What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is when an individual identifies their own needs and takes steps to meet them. The types of food a person eats, the time and attention they devote to maintaining their personal hygiene, how often they go to the doctor, how often they exercise and the types of activities they participate in for fun, relaxation, or reflection all contribute to their self-care.
Why Is Self-Care Important for Women?
Women often spend much of their lives nurturing others before themselves. With taking care of children, partners, family, friends, attending meetings, running errands, volunteer activities and housework, finding time to identify their own needs can sometimes fall to the bottom of the list of priorities. Although to some women, self-care might seem self-indulgent, counter-productive, or selfish, the fact of the matter is that self-care is about self-preservation. We know that a healthy woman is the backbone of a healthy community, but much like the rule on the airplane we always hear in case of an emergency, women must first help themselves before they can effectively help others.
What Are Some Examples of Self-Care Activities?
Remember that practicing self-care is about protecting, appreciating and spending time with you. However, spending time nurturing yourself doesn’t mean you have to spend much money, if any at all. Here are 5 free to affordable activities you can do to practice self-care:
- Go to sleep early. This one can be done with kids or separately once they go to bed. Sleep is the most underrated self-care and energy-lifting remedy there is!
- Talk to a professional. If you feel like you’re stuck or you’re just not making the progress you’d like to see in your physical or emotional health, make an appointment to talk with a professional such as doctor, therapist, or spiritual advisor. They can help you process your feelings, identify goals, and begin to take steps in that direction.
- Make sure you’re eating a well balanced diet. If you are uncertain of what that might be for you, talk to a nutritionist.
- Practice the art of saying no. Identify what is most important in your life. When a new project or request comes your way, you’ll know whether or not you have space to take on something else. It’s okay to say no. Practice makes perfect.
- Buy yourself something small. A flower or a candle. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference and brighten up our day.
Written by Ngozi Udo, Health Educator for Healthy Baby Network
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About Deanna Spiotta
Deanna is the Communications Director for Healthy Baby Network.