10 Ways You Can Promote Self-Care
Self-care is important for overall health. By taking time to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally, we can feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle our goals.
Practicing self-care can help lessen or alleviate the psychological distress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, and can help prevent lasting adverse psychological outcomes. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
So, self-care is the act of refueling ourselves and attending to our needs. It’s a simple concept, but for many of us, the thought of doing something exclusively for our own pleasure may leave us with feelings of guilt. In a society that values self-reliance and putting others first, it can be difficult to justify taking the time to nurture ourselves.
If we notice we’re feeling stressed, running low on energy, and lacking balance in some areas of our lives, it may be time to work on developing a regular self-care practice. Although it may seem that finding the time for self-care is an impossible task, the many benefits indicate it might be worth a try.
What are the benefits of self care?
- Lessened emotional reactivity
- Improved relationship skills
- Increased well-being
- Increased optimism and hope
- Better physical health management
- Improved mood
- Improved quality of life
- Decreased stress levels
- Increased ability to maintain a work-life balance
What can you do?
Many people don’t know where to start. Starting small and making a few minor changes may encourage you to make a few more alterations in the right direction. Here are a few ideas you can try.
- Exercise – walk, run, go for a bicycle ride, practice yoga, dance, work in your garden. Find something you love and do that.
- Read a book, take a walk in nature, listen to soothing music, watch a funny movie.
- Donate your time to an organization you resonate with.
- Clean out your closet – anything with rips/holes/stains, either fix or toss. If it doesn't fit, consider donating it.
- Get a long overdue manicure, pedicure or haircut.
- Take a long bath, go for a walk, call a friend, clean out a drawer, donate gently used toys/clothes.
- Shop at your local farmers' market, try a new vegetable, buy organic produce or start a vegetarian night.
- Schedule a “date night” with your partner.
- Connect with others (however you can these days). Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Turn off the news. Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage that negatively impacts your mood.
Believe it or not, these minor changes encourage you to take better care of yourself because they make you feel better. Then you may want to eat better, exercise, find healthier outlets for stress control, etc. By taking care of yourself, you are making yourself stronger, more resilient, and also better able to care for others – which is exactly what we all need right now.
Humanized Health - NEW!
Learn about personalized health from top experts! Check out our fascinating new shows every week, available as videos, podcasts and transcripts.:
Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
Dr. Rav Ivker
Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Dr. Rob Brown
Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.