It’s a simple reality of life that people are often not very gentle or forgiving towards themselves, and frequently end up experiencing major burnouts, or enduring unresolved health issues, due to insufficient “self-care.”
“Self-care,” is one of those terms that means many different things, to many different people. In some contexts, it will be a euphemism for New Age spirituality and in other contexts a euphemism for retail therapy.
When all is said and done, though, an effective self-care routine will be one which helps you to resolve issues you’ve been dealing with, restores a sense of emotional well-being and equilibrium, and helps you to regain a fruitful sense of direction in your own life.
Here is a brief intro to effective self-care.
Embrace the self-experimentation ethos (and keep records of everything you do)
There are millions of different lifestyle suggestions, dietary strategies, spiritual philosophies, and other techniques and pathways out there that people promote as being “the true path forward” when it comes to well-being, health, and so on.
Ultimately, though, human beings vary significantly, and what may be a perfect diet for one person may end up triggering health-destroying food allergies for someone else.
Trying to exercise good self-care by simply following what various “gurus” suggest, is not a very wise path forward. In order to exercise effective self-care, do your own research, and then do your own self-experimentation. Keep detailed records of everything you do, and how your different experiments make you feel.
Ultimately, you need to find the specific patterns and approaches that work for you – and this has to be accomplished through a process of trial and error.
Listen to the cues of your own body, instead of just “pushing through” blindly
Everyone knows that exercise is extremely important for obtaining and maintaining good health – but as with everything else, too much can do more harm than good.
With many techniques and strategies involved in general self-care, the temptation often arises to just push through any discomfort you might be encountering, while trusting (blindly) that soon enough, everything is going to click into place.
Of course, everyone has off days, and when adjusting to a different routine you do sometimes need to “push through” to some degree. But when it comes to self-care, it’s very important that you listen to the cues of your own body, and work to maintain a degree of balance and harmony.
If something feels genuinely bad, it’s probably not doing you any favours.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with tools that can help you on your way
People who embark on holistic self-care routines are often pretty skeptical of conventional medication, and the slippery slope that can lead from one prescription drug to another, to another, and on and on.
Beyond medications, however, there are likely to be various tools that can help to significantly improve your quality of life – and you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with these tools, and see if they might work for you.
If your hearing is bad and is causing you undue stress in your life, it might be time to bite the bullet and invest in a hearing aid. If you’re not as mobile as you’d like to be, maybe you should try out a cane. And if you experience disturbed breathing during your sleep, a CPAP machine may be a lifesaver.