The entire world feels increasingly tired, busy, underpaid and overworked. This is especially the case in US, a country that keeps going down in terms of illness rates, injury rates, overall health and life expectancy. Such statistics are also similar when looking at finances.
When it comes to the big things, it is the community and policymakers that need to make changes. However, this does not mean that you cannot do anything when you feel as mentioned above. Self-care is one of the things that you can do.
Unfortunately, most people do not actually understand self-care in a proper way. This is why you absolutely need to know the following about what self-care is and why you want to consider it.
Self-care is practically a powerful and active choice you make to engage in activities that will help you maintain or gain an optimal overall health level. This does not just include your physical side. It also includes your well-being’s spiritual, social, emotional and psychological components.
During the eighties, healthcare professionals practically coined the self-care concept in order to encourage patients to actively engage in some healthy stress management and lifestyle choices. Usually, a holistic healthcare approach was employed.
When self-care first started being used, indications were pretty basic and highly expected for us:
- Making sure you eat right
- Avoiding problematic activities like drinking and smoking
As time passed, healthcare professionals started to include more holistic recommendations, like social engagement, meditation, prayer, life coaching and therapy.
Nowadays, we need to talk about much more than what was initially included in self-care. This includes the following important branches of such a practice.
Most self-care concepts are actually based on taking proper care of one’s body. This is why it includes different recommendations, like:
- Drinking as much water as the body needs.
- Making sure body fat percentage is not too high.
- Monitoring caloric intake.
- Sleeping for at least 7 or 8 hours per night.
- Regular exercising.
If you want to take care of yourself, you need to take care of your mind. This is where psychological self-care comes in. The problem is that there is no universal solution that works. Everything is based on the individual and the psychological problems that have to be addressed. If you suffer from a mental health disorder, this can include taking medication and/or using therapy based on what a psychiatrist or a psychologist recommends. Also, you might need to learn how to fight self-talk while addressing psychological and emotional triggers.
This is highly-related to psychological self-care since there is a clear overlap between emotions and our psyche. If you are experiencing too much stress, bereavement or grief, emotional self-care will help you by letting you actually take the time you need to grieve for the loss of a loved one, a relationship or whatever might be affecting you.
In some cases, you have to talk about the feelings you have with a counselor or a friend. Whenever a depression exists, it has to be addressed, especially if it is so debilitating that it keeps you from leaving your house.
Most adults do not properly understand what happens in their emotional life. What has to be remembered is that emotions always impact careers, relationships and even physical self-care.
You do not need to practice any faith in order to practice effective spiritual self-care. We have to realize that spirituality is unique for the individual. Spiritual self-care means spending time meditating or praying but it also means going for a longer walk so you can contemplate meaning and purpose. The goal is to find a purpose and a meaning in your life. Spirituality helps build strong social support while easing emotional and psychological distress.
You cannot just work and keep working forever. Social self-care should be a part of your life. It simply involves having fun with friends and family members. Sometimes, all it takes is going out for a cup of coffee with your BFF. In others, it means a date with your wife/husband. Even talking about a conflict helps a lot in terms of social self-care.
Self-Care Benefits To Be Aware Of
Practicing the different types of self-care mentioned above helps out a lot but most people have no idea what the benefits of self-care are. In order to highlight why you should practice self-care, let’s see some of the main benefits.
Physical Health Benefits Of Self-Care
When you follow self-care basics, like proper diets, eliminating alcohol and exercising, you instantly gain access to important benefits:
- Your life is longer.
- Reduced risks of different diseases like cancer, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
- Better sleep.
- Overall energy boost.
- Body stiffness and pain are reduced.
- As you age, the risk of fractures and osteoporosis are reduced.
When you also employ emotional and spiritual self-care practices, stress is reduced, which automatically offers numerous extra benefits. Remember that stress can lead to vascular disease, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and even diabetes.
Psychological Health Benefits Of Self-Care
Stress is not always bad since it can help achieve some important goals. However, if you are affected by stress for long periods of time, you end up having to deal with fear, nightmares, headaches, anger, a feeling of powerlessness, back pain and/or many other conditions. Basically, you can easily end up suffering from a mental health disorder. Self-care will reduce the possibility of having to deal with mental health problems in the future.
Emotional Health Benefits Of Self-Care
Emotional and psychological health do overlap. However, emotional health is so much more than just not suffering from mental health problems. We are talking about a term that encompasses feelings you are accompanied by when you are content and well-rounded.
The goal is to be as strong as possible from an emotional point of view. Emotional self-care helps you to laugh more, get back from strong adversity faster and even maintain a high level of self-esteem.
Social Health Benefits Of Self-Care
There were countless studies done that proved the fact that when you have strong social tiles, the mortality rate is lower. This practically means that your social life has a huge influence on you during your life. If social ties are poor, trust in people is low and various problems appear, including a lot of extra stress that could be avoided when practicing self-care. With proper self-care that will value stress management and relationships, your entire health is improved thanks to the creation of a strong social support.
Spiritual Health Benefits Of Self-Care
Practicing spiritual self-care means you find hope, inner peace, comfort and even meaning. We do not know exactly how spirituality is tied to your physical health. However, research did show that spiritual vitality instantly impacts health outcomes in a positive way.
Unfortunately, self-care is not something that is on the mind of most people from around the world. However, you might be doing something without even realizing it. If you want to feel better, be more successful and happier, self-care is definitely something that you have to consider.
The benefits mentioned above are general and should be seen just as the starting point of all that you can achieve through proper self-care. Start learning about self-care now and take the steps needed to be very happy and have a longer life.