girl lying on floor carpet at home with pictures and laptop

Why self-care is essential and how to do it right

by Rasi

Social media has shed some light (more like a stadium full of flood-lights) on the concept and ideas for self-care lately. Self-care in general has been reduced to wearing masks and a lot of me-time. The concept in simple words, is that if you do not take care of your own mental+physical well-being, then you cannot be the one to take care of anyone else. Self-care is not always the picture-perfect pleasant activity that gives you instant gratitude. Read on to know the tips for self-care you should be implementing right away, and why self-care is important!

girl sitting on bed wearing lavender silk camisole pyjamas applying korean sheet face-mask

Self-care has just been reduced to happy and fun activities that are instantly gratifying. While true, this is not the entire picture. Also, when I do grooming and beautifying, it is always accompanied by my laptop or kindle or the phone!

You will see the words self-care pop up a lot on your socials these days and most would be in reference to enjoying a beauty pamper-session or taking a mental health day. They are all correct but do not present the entire picture. There is more to self-care than beautifying yourself or taking a day off work. Self-care means acknowledging what must be done to secure a happy healthy future; and doing it even if you hate doing it in the moment. It can range from taking an hour to get a much-needed hair-cut, to telling someone off if they are draining your time/money/energy, to sitting and working out an actual plan for budget, or to making your health check-ups a priority. Here are my 8 top ways to practice wholesome self-care:

Identify what causes stress in your life

Self-care is anything that reduces stress. Recurring and most widely-induced stress is a result of any activity that puts a strain on:
– peace of mind
– financial situation
– physical health

Anything that is a constant source of stress affects mental health, and further physical health. Stress mainly arises from not being prepared for responsibilities and duties; the ones that we can’t escape. Keeping up with responsibilities and balancing it with my wants, is what stresses me out personally. It is pretty much adulting 101. Self-care is preventive health-care for your body, mind and soul.

girl fashion blogger sitting in a blue and grey aesthetic cafe wearing satin yellow camisole top and satin blue palzzo pants

Reflect on what stresses you out in your lifestyle. If you are honest with yourself, you will know what must fall in place to get things in better shape. Acknowledge it and get on it!

Seemingly small steps, done consistently, are the key here to keep you happy and healthy. Discipline in taking care of yourself to keep your batteries charged looks a little less glamorous and insta-worthy. But discipline is the strongest form of self-love. Here are my top 8 ways to practise self-care, so read on to check them out and keep the stress at bay!

Discipline is the strongest form of self-love and self-care

Taking care of your skin, hair, nails and hygiene in general:

Half of our mental health and self-esteem suffers because we compare ourselves to others. Let me tell you, paying attention to just keeping things clean and tidy is the best way to keep things low maintenance and always appear well-groomed and sophisticated. Besides, they are a part of our health and the society has come up with fun ways to make these things a pleasant activity too. Indulge once in a while.

girl sitting on bed wearing lavender silk camisole pyjamas and applying nail-polish on her toes

I find clean nails, hair and simple personal grooming are refreshing and calming. I only have patience to actually go the extra mile when creating content or going traveling though..

Cancelling plans and staying in to relax:

One of the best ways to recharge is to cancel plans when they feel like an extreme social obligation. Your body and mind can recharge on a calm evening at home. Socialising can get exhausting. A smart person said, if a conversation/interaction doesn’t give you financial gain, knowledge or entertainment of some sort, then it is a wasteful exchange. As adults, valuing your time over anything else and spending it wisely is the key. Purely obligatory plans are ok to cancel upon to conserve time and energy.

Eating right

Your body is a temple and it should be treated as such. What we put inside it directly affects our physical and mental energy. We can glorify eating junk all we want as having only one life and blah blah. But we all know bad food habits on the regular will eventually punish the body. Self-care is to find discipline in your food habits, anticipating your cravings and weaknesses, and making a plan to handle those pro-actively. Make a plan to enjoy that slice of pizza occasionally in moderation too! And planning gives us time to include healthy items in non-boring and delicious ways. Meal-planning has been positively life changing for husband and I. For useful meal-planning tips, read my blog post from before.

girl wearing floral camisole putting a tray to roast in the oven in the kitchen for meal-prep

Meal-prep is the best kind of self-care that I stick to, no matter what. It has made me positive, happy and I feel empowered knowing that everything I put in my body is thoughtful and good. Shot by my friend Jack Mohr

Making some sort of work-out a part of your daily routine

Working out or pursuing some physical activity as a part of your daily routine is always advised and is a great mood-elevator. It is scientifically known to release endorphins and reduce stress. Even if it may feel like it is the most burdensome task to do on some days, do it anyway because once you are done, you will NEVER regret it!

