How To Take Care Of Yourself – What Does It Mean?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail(Last Updated On: August 20, 2018)

Woman showing care for herself by holding a flower in her hands

Take Good Care Of Yourself

When you think of self-care, you can’t help but envision a calm environment, surrounded by candles and immersed in a good book. Maybe you imagine getting a relaxing massage. For others, self-care is taking an hour to have an at-home spa session. There are so many great ways we can care for ourselves. Did you know that self-care involves five basic elements?

The Five Wellness Elements

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Social
  4. Spiritual
  5. Intellectual

These five dimensions all need attention and care in order for us to be well. Before we get into all the wonderful aspects of self-care, it is important to note some easy action steps you can take to be well in these five dimensions.

Physical

  • Get exercise, even if it’s just walking!
  • Eat a healthy, plant-based diet.
  • Get the recommended hours of sleep for your age and gender each night.

Emotional

  • Check-in with yourself each morning and night. Ask yourself how you are feeling.
  • Write about your emotions in a journal.
  • Incorporate small things into your daily life that bring you joy, such as having a hot cup of coffee or doing your favorite hobby.

Social

  • Learn about recognizing toxic relationships and cut out negative people in your life.
  • Establish boundaries between yourself and your friends, family, and your partner.
  • Get involved in a community project or volunteer organization that aligns with your values.

Spiritual

  • If you have a religion, spend time studying the messages from its texts and praying.
  • Spend time studying nature.

Intellectual

  • Stay updated on what’s happening in the world
  • Study topics that interest you in-depth
  • Dedicate time each day to learning something new, such as a new fact, idea, or word.

Getting the five dimensions of your well-being in check creates a platform for you to be to grow and to prosper. Next, it is essential to cultivate self-love. Self-love will help you become better in all aspects of wellness.

What Is Self-Love?

Girl making a heart with her hands

To explain what self-love is, it is vital to explain what it is not. Don’t confuse “self-love” with being “self-ish.” Until recently, loving yourself has often been associated with narcissism, an inflated ego, and a boastful personality.

Self-love doesn’t mean you walk around exclaiming to everyone how great you are. Here are several other terms that you can think of when cultivating self-love in your life.

  1. Confidence
  2. High self-esteem
  3. Positive Mindset

You can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to be confident in yourself first to be able to love others properly. Without self-love and a positive self-image, we can set ourselves up for toxic and abusive relationships.

Woman sitting with 'The Best Gift Is You' written on the wall

Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Cultivate Self-Love

Since self-love is an essential part of taking care of yourself, here are three self-love practices that you can start right now. Incorporating these practices into your daily life can help you form the foundation you need to start healthy habits.

1. Create a Morning Ritual

This is probably the most critical place to start. Even if you aren’t an early riser, having a set ritual or routine when you first wake up help you feel energized and motivated throughout the day. If you have to be at work really early, work overnight, or have kids, you can also do this ritual in the evening.

The best part about developing a ritual is that it doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to meditate for an hour or learn some advanced yoga position. It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it makes you feel good.

Some examples of rituals may include lighting a scented candle, having a cup of tea, or giving yourself a massage. While some people do meditate, this doesn’t have to be part of your ritual, although it is highly recommended!

2. Nurture Your Inner Child

The experiences we have when we were young and impressionable have shaped us into the unique individuals we are today. Sometimes, we are carrying around falsehoods in our subconscious that hold us back. By nurturing that former, inner child, we can “rewrite the past” and form new realities.

Your inner child longs to be noticed. One of the best ways to honor your inner child and heal past traumas is to give intentional focus to emotions when they arise. It can be easy when uncomfortable feelings occur to turn to distractions such as food, social media, or television. By sitting with your emotions, you can usually figure out what’s causing them and begin to heal.

3. Meditation Is Important

Many people used to think that meditation was just for monks in orange robes sitting on top of a mountain in Tibet. While meditation can be used as a spiritual practice, there are so many health benefits that come along with a daily meditation practice.

Meditation is good for the physical and emotional dimensions, as well as the spiritual. The critical thing to remember is that there is no right way to meditate. Meditation is not, and will never be, about ‘doing it right.”

Meditation is merely an observation of thoughts. It is an opportunity to observe any feelings and emotions that arise without judging them. Meditating daily reduces stress and can lead to epiphanies and creative ideas.

Regardless of your religious background and beliefs, you should give meditation a try. Even five minutes a day can really change your life.

This is my happy place sign

The Five Components of Daily Self-Care

If you have never listened to The Model Health Show, you don’t know what you have been missing! Shawn, the host of this fantastic podcast shared what he calls “The Five Components of Daily Self-Care.” They are as follows.

