Self Care

Let’s start with what self-care is...

 

Self-care is an activity that you do on purpose in order to take care of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept, in theory, it’s something we very often overlook without even realising! For most of you, if I were to ask you if you take care of yourself, you’d immediately think, well, yes I do. But if I were to then ask, in what ways do you this, you’d most likely come to realise that for most parts, you don’t. 

 

We live within a society that tells us that taking time for you is selfish, when in fact, it’s essential to your wellbeing. Good self-care is key to improving your mood and mental state. It’s also key to a good relationship with yourself and others. We spoke in the last session about The Law of Correspondence and how knowing and loving ourselves is the best way to know and love others. So self-care is, in fact, a very generous act, rather than a selfish one. 

 

When you board a plane the flight attendant will do a safety demonstration and one thing they will ask you to do in case of an emergency is to put your own mask on before helping others. The reason for this is because you are of no use to anyone else if you have passed out from lack of oxygen! 

 

Self-care is about considering your needs; it’s about knowing what you need to do to feel good, rested and worthy. Everyone is different, our requirements are unique to us, so you need to choose acts that you enjoy. Don’t try to force yourself to do things you don’t like because that defeats the whole point! 

 

Grab yourself a notepad or the workbook and pen and a hot drink. It is time to just relax and focus on yourself!

Physical care

Your body is your home, it’s the place where you live all day, every day. Without it, you would not be able to exist as a human on this earth, so it is important to take good care of it, always. Taking care of your body, your health is not about crash dieting or running a marathon, it is about giving it the love, attention and nourishment it needs to support you during in your time here. 

Your body needs plenty of water because it uses so much of it just to keep you alive! It uses water in all your cells, your organs, and tissues all to help regulate body temperature and maintain all other bodily functions. The body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, which is why it's so important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

Nature provides us with all the food we need, it also provides us with natural medicines to heal our bodies. You will notice that as the seasons change, so does the food that grows. This is because nature is giving you the foods it knows you need to survive in the climate and conditions that the season brings. So take note of this next time you do your weekly food shop! 

Eating well tip - food preparation.

 

I really enjoy prepping my healthy meals, for me, it is a self-care routine that helps to keep me on track with eating well. As I prepare my meals, I feel proud that I am actively aiding in improving my health.

Your body needs some form of regular exercise, movement and stretching. In the Cankama Sutta, the Buddha speaks of the benefits of exercise...

Monks, there are these five benefits of walking up & down. What five? 

One is fit for long journeys: one is fit for striving; one has little disease; that which is eaten, drunk, chewed, tasted, goes through proper digestion; the composure attained by walking up & down is long-lasting. These monks, are the five benefits of walking up & down. 

Whether you have an interest in Buddhism or not, the facts above are true. As said previously, you don’t have to go to the gym 5 days a week or train for a triathlon, if you don’t want to, you just need to something, every day.

Now it is time for you to answer a few questions:

How do you take care of your physical wellbeing?

 

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What could you improve?

 

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How do you feel about your physical body?

 

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How would you rate your health?

 

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What changes could you make to improve your physical health?

 

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Mental and emotional care

 

Mental health refers to your ability to process information, whilst emotional health refers to your ability to express feelings which are based upon the information you have processed.

 

If you are unaware of what mental health is here is a quick recap for you. Mental health is the new wave of awareness that everyone is talking about. The only problem with this is that whilst everyone is talking about mental health issues, they are actually attracting more mental health issues around them. Awareness is one thing but as we have discussed previously, what we focus on, we attract. 

 

Mental health is the state of your psychological mind. Remember we spoke about mindfulness and how using it we can control what we are thinking and feeling? Well, this is one way that we can look after our mental and emotional health. There are of course many psychological disorders that really are severe mental health conditions, that will require diagnosis and treatment from your doctor, so if you do think you have a mental health disorder, then I urge you to book an appointment. For the rest of you, your mental and emotional health can be improved by making some changes to your lifestyle. 

 

Meditation is the most powerful way to improve your mental health, spiritual health, emotional health and physical health. We have already covered meditation so I won’t go on, you can always revert back to that session if you need to. 

 

Now it is time for you to answer a few questions:

Describe your state of mind in 6 words. 

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How do you currently keep track of your emotions and feelings?

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What could you do to help you improve this?

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Spiritual care

Your spiritual health has been covered many times in this course, sometimes subtly and other times blatant and that is because we are equally spiritual beings and physical beings. Some people hear the word spiritual and immediately think of religion or hippies, which is amusing to those of us who are not religious or hippy-like but still nurture our spiritual health. 

 

Here are a few ways you can care for your spiritual health:

  1. Explore your spiritual core.
    Ask yourself questions like, who am I? What is my purpose? What do I value most? Questions like this will lead you down a road where you will think more in-depth about yourself and allow you to notice things about yourself that will help you achieve your inner desires.

     

  2. Look for signs and synchronicities.
    Observe patterns and meaningful coincidences because they tend to be answers or signposts in order to help you find your way.

     

  3. Journal.
    Writing down your emotions and feelings will help you understand things clearer. Expression leads to clarity and a clear mind will help you to pick up messages from the universe.
     

  4. Travel the world
    You can learn so much from travel. Experiencing new cultures, learning about people, which will ultimately help you to understand yourself. So much growth comes from travel.
     

  5. Take time to meditate.

 

When it comes to self-care, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. These can be simple, yet fulfilling routines to make you feel good. My favourite self-care routine is to take a hot bath, soak and relax for a while, then I get out and change into some loose pyjamas. I climb into my bed which has clean sheets on it and I read a book. This for me is absolute bliss!

 

What can you start doing to take better care of yourself?

 

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