In today’s day and age, self-care is so phenomenally important to our lives. While you might be lucky enough to have a friendship group or family that really cares and want to be a part of your life, only you know how you’re truly feeling.
Many people believe they know what self-care is, but actually do not perhaps get how to practice it properly. For example, going to the gym once a week but eating a load of rubbish the rest of the time isn’t self-care. Equally, cutting down on the booze one week isn’t self-care when ultimately you need addiction help.
But taking care of yourself and understanding your own needs should come way before you find yourself in the addiction zone. Of course, if it has gotten to that stage, it’s at that point to really recognize that you do need help, and you need to engage with a healthier lifestyle and seek the treatment you need.
So, what is self-help?
No matter what stage of your life you are at, you should always be considering your well-being. And while the considering and acknowledgment phase isn’t self-help, it’s an important first step.
The term itself describes a more conscious act and effort to look after your own well-being and be honest as to when you truly do need help.
That help can come in many forms. As discussed with addiction, that can mean checking into rehab or deciding to take on treatment from home. That’s perhaps the more extreme circumstance, but self-help is important in even maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It could be as simple as ensuring you get enough sleep each night or get enough exercise each day.
Types of self-care
It really can vary, and it’s understanding the various types of self-care that can put you on that path.
Perhaps the most widely known type of self-care is physical. It’s what many of us associate with looking after ourselves, from our physical appearance to what we put in our bodies. There are plenty of tips for looking after yourself physically, and a few key questions to ask yourself to know if you need to be taking charge of your physical health include:
- Are you sleeping enough?
- Are you staying hydrated and taking on enough fuel in your diet?
- Are you exercising enough?
- Are you, overall, taking a charge of your health?
We are social animals and neglecting friendships can have a huge impact on your overall mental health. While many of us lock ourselves away during bouts of anxiety or depression, devoting time to your relationships with friends and family will have a positive impact on your well-being.
Of course, that can tip over the edge of the other side too, so a healthy balance is a must. Ask yourself:
- Are you spending too much/too little time with your friends?
- What are you doing to develop and maintain relationships with friends and family?
Mental health self-care
More and more people are struggling with mental health in the pressurized environment we are living in, where global pandemics, work, and the cost of living can all have a severe impact on our state of mind.
Keeping tabs on your mental well-being is crucial to a healthy and happy life and there are exercises and practices you can take to ensure your brain stays strong and stimulated.
Brain training, reading, and games such as chess can all be helpful, while exercise can also have a huge impact on this, as well as its physical benefits too.
When considering your mental health, consider:
- Are you proactively taking the time to look after your mental health?
- Are you taking the time to do activities that will stimulate your brain?
Spiritual self-help is all about what you are getting out of life. Is it satisfying to you?
Having a more spiritual lifestyle can increase your mental well-being and generally lead to a healthier lifestyle. That doesn’t necessarily mean practicing religion, but rather taking in activities that allow you to be at peace with your minds such as yoga and meditation.
This will aid in developing a clearer path for what you want in life. Consider:
- What are you currently asking about yourself when it comes to your experiences and life in general?
- Do you find fulfillment in the activities and hobbies you’re currently practicing?
Take on board these four areas of self-help and understand where you are at from each element. No matter what stage of your life you are at, whether you are suffering health problems, struggling with addiction, or even just feeling a little bit down, by acknowledging these four core parts of yourself, you can start to take care of who you are and how you want your life to look moving forward.