  1. Hydration
  2. Movement
  3. Personal Development
  4. Base Nutrients
  5. Rest

While this isn’t a comprehensive self-care checklist, it does provide the necessary foundation for the physical and intellectual components of self-care. This is especially useful for you fitness junkies out there!

Your body is the vehicle for your mind. Without it, you aren’t going to get very far. Getting daily nutrition, hydration, rest, exercise, and sleep is essential to having a healthy body to support your big ol’ brain!

Check out a  more extensive list of self-care here.

Having Goals

Self-care isn’t all candles and massages. Sometimes it means pushing through a lazy mood to get your work done so that your future self doesn’t fail the class or miss a payment. Setting goals is a significant part of taking care of yourself because it ensures your prosperity.

How to Set Goals

The first step is goal setting is to figure out what it is you want to accomplish or achieve. Instead of overwhelming yourself, pick out one primary goal in each of the following areas of your life.

  • Physical Fitness
  • Finances
  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Self

You can also add to this list. Make your goals as specific as possible. For example, instead of writing, “My goal is to make more money,” try, “My goal is to make $40,000.”

Another way to guarantee that your goals will be a success is to phrase them positively. Instead of focusing on what you don’t want to do, make the goal about something that you do want to do. If you are trying to eat less junk, perhaps your goal could be to eat three servings of vegetables a day.

The Magical Power of De-cluttering

A great way to support your self-care journey is to de-clutter your life! This means purging your house, car, and handbag of anything and everything that no longer serves you. Regardless of why you’ve been hanging onto things you no longer want, whether it be out of fear or laziness, cleaning up and pairing down your belongings is a great way to launch your self-care.

How To De-clutter

It sounds easy, right? You are just going blow through your house with a black contractor’s bag and throw it all away, right? Wrong. De-cluttering can be very time consuming and sometimes emotionally exhausting.

There are a few tips to help you determine what needs to go and what is allowed to stay in your life, the key word being allowed. It starts with a simple mindset shift.

When you start the process of de-cluttering your home, pick up each item with the mindset that you are going to throw it away. No exceptions! Then, “ask” each item why it should be allowed back into your home, vehicle, or office.

This practice may seem strange, but it works. Things should either serve a purpose or bring you joy to have them. If it doesn’t fit in either of those categories, then why are you holding onto it?

Think about it, you wouldn’t hold on to a friend that is just taking up space in your life only because your other friend introduced you to them. In the same respect, you shouldn’t hold on to an item just because you feel guilty that someone gave it to you.

Although the process of de-cluttering can be loathsome, it will be well worth it in the long run. Your surroundings should be a reflection of how you feel inside of yourself. When you take the time to clean up, you will be able to rest better and find things much more efficiently.

Personal Development

As mentioned in the Five Components of Daily Self-Care, daily personal development is essential to becoming the best version of yourself. Each day, be sure to devote time to grow as a person. This can be through reading books, watching personal growth videos, taking courses, or reading articles about how to be better.

While there isn’t an accurate way to measure personal growth, it will be evident in every aspect of your life that you have been devoting time to personal development. Whether you are a student, professional, businessman, or parent, personal development is an essential aspect of self-care that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Build Your Network

We just weren’t meant to do life alone. None of us can handle everything that life throws at us all by ourselves. Part of learning to love yourself is accepting that you can’t do it all and you don’t have to.

Where do you feel the most stressed in your life? Are you having trouble keeping up with classwork? Do you need help with transportation for your child?

It can be hard to ask for help sometimes. We don’t want to sacrifice our pride to ease the pressures of life. Just know that it is okay to ask for help.

There are many types of support that you need to have in your life such as the following.

  • Emotional Support
  • Advice
  • Concrete Help
  • Validation

Whether it’s hearing a friend say “I’m here for you” or having your spouse make dinner one night, our support teams make us strong. When we have help, we also have more time to devote to self-care practices and rituals mentioned above.

“Treat Yo’self”

Treat yo'self meme

Hopefully, you have seen the “treat yo’self” meme on the Internet. While there are so many important aspects of caring for yourself, sometimes it is nice to reward yourself. Part of life is not taking everything so seriously and being a little spontaneous.

So perhaps once a month you get a mani-pedi, or maybe you ate the last slice of cake last week. Perhaps you want to splurge on a trip you have been dying to take for years. Just do it.

Life is a balancing act, there are going to be good and bad days. Taking care of yourself means owning up to your mistakes, loving your flaws, and celebrating your successes. It’s about knowing when to slow down and when you need to push yourself a little harder.

At the center of self-love and self-care is awareness. It is this self-awareness that transforms a good life into a great one. By taking small steps each day in the five dimensions of your wellness, you will become self-aware, and the world will become your oyster.

Related Post

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.