We have seen women of all ages struggling to fit in the ‘perfect’ label created by the society. Some women completely forget themselves to fulfill their family’s demands. Women have a never-ending checklist of household chores and go to bed exhausted instead of asking for help. Women work tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of their families, only to forget about their health and happiness. We’ve all been there. Despite the pressure to be everywhere and do everything, paying attention to your own needs is equally important. That is exactly where the importance of the term self-care lies. Self-care is self-assessment leading to awareness, which leads to motivation for change. Self-care is not a new topic in Nepal. Self-care is not an indulgence but a discipline. Self-care is normally portrayed as utterly expensive and causes waste of time and money which only the wealthy people can afford. But this is only a myth and is absolutely untrue. Each and every woman needs to take care of herself for holistic wellbeing. This is especially important to women because they are so busy day and night taking care of their family that their own care falls the lowest in the hierarchy. The important thing to notice is that the women who take care of themselves have the energy to take care of others joyfully because that care-giving doesn’t come at their own expense. And while we should take care of ourselves, that doesn’t absolve us from taking care of everyone else. Girls, mothers, and sisters, please do not roll your eyes arguing that self-care is too selfish. While it’s entirely necessary to tend to our obligations, we rarely list ourselves among our priorities. We may enjoy taking care of others, but the best way to keep up with the pace is to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves too. Self-care is not a selfish thing but a very crucial step for a healthy and balanced life. Self-care is not just a quick fix for any complex issues or any unsolved problems. Women need to take self-care in a serious and disciplined way. One of the hot topics in self-development is self-care indeed. After your long day at home or office or at your business and all the stress that it involves, we need to reward ourselves for all the hard work and efforts we put into building a good home or a good business or building your own career or even taking care of your own family. Self-care should always be a priority. We don't need to hit a rock bottom to begin self-care. Self-care practice should not feel like an indulgence, neither should an occasional appointment to a spa, delicious chocolates, expensive bath items, beauty parlour visits, and makeup, etc. Self-care shouldn’t be reduced to a momentary activity or dispensable product. Self-care requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with. For example, self-care is turning off the TV instead of watching another episode of “The Kapil Sharma Show or any popular serial” because the alarm is going off at 5 am so you can get to the gym or exercise or do some yoga and meditation. Declining the request of people you don't want to associate with is also self-care. Saying “No” to the thing you don’t want to do even if someone is going to be angry at you.
• Self-care bandwagon • Go for a run or a light jog. • Meditate or do deep breathing for few minutes. • Take a break when you need it. • Be compassionate with yourself. • Choose who you spend time with. • Laugh heartily at least once a day. • Eat green daily. • Avoid emotional eating. • Start a journal. • Learn to say ‘No’. • Stop overthinking. • Maintain financial independence. • Do work that matters. • Let other people take care of themselves. • Prioritize your work. • Take a mini vacation. • Spend quality time with your loved ones. • Eat some authentic cuisines. • Cook for your family. • Spend some ME time. • Read your favourite books. • Listen to classic songs. • Take exercise. • Go for a hike. • Do gardening.
These little moments will reduce your stress, put things into perspective and fuel you for the tough journey of life. Basically, it can be anything that helps you calm your mind and soothes your soul. It might look boring at first but it takes discipline to do things that are good for us instead of what feels good at the moment. And it takes discipline to take full responsibility for our own wellbeing. Self-care must be made a habit because it’s not something you do once in a while when your world gets topsy-turvy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s about committing every single day to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice. This will eventually unfold a new way of life and living. Yes, the term self-care and self-love might sound very fancy but we cannot deny the fact that it has a profound place in our wellbeing. Why? Self-worth: Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Also, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too. You deserve to have clarity about what is good for you, what you should avoid, which areas of your life you need to focus on. Work-life balance: The common belief is that overwork brings success and money. But very contrary to that it paves the way for stress and exhaustion which actually makes you less productive and emotionally drained. And such kind of chaotic life adds up to anxiety and depression to insomnia and heart ailments. Setting professional boundaries ensures that you stay sharp, motivated and healthy. Another benefit is that it helps you to de-stress and hence improve your mental health. Stress management: Self-care is a very important tool for stress management. Constant stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health. Smart self-care habits like eating healthy, connecting with a loved one or, practicing meditation cut down the toxic effects of stress by improving your mood and boosting your energy and confidence levels. Start living, stop existing: Life is a precious gift. Why make bad choices and ruin this precious thing? We can make it more meaningful by indulging ourselves in self-care. Yes with the precious gift of life come a lot of responsibilities like paying your bills, cooking for your family, cleaning your home, etc. Little things like sipping tea while looking at the raindrops racing down the window glass, enjoying a little gardening, strolling down the woods, or reading a book are essential for your daily happiness. While small but proactive things, like taking up a new hobby or learning a new language, can make your life more purposeful by giving you a new reason to get up early in the morning. Taking care of our physical health: Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, taking adequate amount of sleep, caring about your hygiene, exercising regularly, etc. Nothing can be achieved with ill health. Self-care is also the best ladder to your own self-development. And self-care is a way towards fit and healthy life which is crucial for your overall balanced life. Ideally, women should correct the conventional way of totally sacrificing themselves and be mindful that if we are fit and healthy, our loved ones who we are responsible for taking care of are in better hands. Practicing self-care is the only way you can silence your inner critic. Ironically when you truly care for yourself, exercising all the discipline that is required, you are actually in a much stronger place to help those around you. You will be a happier parent, a more grateful spouse, a fully engaged colleague. And those who take care of themselves also have the energy to work with meaning and purpose towards a worthy goal which means they are also the people most likely to make the world a better place for all of us. Life can be challenging at times and our souls can get weary, but if we remember to soothe and nourish our body, mind, and soul through self-care, it will replenish and refresh the journey ahead.
Currently living in Turkey, the author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org