How to take care of yourself so you can be the best you
It’s important to recognize what really matters to us because life is short. Often, we spend too much time working, or worse, worrying. Yet, these practices don’t necessarily add quality to our lives; they take away from it. If we use all our time working or worrying, we miss out on the precious gift we do have: the present moment.
If you want to transform your life and experience a more fulfilling and meaningful journey, self-care is for you. This life-long practice helps us increase the quality of our days. It is a powerful tool to guide us toward long-term wellness and nutrition. Here we explore how you can prioritize yourself and your well-being and why you should incorporate more of it in your life.
What is self-care?
We are living in a complicated time. Between the global pandemic and the craze of our modern high-speed lifestyles, it’s easy to be overstimulated. It’s easy to forget how to treat ourselves well.
But, self-care is a must. By making ourselves a priority, we preserve our well-being and improve our quality of life. When we don’t take care of ourselves, not only do we suffer, but those that we love suffer, as well. We are not at our best, so we can’t give our best.
If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you know the first rule of flying: in the event of an emergency, you must put on your own mask first, then help others with theirs. Why? Because if you can’t breathe, you certainly won’t be able to help anyone.
Putting ourselves first is knowing that a functional mind, body, and heart are the most important ingredients for you to be of service to yourself. A few ways to conceptualize self-care include:
- Caring for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs
- Using it as a tool to manage stress and cope with the challenges of life in healthy and productive ways
- Honoring ourselves and our needs
- Recognizing the need to care for yourself so that you can be the best possible you
It’s important to remember that self-care isn’t simply doing what feels good but doing what is good for you long-term.
There are benefits to practicing self-care that we can look for to ensure we’re benefiting from our efforts. The benefits include:
- increased productivity
- improved physical health
- resistance to illness
- better self-esteem
- increased self-knowledge
- more to give
If you notice any of these benefits present in your daily life, it is a good sign. It is usually an indication we are taking the right steps to take care of ourselves.
How to prioritize well-being
As the saying goes, “everybody is different, and every body is different.” Self-care can encompass a variety of practices, depending on your needs. A few indicators that it’s time to change your ways include the following:
- low or no energy
- unhealthy habits running your life
- lack of resources
- lack of self-compassion
- prolonged depression, frustration, or anger
Prioritizing yourself is also about developing healthy coping mechanisms. You may not even realize you’re relying on unhealthy practices. If you are a heavy smoker or drinker (or have other vices), you may want to consider what drives you to do those things. Often unresolved traumas or stress bring us to cope with these methods. Here are a few suggestions for healthy practices to adopt:
- balanced diet
- stay hydrated
- develop a routine
- practice enjoyable activities
- channel energy into creative outlets
When to practice self-care
Always is the best time to opt for prioritizing yourself. It is an ongoing process. We have the opportunity to choose well-being on a moment to moment basis.
Particularly important times to practice self-care include when stressful life events come up or when you feel the need to use unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is a powerful tool to combat these challenging experiences, rather than resort to unsustainable practices.
A big part of self-care is acknowledgment. Regularly check in with yourself and ask:
- What do I need?
- What will help me feel whole?
- What is going to be good for me?
Self-care is an important approach to stress management that each of us can tailor to our own needs. When we put ourselves first, we actually help ourselves and others, too. We even have a better experience of emotional health. If we adopt these practices into our daily lives, our experiences will become more harmonious and aligned.
The Phoenix Asheville Wellness Retreat was designed to help fuel your change. Our mission is to create a sacred space and structure to support you as you prioritize your well-being. We strive to inspire long-lasting contentment and personal growth through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual inspiration.