Self-care is preventive health-care for your body, mind and soul

The days when I feel blah due to PMS or something, I still push myself to do something light instead of the regular gym like dancing or yoga; even 30 mins or so on such days is enough to help me de-stress.

girl stretching over a bar in her active-wear

I have never in my life been athletic. I would run for 5 minutes and huff and puff like I was gonna faint! On many days, pushing myself to do that work-out has lifted my spirits and calmed me down. And filled my mind with hope and positive feeling. It almost feels like magic, I kid you not. Photo by Deejay Jukic

Engaging in relaxing hobbies and activities

Pursuing some hobby is the best way to pursue an activity that is calming and energising at the same time. Find something that engrosses you and feels like meditation.

Burning out is an inevitable part of normal life. That never ending to-do-list of adulthood that keeps refreshing every time you seem to get it done – that is the chain reaction waiting for explosion if left unchecked. Sitting in one place and feeling your shoulders drop in relaxation, doing something that makes you lose the concept of time, is one of the ways to give yourself a break. I can’t do actual meditation for the life of me; but indulging in something artsy absolutely feels like it.

girl sitting on bed wearing lavender silk camisole pyjamas going through her stamp collection

I have been collecting stamps since I was in school! I have been guilty of not spending enough time with my hobby. When I do, it just makes time fly and fills me so much wonder and inspiration..Find something super simple that makes you feel this way.

Enjoying some quality time with a loved one watching movies/TV or reading books, all such great activities to bond while feeling relaxed too!

Fun Fact: I HATE mundane morning chores. Like brushing my teeth. So I have now begun reading a book when doing morning things to make it more fun. I mean one can’t skip oral and personal hygiene but that doesn’t mean you can’t improvise!

girl sitting on bed wearing lavender silk camisole pyjamas reading on her kindle

I love the physical feel of books and that new-book smell a lot. But we should be cutting down paper for the environment! And i just love the ease of carrying an entire library on a tiny kindle..

Get enough sleep

Guilty of not following this enough myself. And of being the teen+adolescent who spent the whole night on the phone talking to a boy. sigh. How I wish I had respected all that sleep-time. The power that sleep has on efficiency and productivity (physical and mental), is unreal. Next to good food and work-out, quality sleep is quintessential. It is also a common theme with all successful people on the planet! On a side-note, also great are the naps at times when you need a break.

Do not ignore your to-do list of adult duties to ‘yourself’

Plan a trip and travel places

Studies show that the anticipation of vacation can bring just as much psychological reward as the actual vacation. Shane Lopez, a Gallup senior scientist and author of β€œMaking Hope Happen,” calls this β€œnexting”. Understandable that not all of us have the luxury to be able to travel as much but whenever it does come, savour it and make the best of it to prolong that feeling as much as the actual trip itself. If you aren’t a fan of travelling, replace the same with anything that you are looking forward to.

flatlay with a girl with scarf in her hair sitting on a table with laptop and a map and passport planning travel for ways to do self care and why self care is essential and how to do it right

I cannot explain how high I feel to even fulfil mundane duties when I have a trip to look forward to. I am glad to have found a legit term for it: ‘nexting’. It has helped me do better and be more patient with my loved ones too because I am doing what feeds my soul. Since I began traveling last year, I have been a much happier person just in general.

Catch up with your favourite people and avoid the ones that drain you

We tend to keep our low feelings to ourselves, for many reasons. I can assure you, 90 percent of the time, simply sharing those feelings changes your mood significantly! Engage in conversations and company that feeds your soul, intellect and body in a mindful way.

At the other end of the spectrum, avoiding people who drain you in any way, is even more important. Society, gender, culture and such things are shoved on to us to guilt us into tolerating a lot of stuff that wastes time and efforts and doesn’t serve us. Also included are activities that are just enabling other person’s incapability and laziness (again in the name of family or duties or whatever). Identify those and just stop. Limit your constant availability at the cost of your resources. Learn to show up for actual emergencies for people you love and not be on their constant beck and call. Focus that energy and time on your to-do list of adult duties to self.

girl sitting on bed wearing lavender silk camisole pyjamas talking on the phone

I have learnt to take efforts to catch up with people who make me feel good, and to take efforts to see those people in person when traveling. Learnt to just trust my instinct and move away from any interaction that doesn’t give me joy. Peacefully and politely.

