Care for You, By You

8 Feb

Be you, Love you, All ways, Always

Alexandra Elle

The Stress of city life – The hubbub, the noise, the competition, the frustrations, balancing relationships, are all reasons enough for day to day life to be taxing.

The daily travails of dodging traffic, negotiating crowded sidewalks, dealing with the demands of family life, juggling heavy workloads, attending to the alerts on our smartphones can leave us feeling super stressed.

One way to loosen the grip that stress has on us is by practicing Self Care.

Self Care is all about refueling yourself; Paying attention to your needs.

Its like the oxygen mask that airline officials require you to wear first before helping a co-passenger.

Many equate self care with pampering oneself; an indulgence for people with time and money. They look at it as a luxury that doesn’t agree with them and so write it off.

Self Care is much larger than pampering oneself – Its about sensing our inner needs and taking action to get these needs met so that we find more joy and purpose in our lives.

Many of us are not used to paying attention to our inner states. We deliberately ignore what we are actually feeling and tune ourselves to feeling what we are ‘supposed’ to feel. Self sacrifice is revered in our culture and attending to our needs is sometimes construed as being selfish or lazy. To avoid being labelled any of these we ignore the desperate pleas from our inner core, continue to ‘manage it all’ and as a result are persistently overwhelmed.

Its time we rethink how we define self care – I would call it an active powerful choice to purposefully engage in activities that are required to maintain optimal physical and mental health

It all begins with being aware of what we do daily and how it makes us feel.

When the demands made on our time, energy and emotions are more than we can handle that’s when its vital to infuse self care into our daily lives.

A few activities you could do are

  1. Sit by the seaside or in the park and watch the waves or watch children play
  2. Make one change in your diet……Eat an extra helping of veggies/avoid sugar
  3. Listen to music you enjoy…….Create a playlist
  4. Take a warm shower.
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create a ‘No’ list…. [ No checking emails/Instagram between 12 and 4 pm etc]
  7. Follow up with medical care …. Do not put off check ups
  8. Spend time with loved ones. Call them if physically meeting them is not possible.
  9. Do at least one relaxing activity every day
  10. Do one thing that makes you happy
  11. Spend a few minutes oxygenating your body……take deep breathes; puff out your abdomen and slowly breath out
  12. Help someone……open the elevator door for someone, give your seat to a standing commuter.
  13. Journal- write out your feelings
  14. Laugh ……watch a funny video
  15. Light a scented candle in your room

These are a few suggestions; Over time you will figure your own rhythm, routine and understand what works for you.

What’s important to know is that Self Care is a daily practice, not a once in a while splurge.

Paying attention to your needs is a skill you need to sharpen especially since it’s the only way to refocus and come back to daily living refreshed and in a happier state of mind.

 

 

 

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