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Personal self-care matters, because if you do not take care of yourself enough, you will deteriorate to the point of compromising your health and your life´s quality.
However, despite knowing how crucial this is, it is an area easily neglected by many people in which constantly the time invested in it is not enough or you only pay attention to some aspects leaving abandoned the others.
The idea is to propose you 9 wonderful ideas for your self-care day so that you can design an effective personal self-care routine tailored to your needs.
But first we need to see what this concept means and how valuable it is when you apply it in your life.
What is Self-Care?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it has to do with the ability of a person, to focus on the care and maintenance of his/her health, the prevention of diseases and the care of the latter. These actions in favor of health care are carried out deliberately and on their own initiative.
It is any group of actions that you carry out in favor of your integral health and well-being, but you do it conscientiously, as an innate quality. The main objective of all this goes beyond guaranteeing your survival and becomes a continuous search to improve your quality of life. It is an act of self-love.
A key question that you can ask yourself every day that connects with this topic and that can become an exercise in self-awareness is, «What do I need at this moment to feel good? » in terms of health and well-being.
The honest answer that you give yourself will be your compass to indicate what you should do as a priority for your personal self-care plan. What works for you will not necessarily be a formula that will serve everyone else since taking care of yourself is partly subjective and situational, as we will see later.
Many times you are waiting for other people to be aware of your needs and attend to them. Practicing self-care begins by becoming aware that you are responsible, unless you have a physical or mental impediment that leads you to depend on others, on your own well-being and that you can extend it to those close to you such as your family.
Although it is associated more with taking care of the physical part, there are different types of self-care.
Types of Self-Care
Although there are several classifications, basically self-care is aligned with the human dimensions or 4 bodies, that are, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and usually the social part is added because human reality is interdependent and in the interaction with others there are also ways to improve your well-being.
These forms or types of self-care are interconnected. In many cases, they depend on each other, so a keyword is balance. Like a standard car that has 4 tires to ride and if one or more are low or flat it affects its ability to continue rolling and traveling.
In this same way, you should make sure that you are paying time and attention to all these ways to take care of yourself.
It is one of the most obvious and basic. You live in a body that lacks spare parts, it is your temple, your primary home.
It includes all the activities and healthy habits that help you relax, that promote physical activities, that provide you with energy such as proper rest and an excellent and balanced diet.
Self-assessment questions – how is my diet currently?; am I sleeping enough?; do I have a regular routine of physical exercises, or I live a sedentary life?; do I proactively monitor or take care of my general health or only react when something happens to me?
You can track these commitments by keeping a journal for this purpose.
Unlike the physical part, which demands some attention, the emotional part is one that many overlook.
This dimension requires you to make a conscious choice to provide the self-care necessary to avoid collapse when you allow many discomforts to accumulate without paying attention to them.
It requires that you commit to your emotions, you manage them, but first for this you must elevate your self-awareness.
It implies that you stop driving on automatic pilot and take a closer look at why I reacted like this to this event or experience; what is here that bothers me so much or upsets me; what happened today that makes me feel so euphoric or happy, etc.
The emotions you experience indicate something to you, but you must turn on your fine tune to discover what they want to communicate to you, instead of ignoring them and following your routine as usual.
Self-assessment questions – do you consider that you have healthy practices to manage your emotions or do you allow yourself to be carried away by them?; do you react on automatic pilot or sometimes in ways that you feel were exaggerated?; do you frequently experience stress, have trouble relaxing, or are very anxious?; do you do something that helps you recharge emotionally?
As with emotional self-care, this is an area that many also ignore or neglect until there is a serious consequence.
It has to do with the time and care that you intentionally invest in caring for your mind, your intellectual acuity, continuing to connect neurons through new learning, stimulating critical and creative thinking, but also preserving your mental hygiene.
Which thoughts you pay the most attention to, those that you feel empowered or those that scare you and fill you with anxiety. What do you do on a regular basis to lower your stress levels? Although rest and fluid intake, especially water, are also located in the physical area, all this affects your mental health.
Self-assessment questions – do you learn something new on a regular basis to keep your mind active and update yourself?; do you read or listen audiobooks?; are you doing something to take care of your mental health and your brain?