In a nut-shell, Self-care is to be disciplined to foresee what is beneficial and good for us in the long run. Eventually when it becomes a disciplined activity, it does give us instant joy too! Why we often fail at self-care, is because many of us fail to develop a routine that incorporates healthy and mindful activities. We consider this to be a fix, rather than an ongoing way of life. We wait for a rock to hit before we realise that we need to prioritise our health and happiness first. Women particularly fall in the trap of burning out and letting their family and societal obligations over-power them.

Sure often take a break to pamper yourself and wear that mask or take that day off. But the aim, is to build a life where you don’t feel the stressful urgent need to take constant breaks!

This post has also been published as a guest post here at The Post India, and has additional useful information, with Indian context.

Where’s the hygge?

The whole purpose of self-care is to find peace of mind and revere that calm+content feeling.. Self-care is the way to take control of your stress and win as a responsible adult. The feeling of hygge, like 80 percent of the time in life, comes from peace of mind and not having pressing matters that cause stress!

Laters, people!
XoXo

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18 comments

AffiliateLabz 16/02/2020 - 11:37 am

Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

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Rasi 19/02/2020 - 9:27 pm

thank you so much for taking the time to read the post!
πŸ™‚

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Hannah 19/02/2020 - 7:27 pm

I love this! Self-Care is so important and these tips are fab x

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Rasi 19/02/2020 - 9:26 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to read!
I hope the tips are helpful
πŸ™‚

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Millie 19/02/2020 - 7:43 pm

I 1000% agree! Self-care has seemed to become something that it doesn’t have to be. The idea of putting on a face mask, for me, is not my ideal way of self-care. Whereas, listening to my body about what I am eating and when exercising is! I also really loved your photos that accompanied this really great post πŸ™‚

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Rasi 19/02/2020 - 9:30 pm

Thank you for the love!
And i know right! People want to pull allll the focus on the feel-good activities that are easy! But well being responsible and doing things that aren’t always fun but help us in the long term, THAT is the real self-care. Being organised and disciplined is what is conveniently overlooked. Because that is hard and not an instant fix that gen-Z can apply. Rolling my eyes here..
πŸ˜›

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Didi 19/02/2020 - 8:38 pm

Planning a trip is the best way to decompress for me!

Thank you for sharing your tips!

Didi | http://www.didicarwford.com

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Rasi 19/02/2020 - 9:35 pm

Right!? that is my most happy time to feel good and to keep my spirits up.
It is also great for me to re-align and find strength and enthusiasm to go thru my routines and duties with happiness and NOT boredom..
πŸ™‚

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Ellie 19/02/2020 - 9:59 pm

These tips are so so true! Especially the part about eating right and sleeping right too. Great post πŸ™‚
Ellie x | elliekblog.blogspot.com

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Rasi 19/02/2020 - 10:05 pm

Glad you could give this a read and find a few tips useful!
πŸ˜€
I think we underestimate the power of good night’s sleep..
πŸ™‚
Thank you for the love, hun!

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Jamie 20/02/2020 - 7:09 am

Self care is so much important and we often neglect it in our daily life because of hectic life and work schedule. Thank you for those amazing tips.

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Rasi 20/02/2020 - 7:33 am

Oh yes!I have sacrificed sleep on account of being busy and having so much to do! And that’s not good at all. Some things have to always be in place for a better and stable life overall. And a stable future.
Thank you for reading the post and I hope you find these tips helpful to apply in your life too!
πŸ™‚πŸ™πŸΌ

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Tunrayo Adigun 22/02/2020 - 6:38 pm

I talk about beauty products a lot and neglect other aspect of self-care, thank you for well rounded up tips, will definitely be using this for my mental health

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Rasi 22/02/2020 - 8:27 pm

Even with beauty regimen for example, the self-care needs involve a religious routine that we ought to stick to, no matter what! and support it with good habits and good food. We know that it takes discipline to stay away from crap habits after all. Thank you for giving this a read. Hope you find the tips in the post useful to apply..
πŸ˜€

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lam and TheGlam 07/04/2020 - 8:32 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing these tips, very helpful espacially during this lockdown

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Rasi 07/04/2020 - 9:10 pm

Thank you for taking the time to go thru the post!
This is the time to learn to plan better and be ready for when the time comes..
πŸ™‚
And it will come..

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Antonia | Sweet Passions 11/04/2020 - 1:36 am

Self-care really is so important. I definitely think that most people just don’t know the right way to do self-care that suits them. Engaging in relaxing hobbies and activities is my favorite thing to do.

Antonia || Sweet Passions

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Rasi 11/04/2020 - 12:34 pm

Oh totally!
In my situation where I have routine and adult life down-pat, i do have trouble letting go and relaxing every once in a while!
Constant state of mental stress and hustle needs a break!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post, babe!
πŸ˜€ 😊

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