Wellness | The importance of Self-Care
Self-care is characterised by the steps we take towards maintaining our personal well-being and health. Self support habits promote self-development and can be formulated without seeking consultation from a professional. Self-care reflects how we view ourselves through practices we follow in our everyday life. It can be expressed in many ways including, making sure you get enough sleep, prioritizing healthy eating, finding balance in your schedule and leaving time to spend with family and friends. Generally, practices will fall into the following categories: physical, psychological, emotional, social, environmental, professional, spiritual and financial. All of which play large roles in our overall wellbeing and the way we function.
As women, everyday we face challenging obstacles. We are constantly competing with other women to live up to an impossible image of perfection, causing us to struggle with self worth and confidence. We are hard working, driven and tend to over excel in life, leaving us with little time for ourselves. We are independent, and therefore seldom like asking for help, even in times where we especially need it. And, above all, we are nurturers, meaning we put others before ourselves. With all of this in mind, the importance of self-care seems evident, so why is it something that we struggle with most? Rather than blame time for limiting our ability to tend to ourselves, it is essential to acknowledge the importance of a little TLC.
When you engage in self-care practices, you decrease the risk of disease by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. At this time, your body is at rest, allowing your immune system the time to grow strong and healthy. When we give our bodies this regenerative time, we reduce the risk of illness, such as, the flu or common cold. Self-care largely increases one's knowledge of self. When you practice self-care, you become in tune with your body and your mind, meaning that you are getting to know yourself better. Being in touch with our own existence opens the doors to self-discovery and self-love, leaving you feeling confident and happy. Physical self-care has tremendous benefits for not only our body, but our minds. Remaining active allows us to let off steam and destress from anxiety inducing situations.
Practicing self-care can increase your productivity. There is a time and place for everything, and saying “no” may feel selfish, but it can also be one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing. Caring for yourself will lead you to a deeper state of self-understanding, while increasing your concentration and allowing for more self-exploration. When we give ourselves the freedom to stop overextending our energy to others, we find more time to focus on what we want. This slows life down in a beautiful way and creates an irrevocably positive space for self.
Self-care allows you to engage with your emotions. Sometimes we want to repress feelings of anger or sadness, but actually the healthiest thing to do is stare those emotions in the face, accept them and move on. We are not to blame for how we feel, but for the way we react to our emotions. Practicing self-care can help enhance self-esteem. When we serve our personal needs, rather than those of others, the body sends positive messages to the subconscious. By acknowledging the importance of “me”, we help free our minds of negative self-talk. In addition, our level of compassion for others increases as we develop self-awareness.
Women carry so much in their wombs, yet this is a concept we rarely think about. Beyond creating and nurturing another human in there, we foster energy that can both help and hinder our wellbeing. Much like how our stomach is our second brain, for women, the womb can be considered the third. Stress is as detrimental on the rest of the body as it is for our minds, so we must treat our emotions with meticulous love.
Most of us may be cognisant of self-care practices, but may not always put them into action. We use excuses to evade confronting reality and therefore end up prolonging the undesired action. Excuses make it easier to brush off our problems, but this can lead to deeply rooted guilt and shame. The more we avoid self-care practices, the more excuses come and the more we are overwhelmed with undeservedness and unworthiness. It is a nasty cycle but can easily be broken.
Conditioning your brain promotes awareness and increases functionality. You can transform your habits by exercising your brain. Conditioning the brain increases resilience, meaning the challenges we face in life and our ability to overcome them. By practicing mindfulness and empathy we can rewire our brains to be more resilient and even change past behavioral patterns.
Lacking the ability to maintain positive self-care practices correlates to poor mental wellbeing. If someone is feeling down or depressed, the motivation to put self-care on the top of the their list diminishes. Eating, sleeping and grooming become daunting and curling up in bed seems like the only option. It is hard to break this cycle when you find yourself lost in it, but developing and maintaining self-care practices can help you avoid dipping into that darkness.
A lack of self-care can lead one to lose motivation in work and hinder them from maintaining positive relationships. Losing touch with ourselves means losing connection with our environment and those who fill it. Taking care of yourself entails that you are in a positive space both mentally and physically, meaning that you have more room to be compassionate to others, making you a better caregiver.
Sometimes we forget that we teach others how we would like to be treated. If we are promoting a self image lacking self care, that will be reflected in our relationships. We need to drop this feeling of being “needy”, because self-care does not mean you need rescuing, it simply shows that you value self-respect and therefore yourself.
At Consciously Connected Travel we strive to travel with purpose. We find meaning in all the connections we make around the world and value the knowledge that we can take away from each of the relationships we form. Our women only retreats promote ethical travel and conscious tourism by providing a space for our guests to learn and immerse into a new culture. Check out our upcoming retreats.