Self-Care Through Self-Evaluation

by | Sep 15, 2021 | Personal Development

You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” and maybe even used it. It’s gained exposure in the last 10 years or so and is an idea that is constantly evolving. Grown through Internet and social media, there are lot of different definitions and options of self-care so, let’s talk about it.

More Than Just Bon-Bons

First let’s define self-care. For many skeptics, self-care looks like taking a bath with a glass of wine every night, or binge-watching your favorite TV show all weekend while eating junk food. They would call it selfish, narcissitic, or maybe even just lazy. But self-care at it’s truest form is taking care of our body and mind’s most important needs. These needs include nourishment, movement, breathing room, and peace. Self-care is an act of mindfulness and taking the time to check in with ourselves.

The key to effective self-care is recognizing the needs of our body and putting those above the wants. My body may want to drink 12 cups of coffee a day when it needs to drink 12 cups of water. So that might look like finding balance and only drinking two cups of coffee while hydrating with water the rest of the day.

Self-care isn’t always our go-to behavior, and being able to identify it is tricky. Let’s talk about what this may look like for different aspects of our whole health.

Physical Self-Care

Our bodies are amazing. Works of mechanical marvel, they are our vehicle to get through life. They can heal themselves, grow, and create new things and ideas. So, why don’t we take care of it as best we can?

The truth is, taking care of our bodies can be really hard, especially if we are out of the habit of doing so. Physical self-care doesn’t necessarily look the same for everyone, but in general it includes good nutrition, exercise, and adequate rest.

Nutrition

Most people in the world know they should be eating more veggies and fewer treats.

One great way to get more veggies in your diet is through juicing. Juicing is the process of extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables in order to drink the nutrients. This is a great idea for those who struggle to eat the recommended servings of each food group. Juicing shouldn’t replace other forms of vegetable consumption, but it’s a great addition. Read this blog post to help you get started!

Movement

Moving your body every day is so important to keep your muscles strong, your bones sturdy, and your brain sharp. Walking, biking, and swimming are all great forms of low-impact cardio with amazing benefits. For those who want more of a challenge and a group or community of people to hang out with, consider CrossFit™, as it combines cardio and weights through fun and challenging exercises. Here’s a video explaining what CrossFit is and how you can get involved. CrossFit not for you? No worries! The sky’s the limit when it comes to activities to keep your body moving. The important thing is that you pick something and go!

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care has a lot more gray arearea than physical self-care, since the needs of everyone’s emotional selves are hard to group together. The idea behind having a healthy emotional self is giving yourself room to breathe. For some, this might be taking a day off from work to refocus your mind and give it a break. For others, they do this through hobbies or interests. The point is to have a healthy balance between responsibility and recreation.

With emotional self-care, your intentions play a huge role in defining self-care versus being unproductive. Watching 6 hours of movies can be a huge waste of time unless you are intentionally taking time to connect with your signifigant other in a movie marathon. Let whatever you do for emotional self-care be intentional.

Professional Self-Care

Professional self-care isn’t talked about often but is so important, as many people have professional careers. What is professional self-care? It could be a multitude of areas, including: professional skills, buiding relationships with colleagues, or saying no to projects you don’t have time to devote the necessary attention to.

This can be hard for many people because they don’t want to say no to potential job opportunities, so they take on as much work as they can. By setting boundaries for yourself, you will be able to do your best work for the projects you are working on instead of stretching yourself so thin that you aren’t finishing anything.

Self-care can be a lot to take in and can be hard work to create a system that’s beneficial to your own specific needs. Use this self-assessment provided by Therapist Aid to choose one or two areas that you want to start working on. Once you feel comfortable with one area, add another. Self-care is a journey, not an event, so take the time you need to get it right.

Need some ideas for self-care? Read our blog post, “6 Activities to Help Create Life Balance” here!