It's no question that there is a lot of stress in daily life right now. With a deadly pandemic, distance learning, working from home, not to mention an extremely tight election - there are plenty of stressors weighing on everyone's minds right now.
Sometimes it's really just best to walk away from those stressors and spend some time focusing on self care. During times of stress it is especially important to take time for self care. Being present with your mind, body & emotions is a great way to check in with yourself and improve your overall quality of life.
Some might think that self care simply equates to pampering yourself, but it's so much more than treating yourself to a mani-pedi or facial! There are a actually 6 different types of Self Care - physical, mental, emotional, practical, social, spiritual. A great benefit of these different self care techniques is that they may start within one of these areas, but ultimately benefit your entire well-being.
There are many forms of physical self care. Such as getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, taking a bath or getting some movement - ie. going for a walk, practicing yoga or dancing around your house (really whatever makes you feel happy!). These physical forms of self care have many positive benefits - it can lower your blood pressure, improve heart health, increase your memory & brain function, reduce feelings of anxiety & depression, help with physical pain and ultimately increase your life span. (All super great things!)
Plus, physical self care doesn't have to take long. Sometimes it can be as simple as drinking a glass of water, taking a quick walk, or drinking a smoothie. Even if you only have a few moments you can (and should) squeeze in some time for some physical self care in your day.
Emotional self care is an incredibly important and sometimes underrated form of self care. Practices such as journaling, seeing a therapist, creating art or making music are so vital to your mental & emotional health. Creating inner peace creates outer peace and the world can always use more peace.
Mental self care is another very important type of self care and something that should be a regular habit for your entire life. Activities such as reading, solving puzzles, playing strategy games, or going to a museum keep your mind sharp and enrich your life.
Social self care activities nurture & enrich the relationships in our lives. Brunch with friends (or zoom calls, thanks pandemic), phone calls with mom or attending a party (even a socially distanced get together) - can really help your overall well-being. I think a lot of us learned this early on in the shut down.
I like to think of practical self care as a preventive or proactive form of self love. Practices such as organizing your closet, taking a business development class or creating a budget can reduce your stress down the road. It's what's called getting out ahead of it. That just makes good sense!
Spiritual self care activities nurture your spirit and enhance your world/universal view. Practices such as meditation, yoga, spending time in nature or attending your place of worship enrich your spiritual life & keep things in perspective.
No matter what form of self care you choose, they all enhance your whole well-being. So be it mental, physical, emotional, social, practical or spiritual - whether you just have a few moments or several hours - be sure to take some time for yourself. It's so important both during times of great stress (hello 2020!) or just normal daily life. Take good care of you!