Life is hard. This statement has crossed the minds and tongues of a great many of us at some point and this isn’t surprising. Life is not easy; it is filled with one uphill battle after the other, responsibilities, lessons and maybe one too many low points.
Remember that self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. While it’s okay for you to splurge (only when you can afford it) on expensive things in the name of “retail therapy”, it doesn’t always have to be that way.
When you factor in how much harder life seems to get the older you get, you soon find yourself pointlessly wishing upon stars for the hands of time to move in reverse and you can go back to being a child. The only way to be at peace with yourself and truly enjoy life is to embrace it and try to focus on the most important things. This includes self-care.
What is self-care?
Self-care refers to all processes involved in taking care of yourself in order to stay healthy and well and actively manage illness when it occurs.
It generally involves everything you do intentionally for your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. “Intentionally” here is the keyword because self-care doesn’t just happen by accident. You have to be deliberate and intentional about self-care.
This means that you can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t expect to treat people right and exude warmth and love if you do not have this for yourself. Self-care helps you to build and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so you can transmit good vibes to the people around you. Nobody wants bad energy around them.
So, here are a few self-care tips;
Self-care is important not just for you but for the people around you. You can’t pour from an empty cup after all.
Get enough sleep
Sleep scientists recommend that an average adult needs about 6-7 hours daily. Sleep ensures that you are physically and mentally sound. A lot of Nigerians do not get enough sleep and this is why you see a lot of cranky and angry pedestrians and drivers around. Believe it or not, 24 hours is enough time for a day. If you get the appropriate amount of sleep at night and wake up refreshed, you can achieve all you set out to do and fully maximize your time with simple proper management. It is not because 24 hours is too small, it’s because you’re sleeping too little. So, sleep!
Practise good hygiene
Simply smelling and looking clean and fresh gives you a nice confidence boost. It helps with how you view yourself and how others view you. Not to mention it also reduces the risk of illnesses. So make it a point to bathe regularly, invest in good deodorant and you can even throw in a nice perfume. Looking and smelling good is “good business” and you really don’t have to break the bank to do this.
Self-care includes health care
Like it or not, self-care also involves you taking good care of your health and that includes eating regularly and healthily, hydrating, using drugs prescribed to you by your doctor, taking a walk, getting a bit of vitamin D from the sun and connecting with nature in general. All of these are very important for your health and good health is self-care in itself.
Try to do something you enjoy every day
Dance around your kitchen or living room, catch a good movie, watch a football match, go out, cook, binge-watch a tv show you love or simply read a book. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure it’s something you enjoy and make sure you do it every day. And this requires that you consciously make out the time.
Learn to say No!
The truth is, a lot of the stress that you undergo today would have easily been avoided by the word “no”. No, you shouldn’t have given that guy your number. No, you shouldn’t have agreed to help her. No, you shouldn’t have gone to that party. No, you shouldn’t have lent him that money. Instead, you should have said something like “ I cannot lend you at this time”, or “I have my hands full at the moment and cannot take up any more” or “I plan to hang out with family this weekend, let's reschedule this outing.”
You’re only human and it is impossible to please everybody. Trying to, a lot of the time predisposes you to burnout and it’s usually at the expense of your own health and peace of mind. Take this as the sign you have always needed, it is absolutely okay to choose yourself.
Relax, and learn to recharge in solitude.
No matter what it feels like sometimes, you aren’t really carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders so relax. Get a massage if you can, take a really long bath, or take a walk even. Whatever you’re doing, just try to clear your thoughts and simply take a breather. Build a relationship with yourself whilst hanging with you, where it’s all self-love, positive talk, affirmations, kindness, compassion, vibes and Insha Allah lol. Pat yourself on the back and remember that you’re doing a good job.
Self-care isn’t just about trips to the Maldives or Zanzibar and swiping your card simply because you’ve had a bad day. It can simply be you taking a step back from a situation or conversation and just taking deep, even breaths. So yes, self-care really is cheap and available.
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