peace and well being to their minds and bodies. Women who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have low self-esteem and feel resentment. Self care means treating yourself as a worthwhile person and showing that you are valuable, competent and deserving.

What are Some Examples of Self Care Activities?
Remember, practicing self care does not have to cost much. In fact there are many things that you can do that are free or affordable.
= Talk openly with a trusted friend.
= Sit outside and listen to the birds.
= Practice breathing exercises.
= Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet.
= Get enough sleep.
= Take short breaks-rest and recharge
= Exercise a regularly
= Take a warm shower. Warm water is very soothing and relaxing for tight and tense muscles and for the mind.
= Listen to music you enjoy.
= Read a good book recommended by a friend.
= Gift and pamper yourself – go for a spa or massage
= Write three good things that you did each day
= Learn something new that stimulates your creativity
= Cultivate a hobby or passion

absWhy Self-Care Is Important
Sometimes people attempt to meet the needs of others before meeting their own needs and working to please and care for others often interferes with one’s self-care routine and can take a toll on a person’s well-being. People who have dependent personalities or experience depression, anxiety or co-dependency may also fail to meet their self-care needs. However, self-care is often considered to be an important aspect of resiliency: those who are able to adequately meet their needs are often able to better cope with everyday stressors.

Self care back up plan
Create a support system to share and bank on in times of need. Self care has many aspects like physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual, and one has to be aware of these needs and then only an attempt can be made to fulfil them. Seek professional help if you are finding it difficult to take care of yourself. Unless you don’t care for self how efficient can you be in the role of care give?

(Dr. Sunita Patel, personal counselor, psychotherapist, homeopath can be contacted on rsunitajaipatel@gmail.com)

-Dr. Sunita Patel

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