February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day and our thoughts turn to loving gestures that express our care and respect for others. But how often do we show ourselves the same attention and respect?
Self-care is hugely important as it empowers us to manage our own health and wellbeing. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not a luxury reserved for celebrities and the well-heeled. It’s a vital practice that we can all incorporate into our lives to promote better physical health, mental wellbeing and overall life satisfaction.
As love is in the air this month, our blog aims to debunk the myth that self-care is selfish and offers some ideas around how and why you should show yourself the same level of love and respect that you show to others.
What is self-care?
Self-care involves intentional actions that nurture and prioritise our wellbeing, health and happiness. Neither selfish nor self-indulgent, it is a proactive approach to maintaining balance and resilience in our daily lives.
We practice self-care in many ways every day – each time we opt for a healthy food, engage in exercise or get the rest we need, we’re practicing self-care. These are largely subconscious decisions: by making more conscious positive choices and being more self-aware, we can empower ourselves to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Here are some ideas of how you can increase your everyday self-care
Prioritise ‘me time’
Carve out moments in your day to focus on yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a bubble bath or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea, this time is essential for recharging.
Learn to say ‘no’
Recognise your limits and don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Saying no when needed is a powerful act of self-care, preventing burnout and stress.
Nourish your body
Fuel your body with nutritious foods that provide the energy and nutrients it needs. A well-balanced diet supports physical health and positively impacts mental wellbeing. Pay special attention to any ill-health you have and seek to address it with nutrition, such as adding bonebalance™ to your daily diet to boost your bone health.
Prioritise a good night’s sleep
Quality rest is vital for cognitive function, emotional wellbeing and overall health. It’s also a time when your body heals and recharges its cells.
Physical activity is a natural mood booster and stress reliever. The best form of exercise is that which you enjoy. Even better, buddy up with someone to make it more fun – and keep you both accountable! Remember that weightbearing exercise is best for bones – such as jogging, dancing, walking and lifting weights.
Connect with nature
Spending time outdoors has proven benefits for mental health. Take a walk in the park, breathe in fresh air, and soak up the positive energy nature provides.
Connect with loved ones
Cultivate meaningful connections by reaching out to friends and family. A simple phone call can strengthen relationships and provide much-needed emotional support – to you and the person you contact.
Self-care encompasses several aspects of our lives and is a necessity, not a luxury. It can take a little while to adapt our lifestyle and attitude to carve out self-care time each day. Be patient and look to address one or two things at a time. Once those new good habits are instilled, try to change a couple more things. Paradoxically, as you build resilience and protect your own health, you will be better able to look after your family members and friends, showing them the same love, care and respect that you show yourself.