The Well

Tag: Self-care

Nurture Yourself

by Andrew Shaw on Nov.15, 2009, under Archives

Self care is an essential part of establishing and sustaining good health and well-being.  Developing regular self-care habits can significantly improve the quality of your life and help you to feel refreshed and replenished.  In a world that has become increasingly hectic and stressful, making time for yourself and taking “time outs” is extremely important and beneficial.  You can practice self care by focusing on three main areas of your life; mental/emotional, physical and spiritual.

Care for Your Mind- We are often overwhelmed by too many responsibilities and demands on our time.  We may spread ourselves thin by taking on too much or we may be overly self-critical expecting flawlessness.  Of course we have to take care of our day-to-day duties, stay motivated, work hard, but, it’s also important to set limits and have reasonable expectations.  Be aware of how many times you use the words “I should…”, and know that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes.  Congratulate yourself on doing your best and remember you don’t have to be perfect.  Practice self-kindness.  Be gentle with yourself.  Be accepting and forgive yourself with ease.  Treat yourself how you would treat a good friend who needed care and compassion.  Find the right balance of alone time and time with others.  Sometimes your mental health will be improved by engagement and social activity.  If you’re having a difficult time emotionally, having a friend or someone to talk things out with can be very helpful.  Other times, you may need to be on your own, taking time to be quiet, to do things for yourself, to be creative, or just to zone out for awhile.  You may be able to use this alone time to take care of your personal chores, to write or to play a musical instrument, to listen to music, to read a book, or to watch a movie.    

Care for Your Body- Taking good care of your physical health means treating your body well.  Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, visit the doctor regularly.  Beyond this, do things that would make your body smile.  While you have the ability to move, do so!  Play a sport, stretch, dance, walk in the park on a sunny day.  Rather than hitting the drive-thru, take time to cook a delicious and nutritious meal.  Slow down and really enjoy every bite of that meal.  At least once a week, do something to pamper and nourish yourself.  Get a massage or a facial, get that manicure you’ve been wanting, go to a yoga class.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Take a lazy cat nap, enjoy a candlelit bubble bath, stretch out and relax on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, lie on the grass in the sun while you watch the clouds pass by.

Care for Your Spirit- Develop a practice that strengthens and upholds your spirit.  This can be defined in many different ways.  It may be prayer, meditation, attending religious services, self-reflection, serving others, or joining a community of like-minded people.  Building up your spirit, faith, and interconnectedness can be a very positive source and support for well-being.  Make time to deepen your knowledge of yourself and the universe.  Read sacred or spiritual literature and engage in meaningful discussions with others.  Identify and define your core beliefs, values and life priorities.  Find ways to contribute to the well-being of the planet, to helping and serving others.  Practice loving-kindness, compassion and forgiveness.  Seek to discover meaning and purpose in your life, and do the things which bring you joy, happiness and fulfillment.  

Be Well

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