Importance of Self-Care

14 years ago, I took my first yoga class. 12 years ago, I learned to meditate. And since then, I have taken the initiative to take good care of myself. Over the years, I have realised the importance of self-care and especially with my career, in order for me to help others, I must first help myself. From mental stress, to physical stress, to spiritual stress, I have learned techniques to take good care of myself.

It is really easy to get carried away with work and other tasks. Its even easier to neglect yourself and continue to overwork just to get by. Many of you have often heard me refer to the Ayurvedic saying: Overuse, Underuse, and Misuse of Time, Senses, and Action is what leads to illness. For example, overuse of time is to stay up late just to watch a tv show that you could easily record and watch later. Underuse of senses would be to only eat the same tastes such as only eating sweet and salty foods, which means that you aren’t tasting the other tastes (sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent). Underuse of action would simply be to not exercise and live a sedentary life. True self care means that you have a balance over your time, use of senses, and what you do or don’t do. Here are my top tips for self-care that I apply myself and many of my clients benefit from.

  • Just Say No. You do not always have to agree to help everyone or show up to everywhere. If you feel that you will be overextending and wearing yourself down, then do not be afraid to say no.
  • Do one thing everyday that makes you happy. This doesn’t have to be for very long, but spend at least 5 minutes a day doing something that you love. This often changes for me. But at the moment, I love to take my baby boy for a walk every day.
  • Take up a hobby. Whether its going golf on the weekends, running, painting, dance, or any other activity, its great to get involved and start some sort of project. This will help you get away from “life” and take time for yourself to do something that makes you happy. Personally, I love to crochet and I am currently working on a blanket.
  • Have social support. Getting together with family and friends is another great way to destress. Family game night, coffee with a friend, or an evening out are some great ways to treat yourself.
  • Take a nice long walk. Walking is a great way to release any negative energy and clear your mind.
  • Go outside. Fresh air does the mind and body a lot of good. Breathing in fresh air can help you to relax and gain a more fresh perspective.
  • Exercise. Go to the gym, join a fitness class, take a yoga class, dance, or go for a run. Exercise is not only good for your cardiovascular system and for physical strength, but it is also excellent for your mental health and creating balance in your life.
  • Listen to music. And of course you can also dance to music, but music is another great way to de-stress.
  • Unplug yourself. We live in a world that is controlled by technology. Sometimes its important to unplug yourself from technology. I put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” every night so that I am not disturbed until the morning. It also helps to leave your phone, computers, tablets, etc in another room.
  • Declutter. Statistically, the more clutter you have, the more stress you feel. Keep your living and work area as clean as possible. I recommend doing a deep clean every few months. It always helps to get rid of things you don’t use or no longer need and that creates space for new things to come in. Decluttering often goes hand in hand with retail therapy. Changing things around in your space can often lead to greater creativity.

Do you already take part in the things listed above? Or do you have any other self-care tips? Do you often ignore your own health and always put others first? Self-care is very important for your health and wellbeing. When you take the time to take care of yourself, you’ll automatically feel better and feel happier. Self-care is as important as brushing your teeth. We are all busy, so start with 5 minutes and slowly increase the time you spend having fun.

Enjoy.

Health and Happiness,

Varsha