Misconceptions of Self-care
There is a definite misconception around the idea of ‘self-care’. The practise consists of more than just levelling out stress. In fact, some professionals believe there are eight dimensions to wellness, including social, physical and emotional. By keeping all eight in mind, it can allow you to nurture your overall health. Another misconception is that self-care is only necessary during periods of stress. Being stressed, emotional or worn-out are key signs that you need some TLC. However, it’s healthier to maintain a steady, active role in looking after yourself to prevent a decline in your health. Over the years, we have become better at understanding the different ways of protecting our well-being. With the current climate, we are also being made aware of our need to look after ourselves. There was a false impression that self-care was only spiritual and many didn’t want to meditate, participate in yoga or know how to be mindful. Now, we are far more tuned in to the health benefits of self-care and what works for ourselves.
Methods of Self-care
Methods is perhaps the wrong wording. Self-care is a personal journey with no right answer. Everyone has a very different way of looking after themselves. What is the difficult part is finding routine or knowing what really works for you. For example, many health professionals will say that exercise is a perfect way of keeping physically and mentally healthy. However, not everyone can or wants to go to the gym and take part in a strenuous workout. Simple things like going for a walk can help your physical and environmental dimensions of wellness. You are allowing yourself time to reflect, get a breath of fresh air and maintain a level of fitness you are comfortable with. Whats detrimental to self-care activities is that they make us feel uplifted, provide us with happiness and boost our self-esteem.
We’ve heard many times that eating well and sleeping enough are definite way to look after ourselves but by adding a simple bath into your self-care routines could help manage our well-being. Being able to take a small portion of the day to remove yourself from the business of life and enjoy doing nothing. It’s also very easy to achieve. Research suggests baths have physical health benefits alongside its relaxing capabilities. A warm bath can increase your heart rate and provide a healthy workout. It can improve our oxygen intake and help clear our chest and sinuses. Warm baths relieve aches, pains, bones and muscles as well as balancing hormones, moisturising your skin, hair and eyes.
The most effective bath is the one that you are looking forward to getting into the most. But like most things, your time alone is what you want it to be. The accessories of music, soft towels, robes, books and more are entirely up to you. It seems only fair to treat yourself when detoxing from every day life. The idea of the bath is to relax. So it also seems very reasonable to use products that are going to continue to provide care to your physical body while you unwind. Essentials for a bath include bubble bath or ‘bath foam’, candles, body wash or soap and body lotion (for afterwards). The bubble bath nourishes, hydrates and heals your skin while you soak. The body wash restore personal hygiene as well as putting vitamins back into the skin. Body lotion locks in moisture, soothes the skin and keeps it supple. And the smells you can choose for this effortless ritual is, again, up to you. Aromatherapy continues to relax, calm and energise you. Lavender, for example, helps ease your mind and relive stress. Eucalyptus is energising and improves focus. Lemon can relieve anxiety and depression.
The only way to learn about self-care is to learn about yourself. First you have to identify when your wellbeing has been taking a back seat and you are not feeling 100%. What helps you to get back to feeling 100%? And knowing that to help your wellbeing is not about just about going to a yoga retreat but keeping connected to others, being physically active, boosting your self-esteem through hobbies, activities and environments that you love. Adding simple activities like a bath to your routine will help you look after yourself.
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