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Mental HealthThought

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Sangita Unni @sangitalyft...

                                                   Self Care 101

Self-care is fundamental to live healthily and happily with yourself and also in relationships with others. Especially during these uncertain times, when life is restricted to your home, where college or work can be attended to in a nice shirt and pajamas, self-care seems to take a back seat. Other concerns and priorities are focused on more than the self. However, Self Care is important to avoid stress, anxiety, loneliness, burnout, and other overwhelming feelings that make everything grey.

I hear your questions.
Why is taking care of oneself so critical to mental wellness? What is self-care and does this mean I love myself so much that I am seen as selfish? What does ‘Self-care’ really mean?

Let’s look into this.
Self-care is everything or anything we do “deliberately” and actively to take care of the ‘whole’ of us- our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. And though it sounds like an effortless thing to do, we give minuscule attention to it. The keyword here is “deliberate” because let’s face it, whenit, when was the last time you did something for yourself just to feel fresh and distressed?. It needs proactive effort and motivation. And to be honest, it’s not just you, most of us forget, or simply let it go- while driving in the fast lane of life
It’s only understandable if you ask “why?”. Well, it’s research-backed and simply put, it makes you feel good, it improves your self-esteem and you develop a more positive outlook on life. When you are focused on nurturing yourself to the best version of yourself at the moment, you are developing positive feelings about yourself, and that energy is radiated outside of you- others also benefit. ITs a win-win.
One of the most common questions I get asked about it is “isn’t self-care selfish?” and I always reply with another question,” Is doing something just for yourself to help you and others, selfish?”
I hope you answered no. Self-care is Different from being selfish. While you are being considerate of yourself, you are also more available to be considerate of others. You feel good, and people around you feel good in turn.
So How do we do this?
Each person’s self-care routine is different and unique to them But the basic first step towards this is tuning into what your physical body needs for e.g. exercise, healthy food, and sleep. Sleep and exercise also affect your mental health. Hence building a routine in place for getting an adequate measure of both is useful. Gratitude has a highly positive impact on both your mental and emotional health. Offering a service to those in need, walking a dog or any type of volunteering also has a large influence on your mental and emotional health. There is enough and more scientific evidence to prove this. Much research has been done to understand how gratitude and volunteer services impact your psychological wellness positively.
However, Self-care is not just this; it’s also prioritizing your needs, exploring your safe space, practice saying ‘No’, being kind to yourself, and much more.
There is no universal self-care routine and this makes it so beautiful because while you explore your routine, you’ll find yourself more.
Here’s a list you can dip into
Give yourself a break when you need it, you don’t have to overwork yourself. Pause, breathe with awareness-it really helps to clear your mind.
Have a light jog or any physical activity-releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals in your body)
Being mindful of your surroundings is also a key element of self-care. Take some time in your day where you just notice and be present completely in noticing what is around you. Be mindful of the colors, smell, touch, and taste. This really helps you feel present at the moment making your mind less stressed.
Learning to say no is also very important. It is important to know when you are overdoing something and you want to say no but you didn’t. This in turn makes you feel negative and low in motivation. This is where it’s necessary that you say “No” and stand up for yourself.

You are valuable enough to take care of yourself.
Lyftly Minds will support you with this. Download now.

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