Are you taking care of yourself?
It’s an odd question. You may be inclined to answer with confidence that you are, but when it comes down to it, do we really take care of ourselves the way we should?
If this question brings to light the many health-related problems in our lives, allow us to be the first to say: Self-care is not self-indulgent. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first. Life will always be stressful, but we have the power to learn how to ride the ebbs and flows of that stress in our lives. For Self-Care Awareness Month, let’s start our self-care journey by being honest about the real status of our well-being and focusing on the areas of our lives that need a little TLC.
What is self-care, exactly? The term broadly refers to all the things people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, as well as prevent and deal with illness. It is the practice of listening to our bodies' needs--whether mental, emotional, or physical--and responding in kind.
For all its simplicity, though, it’s a concept that is very often overlooked by many of us. There are just too many pressing matters in the day that we prioritise over our health. Though we would be justified in thinking that such matters are important, we should still take the occasional break to cut our body some much-needed slack.
It’s a good thing that our understanding of a well-lived and healthy life is finally breaking free from the notion that a strong physical constitution is all we need. While physical health does play a major role in our overall health, it is far from the only thing that matters. To truly understand self-care, it is vital for us to take a look at the types of self-care:
- Physical - Your body is a temple. This is true in more ways than one. Taking care of your physical health helps you fight off common illnesses and serious diseases. Make sure your body is in peak physical condition by committing to the right diet and improving your health with the help of daily supplements. Now Foods Daily Vitamins bridges the nutrient gap in our daily diet, while Now Foods Cal-Mag Stress Formula gives us an energy boost to seize the day our way!
- Social - Human beings are social creatures. We thrive on interaction with our peers. For us to lead happy lives, healthy social connections are a must. Get your social self-care fix by spending some quality time with your friends over a healthy and delicious bestfriend brunch with Now Foods Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix or Now Foods Organic Popcorn for the movie marathon mood.
- Mental - The stress accumulated from our daily lives has resulted in more than 300 million people in the world struggling with depression. With a statistic like that, it’s not hard to see why so many people turn to unique, often novel ways to cope with their stress.
Speaking of novel, give beauty therapy a shot! Create a self-care beauty routine that boosts your self-perception and mood! Don’t know what to try first? Start with taking care of your hair with our Now Foods Berry Full Shampoo or Now Foods Citrus Moisture Shampoo. Then, face the world with a sparkling smile using Now Foods XyliWhite Toothpaste Gel! Don’t forget to moisturise those lips, too, with Now Foods Solutions Peppermint Lip Balm!
- Spiritual - Our spiritual health is usually not something we talk about often. But as much as humans are social, they are also spiritual creatures. Nurturing the spirit goes beyond religion and faith. Spiritual health pertains to the harmonious connection of the different dimensions of our health: physical, emotional, mental, and social. It asks questions of contentment: Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled? These are just a few examples of questions to ask yourself when gauging your spiritual health.
- Emotional - Emotional health may seem indistinguishable from mental health, but the two are actually quite different. Mental health is concerned with our thoughts and how it influences our mentality; emotional health refers to our awareness of our emotions and our ability to manage and express them. Instead of ignoring uncomfortable emotions that occasionally arise, look into them closely to find out how best to deal with them.
Other Ways to Self Care
We’ve discussed the five types of self-care. We’ve looked at the best supplements to complement diets, the importance of social interaction, of looking good on the outside and feeling good on the inside, understanding one’s spiritual health, and handling uncomfortable emotions. If you’re still thinking about other ways you can take care of yourself, here are some more:
- Financial - Although this is more of an external issue, thinking about things like debt or taxes or wealth disparity can weigh on us, even though they’re abstract concepts. Get your affairs in order by creating a feasible financial plan or learning basic, realistic budgeting strategies to maintain financial stability.
- Intellectual - A person’s openness to new experiences is a major sign of great intellectual health. It pertains to your desire to hone your skills and challenge yourself in your field. Intellectual self-care is important because you never want to keep your brain stagnant. Boost your brain with Now Foods L-Theanine, which contains the unique L-theanine amino acid found in the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. It improves concentration and promotes healthy cognitive function. Chewing on brain foods containing magnesium, iron, zinc and copper  like Now Foods Raw Pumpkin Seeds can also go a long way!
When you’re in a bit of a funk, it is really easy to internalise your problems and blame yourself. You may chastise yourself for having that extra slice of cake, or for buying that new phone to replace your old one, or maybe even for filing that vacation leave even when you know you absolutely deserve it. But you should realise that every once in a while, it’s not bad at all to prioritise yourself. After all, the most important commandment of self-care is to be kind to yourself first.