There is a phrase that says that we are not simply human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience. You are more than flesh and bones.
Here comes all the cares to build your soul, your connection with a life purpose, your values, your sense of contribution and everything that really matters to you.
You may wonder what you are currently doing to feel more calm and serene, to connect with the present, live in congruence with what you believe and feel, self-fulfillment and feel that you are really leaving a legacy.
Self-assessment questions – have you spent time discovering what your mission or purpose in life is?; are you practicing something that is edifying for your soul?; do you practice gratitude intentionally and daily?
It is related to your personal connection with others and how through activities that you choose to carry out with other people, you grow, learn, nourish yourself with energy and feel good and, in that same sense, you contribute to them.
When you take care of this dimension you are more aware that you are not alone so you can feel better equipped when there are challenging circumstances. Even if you do not go to others and solve everything on your own, paying in favor of these relationships helps you feel accompanied and increases your motivation.
On the other hand, it also implies recognizing if you have relationships that are being toxic and unhealthy for you and you act accordingly. A person who practices social self-care knows that the decision of who to let in and who to take out of his life is entirely his own.
Self-assessment questions – what are you doing to nurture and care for your most important relationships?; do you spend enough face-to-face time to talk, connect, and share with the people you love?; how do you usually handle relationships that you consider become toxic or harmful to you?
How can we improve our self-care day?
This is where the 9 wonderful ideas come into play that we are going to share with you considering each of the indicated areas. They are, however, ideas that do not apply to everyone, they are not one size fit all because what for one person is somewhat relaxing, for example, for another can generate the opposite effect.
You must therefore find a way to personalize each suggested activity for you.
The crucial concept is to adopt what helps you take care of yourself, that increases your health and well-being. Preferably, it should be something that you like to do and recharges you and not that it makes you uncomfortable or upset.
We suggest that you view this list of healthy habits as a menu and make it your goal to start with one of them. Many changes at once, unless you are very disciplined, can be overwhelming and exhausting, which is contradictory to the concept of personal self-care.
Although the choice is yours, we encourage you to start with the easier or more attractive for you. OK, this is a habit that you need to adopt or strengthen, but that does not imply a huge effort for you.
When you start something new remember that your subconscious mind can see it as a threat, something unknown and it resists these changes. That is why many people start motivated and in a short time, old habits return and take their place again.
Focus on a small change to ignite the flame of enthusiasm. Gradually you add more until you have managed to impact your self-care habits in a considerable way.
Note: below is an affiliate link for a product I love. If you take any action or purchase, after clicking the link I would earn a commission that would help me continue to improve this site and create more valuable content.
One book that is very revealing on how to tackle new habits is James Clear’s Atomic Habits. We recommend it.
Plan in advance your self-care activities each week. Do not improvise or “wing” it. Share these plans with someone who is your accountability partner to increase your commitment. Set up a meeting (call or online conversation every week) with that partner for follow-up.
9 Wonderful Ideas for your Self-Care Day or Self-Care Sunday
As some of these practices promote more than one dimension of self-care, we are going to list them and place some initials indicating the area they cover. PSC for physical self-care; ESC emotional self-care; MSC mental self-care; SSC spiritual self-care and SOSC social self-care.
Ready for your Self-Care tips!
#1 Review and reflect about your eating habits (PSC, MSC)
If you are very conscious about what they are like, ask yourself the following question: what do I eat on a regular basis provides me with energy and helps me maintain my health? Be honest about it. This is not to judge you but to take action and improve.
If you have little awareness of what you eat and when, keep a diary for a week, it is something that nutritionists usually recommend, so that you validate your eating patterns and you can improve them.
#2 Get enough sleep for you (PSC, MSC, SSC)
If you wake up full of energy it is a good indicator. If, on the other hand, you find it difficult to get up, you drag the blanket or your energy level is low, they are signs that the sleep is not restorative and perhaps it is insufficient. Ideally, at least 6 to 8 hours of good sleep each night.
#3 Practice physical exercises regularly (PSC, ESC)
Remember that physical activity increases serotonin levels, which also improves your mood and energy.
Shift your paradigm and think of less usual physical activities that connect with things you like, for example dancing, riding a bicycle, walks through a natural setting with a more energetic walking pace, boxing, taekwondo, jumping rope, etc. If you choose this option, set a weekly frequency and an amount of time per session (even 10 minutes).
