Self-care has always been important. But with the pandemic adding more stressors to your daily life, practicing self-care regularly shouldn’t be a luxury. Taking a timeout for yourself should be a necessity.
What is self-care and why is it important?
The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) calls self-care the foundation of healthcare, even though it falls outside the formal health and social care system. Both the ISF and the World Health Organization define self-care as your ability to stay healthy or cope with illness without the support of a healthcare provider.
Self-care helps you recharge and rejuvenate yourself, helping you become healthier in the long run. Not observing self-care may lead to burnout, depression, anxiety, and other problems mental and physical.
7 things to do to self-care
The ISF introduces seven pillars necessary to implement self-care, which include:
- Health literacy - understanding the basic health information and services.
- Mental wellbeing - involves understanding your body and engaging in health screening.
- Physical activity - practicing “moderate-intensity” physical activity regularly, like sports.
- Healthy eating - having a balanced diet.
- Risk avoidance or mitigation - reducing behaviors that may increase the risk of disease or death, such as vices.
- Good hygiene - engaging in practices that help prevent the spread of disease.
- Rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics, and medicines – effectively managing your health with medicines, products, or services, where appropriate.
What are the benefits of self-care?
- Reduce stress and anxiety - When you give yourself time to relax, you can lift your mood and reduce the impact of negative feelings surrounding you.
- Improve cognitive functions - Taking time out can improve your focus and concentration and make you more productive.
- Boost self-esteem - Showing yourself some well-deserved TLC can calm your senses and help you see yourself in a more positive light.
- Improve mental health - Prioritizing yourself when times get tough can help you manage mental health issues and prevent them from getting worse.
7 easy ways to care for yourself
It may sound complicated. However, there are many simple things you can do to practice self-care. Here are seven easy ways to care for yourself:
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep deprivation can affect your decision-making abilities, focus, and memory. A proper night’s rest can make you feel good and well-prepared for the day ahead. Bedtime isn’t just for kids. It adds routine to your life and it ensures that you get quality sleep.
2. Don't forget to hydrate.
Drinking water first thing in the morning helps you replenish the water you lost while you were sleeping. Being hydrated helps boost energy, flush out toxins, and support healthy blood flow.
3. Go out for walks.
Walking is the simplest way to be more active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Going outdoors can also give you a break from staying cooped up in your room and helps lighten your mood. Studies have also shown that midday exercises can help improve your focus and cognitive function. You can thank your lunch break stroll for making you sharper for your 1 p.m. meeting.
4. Take a relaxing bath.
Bathing not only cleanses your body, but it can also improve heart health, manage your core body temperature and benefit your muscles, joints, and bones. According to a 2018 study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, immersion bathing (a.k.a. lounging around in a tub) offers mental and physical benefits. Participants who engaged in routine immersion bathing said it erased their fatigue, improved skin condition, and even caused them to smile more.
5. Listen to music.
Music makes you feel good. Studies have found that music increases feelings of happiness, thus reducing stress. Slow-paced, classical music, or music within the 60-80 bpm range, can help you relax more.
6. Eat well.
Food is your fuel, and getting enough of it should power you up and make you stronger and healthier. Make sure to eat a balanced diet daily and avoid fads that involve depriving yourself of food. Feeling hungry just makes you miserable.
7. Spend quality time with friends and family.
Staying connected with the people you love is also a form of self-care. Being around your community reminds you that you are not alone and you have people who can help you feel better right when you need them most.
Remember to observe self-care regularly to manage stress and stay healthy. Every aspect of your total wellbeing will benefit from a little self-love. Another way to exemplify self-care? Protect your health and lessen your worries. You can do that by making sure you’re ready to take care of your health and total wellbeing. Check out FWD Life Insurance health protection plans like Set For Health, Kan Mend, and Health Bundle. Sign up here to talk to a financial advisor and know what plan is right for you!