Self care – are you looking after yourself?
Managing our time is one of the great challenges of today: immersed in routine, in the world in which we live, there are many activities that demand our attention and occupy our time on a daily basis.
The importance of self care ends up far down the list. Work, children, personal relationships, domestic chores, and even social networks sometimes become an avalanche of tasks that we have to process in a hurry and go giving them out as quickly as possible.
We often fall into that situation of frantically jumping from one task to another, without time to stop and think and really reflect on what we are doing and why we are doing it, that is, if the tasks that occupy our day day are really what we want to do, or if we are actually running in auto pilot mode.
It is obvious that we can not choose many of them. For example, we can not choose if we want to work, or if we want to clean up dishes in the the kitchen, they are tasks that we must do.
However, we can prioritise and order our tasks so that our routine is more balanced and harmonious, and we do not have the dreaded sense of being worn out that can accumulate in our body as the weeks progress.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
As its name suggests, self-care is basically all those tasks and habits that we include in our routine to dedicate time to take care of ourselves, or improve our health.
It seems that we have internalized that self-care is something optional, something that we can do occasionally, in our free time, if there is any time left. We have become accustomed to functioning so that we are the last on our list of priorities.
With few exceptions, most people do not appear in their own agenda. Perhaps this sounds somewhat drastic, but if we stop to reflect, we will see that day by day we make decisions in which we postpone tasks of self-care due to lack of time, or because of the urgency of other more urgent objectives.
Examples of these self care activities include meeting up with friends, playing sports, having a picnic with your partner, finishing that book you started a long time ago, going shopping, amongst others.
WHY IS SELF-CARE SO IMPORTANT?
This is the million dollar question, and the short answer is quite simple: because it is a free health insurance. The only cost you have is the time you spend. Self-care prevents diseases, immunizes you, protects your health, both physically and psychologically.
When we prioritize labor, domestic or interpersonal objectives for too long, leaving aside our personal well-being, our body begins to warn us that we are overloading ourselves. It does this through somatizations, that is, symptoms of physical discomfort that are frequent in people with stress, such as:
- Headaches, back, or muscle pain
- Nausea, diarrhea, gas
- Exhaustion, muscle spasms, weakness
- Palpitations, choking sensation
These annoying symptoms that appear in times with a high degree of stress, are the precursor that warns us that we are submitting to a sustained stress for too long.
WHAT TO DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF?
As we antiquated at the beginning of the article, there are some habits that are basic to having good self-care, and prevent excess stress in our lives:
Adequate time management
knowing how to prioritize, dedicating yourself to what is important and not getting carried away by the rush, urgencies, and other people’s goals that have nothing to do with you, is an essential skill to avoid suffering an overload of stress.
Analyze your objectives
Dedicate a time of the week (Twenty minutes is enough) to review what you have done, and if what you have done is in line with what you want to achieve, or how you want your future to be. You will be surprised by the amount of things we do because of compromise, which do not contribute anything to your well-being.
Plan and set dates
Keep in mind that self-care activities are not optional, nor should they be an extra allowance from time to time: they should be included in your routine, as if it were a diet. In your emotional diet , self-care is a basic ingredient. Program your activities and respect your space, delegating or leaving aside other tasks.
Watch your critical thoughts
One of the most recurrent barriers to postpone self-care activities is that of automatic negative thoughts, that is, thoughts that creep into our heads and make us feel bad: normally, of guilt. It is common to hear that if I dedicate time, I am selfish, and I am leaving other priorities aside. Always remember that your happiness and health should be your number one priority.
Practice your assertiveness
Learn to say no. Saying no is not another health insurance that you have to subscribe to. Doing so is essential to set aside other unproductive commitments that occupy your time, and that have nothing to do with your personal goals.
It is common to adhere to self-care habits when we feel bad, because that’s when we see them sense: that is, start taking care of yourself after a scare , because I have had an acute episode of anxiety or because I find myself with a low state of mind Keep this habit in the long term, not when you need it, but constantly, so you do not have to miss it in the future.
And finally, remember that all areas of your life (work, family, friends, sports, etc.) depend on you. Your health is a basic requirement for everything else to work. So do not think that by creating time for yourself you are being selfish, or you are leaving aside other plots of your life. In reality, you are contributing to their sustainability, and investing in a healthier and happier future.
Massage Therapy is a wonderful form of self care and we offer both Remedial Massage and Specialty Massage. If someone else in your life could do with some self care we also offer massage gift vouchers.