#4 Connect with laughter at least once a day (PSC, ESC, SSC, SOSC)
Laughter therapy specialists highlight how children laugh many times a day and as adults grow we become less smiling, more serious and opaque.
Laughter has wonderful therapeutic powers for your physical, mental, emotional and, of course, social health when shared with your friends or loved ones. There are days when you can be so busy or absorbed with your responsibilities that you can go through the day without laughing.
If you take this option, put a reminder on your phone and spend at least 5 intentional minutes laughing. If you require an external stimulus, find a video, something that you find funny and enjoy your moment of laughter and joy.
Laugh in front of a mirror, this physical action sends a message to your brain that you feel good and this in turn can respond in your favor by helping you to get out of any downward spiral emotionally.
#5 Do an activity that is relaxing for you (PSC, ESC, MSC, SSC)
Ideally, you should practice this daily, but if you feel far from that goal, start with at least one dose weekly. Pick something that is relaxing for you, helps you focus, slows down, gives you peace, and that you can enjoy.
Common options include: meditation, yoga, visualizations, mindful breathing, relaxing massages, uplifting reading, listening to certain types of music. However, there are those who would prefer activities such as sewing, knitting, taking a walk in nature, listening to bineural sounds, watching and listening to running water or seeing a fountain, etc.
If you practice it daily, make it at least 10 to 15 minutes; If you do it weekly, do it for a minimum of 30 minutes.
#6 Share quality time with people you love (ESC, SSC, SOSC)
Quality time refers to the time in which you really disconnect from work issues, mobile devices and dedicate yourself to paying your attention and your senses to the people who are important to you; you listen, see, connect and talk with those friends or family, laugh with some stories and generate a deep, personal and human connection; create memorable moments.
That the goal is at least once a week; If you have a challenging schedule, try to include this habit at least 2 times a month.
#7 Every week do at least one activity that you really enjoy (ESC, SSC)
Even if you love your job and enjoy it a lot, think of another option to break your routine and make it something you love (examples: watching a movie, walking with your pet, listening to a certain type of music, visiting a place you love, giving yourself a relaxing bath, contemplate a sunrise or sunset or the sea, savor that fruit tea, ride a bicycle, climb, etc).
You already have the idea, generate your list of things that you love so that you can choose one per week.
Here, unlike point 5, it doesn’t have to be something that relaxes you, it can be something that gets your pulse racing as long as you enjoy it. Spend at least 30 minutes on this.
#8 Practice mindful gratitude (MSC, ESC, SSC)
While ago, I participated in a wellness challenge and one of the activities was to give thanks for a whole day and for no specific reason to everything around you, to your body and to other people.
You just said thanks bed, thank you shower, thank you legs or thank you hands. You did not say thank you bed for …
This serves several purposes, to create the habit of practicing gratitude that, according to multiple scientific investigations, offers you numerous benefits; help you become aware of all the blessings and privileges that surround you and not take everything for granted.
Living a whole day in gratitude mode which helps you to be in a more optimistic state of mind and how you pay attention to even minimal things like a pen or a sheet of paper (when giving thanks to these objects) is a powerful action of mindfulness .
#9 Praise yourself on purpose (MSC, ESC)
Take care of the words you say to yourself not only when speaking out loud but also those that you repeat mentally and continuously.
Mental self-care also involves paying attention to those thoughts that can be limiting or self-sabotaging. Dr. Daniel Amen, a brain specialist, recommends that when you have pessimistic thoughts, you have to write them to get them out of your mind and confront them.
Many times they are not real, they are just beliefs lodged in your subconscious mind, taking away your confidence and affecting your behavior and results. To help you move to a more optimistic plane, you can rely on the repetition of positive affirmations such as those of self-love, in which you praise yourself so that you get used to them naturally.
Lousie Hay also encouraged you to repeat many of these statements in front of a mirror to reinforce your self-esteem and love for yourself.
You enjoyed our post 9 Wonderful Ideas for your Self-Care Day [Self-Care Sunday].
How are you doing with your personal care? You consider yourself committed to this or you pay attention to it when you remember it. What other suggestions would you add?
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