Self-care has remained a popular buzzword. While it continues to make headlines, it is still a hazy concept. Self-care is a relatively new idea in the West, although it has a long history in Eastern civilizations, dating back to antiquity. Many Asian cultures strive to regulate our energy economies before they get exhausted, taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to health.
Traditional Chinese medicine, for example, focuses on keeping “qi,” our vital life energy, from becoming exhausted or blocked. Qigong, meditation, and yoga are all strategies for regaining our inner balance and avoiding burnout.
Western-style self-care, too, supports a proactive approach to our physical and mental welfare by combining self-soothing and relaxation with resilience-enhancing measures. Self-care is an investment in our brains and bodies that pays off in the long run. It entails taking good care of our physical health, including eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. However, it also requires taking care of our thoughts and emotions, including scheduling time for activities that feed our spirits and learning how to recharge our energies effectively.
Why is self-care important?
We may quickly burn out if we do not exercise essential self-care. We won’t be able to relax or find outlets for our anxieties. The less we think of ourselves, the less we’ll have to give; we can’t pour from an empty cup. Clients are frequently given self-care guidance in the form of specific relaxing practices. However, this is missing the point. The fundamental essence of self-care consists of two components: self-awareness and positive self-talk.
First and foremost, we must comprehend our genuine requirements. Depending on our interests and inclinations, what restores us varies significantly from person to person. Our main goal is to get our clients to think about what they need – their unique set of self-care activities.
Self-care checklists are:
Nurturing Vs depleting activities
The things we do every day can either improve or detract from our overall well-being. While we all have things we ‘need’ to do (such as work, caring for others, or running errands), it’s especially easy to overlook the activities that give us life and energy. The purpose of this worksheet, Nurturing vs Depleting Activities, is to assist the reader in becoming more conscious of what contributes to or depletes their mood and energy.
The reader is asked to list their everyday duties from dawn to evening to complete the assignment. They then determine whether each activity is nourishing (energizing, positive, and treatment) or depleting (draining their energy and happiness). They’re invited to reflect at the end of the activity on balance between the two and how they may incorporate more nurturing moments into their life.
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Self-care assessment wheel
Self-care assessment wheels are helpful for a variety of reasons.
- First and foremost, they vividly depict the various aspects of self-care.
- Second, they provide a more holistic picture of how we are doing in terms of self-care at a glance.
- Third, they remind us that all the domains of self-care are interconnected and how we perform in all of them defines us as a person.
Self-care evaluation wheels typically cover the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional worlds.
Assessment wheels are perfect for demonstrating the significance of achieving balance in these areas of our lives. Olga Phoenix’s Self-Care Wheel is the most excellent and most extensively used self-care assessment wheel. It comprises two sheets: one with general pertinent subjects entered into the wheel as inspiration and prompts, and the other with an empty wheel for the customer to fill out.
Walking in nature, taking up hobbies, scheduling “me-time,” various relaxation techniques, and making more time for friends are the most widely recommended self-care practices. Self-care is all about determining what we require – our energy-draining and energy-boosting tactics. In each scenario, they will differ significantly. What energizes an extrovert may, on the other hand, drain an introvert much more.
Bathing, treating oneself with costly beauty products, and lighting scented candles are familiar sensual routines.
- For ten minutes, practice balanced breathing. You have to sit comfortably with an upright spine and breathe in on a six-count, then breathe out on a six-count. It is one of the most basic and practical exercises for changing one’s state that I am aware of.
- When roaming in nature, taking in the hues of all the gorgeous flowers and trees.
Emotional intelligence tool
Another important aspect of self-care is improving our emotional intelligence. We also need a rudimentary grasp of our main emotional patterns to comprehend what drains and refreshes us. The core components of emotional intelligence, according to American psychologist Daniel Goleman (1995) in Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, are self-control, persistence, and the ability to motivate ourselves; combined with the ability to empathize and read emotions in others; and, most importantly, an understanding of our core emotional processes. Greater self-mastery comes from understanding our emotional routines. Knowing our emotional selves requires objective self-observation. Self-observation like this requires taking a step back from our experience and creating an awareness of our conscious thought that floats above it rather than becoming entangled in it.
The art of self-care includes some fundamentals, such as eating and sleeping well, getting regular exercise, paying attention to our breath, and ensuring that our self-talk is kind. To various people, self-care means different things. Self-care is primarily about managing our energy correctly, as the ancients in Asia knew well. To truly appreciate what drains us and restores us, we must first understand what drains us. As a result, self-awareness, including emotional intelligence, is a necessary precursor for self-care. It could be yoga or knitting that helps us recharge, but it could also be kickboxing or kitesurfing. Introverts will value alone time, while extroverts may find that being with others reenergizes them. So instead of advising people to light scented candles or take bubble baths, we should encourage them to learn about their individual needs and how to meet them — whatever they may be.
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Commit to implementing your self-care routine while permitting yourself to experiment with how you do it. Some days will be easier than others to exercise self-care, while others will feel impossible. Things will inevitably get in the way, an unavoidable aspect of life. It’s critical to let go of the reins a little when this happens. Don’t be too hard on yourself; every day is a new opportunity to get back on track. It’s unlikely that your self-care routine will be flawless.
Allow yourself to experiment with how you will meet your daily self-care goals, such as getting daily movement and nourishing your mind. Make a basic structure but keep your techniques adaptable.