Complete self-care involves several factors. It involves Physical Self-care, Psychological self-care, Social self-care, Spiritual self-care and Professional self-care. Tackling all factors at once may seem daunting and hard. However, with the advice and tips that this blog provides, you can successfully master each individual factor and enhance your journey to living a healthy life.
Maintaining physical fitness is a vital step to attaining a healthy self-care routine to enrich your life experience. The fruit-ages of being physically fit can be more immediate. Research from UCLA demonstrated that the hormones released due to working out create an environment for your brain to thrive in and generate new connections due to brain plasticity. The energy that you release during a workout to get through that final push up or endure the last 5 minutes of the hike, creates a euphoric adrenaline high. A Swedish research paper discovered that the anti-depressant effects exercise has on the mind is due to cell proliferation in the hippocampus that alleviates depressive mechanisms. Furthermore, an amazing result of Physical activity is improvement in short term memory. A study by Whitbourne analyzed the effect exercise had on the short-term memory of adults and their daily activities. The results indicted a higher recollection rate when participants had engaged in the daily physical activity in comparison to days when they were less physically active. Thus, affirming the positive impacts of exercise through Physical self-care.
Physical Self-care also includes the more traditional activities of beauty maintenance. Maintaining an appropriate hair style/cut and ensuring that your physical appearance is decent and well kempt significantly impacts your mental health. Being confident in your appearance can motivate you to be more outgoing and strategic in your behavior. Furthermore, your interaction with individuals are likely to be more positive as people are drawn to the sophistication of your attire. The Joy of pampering yourself also benefits your self-care as you are reaffirming your self-love by caring for your physical body. Such positive experiences flow into other forms of self-care such as Social and Psychological.
Psychological self-care requires you to emotionally take care of yourself. This means taking time to engage in a pleasing hobby, going on a vacation or spending time with people who uplift you. A simple way to integrate an emotional self-care factor into your daily schedule is by taking a few minutes everyday to reflect and be mindful. Starting your day with mindfulness techniques that require you to reflect on matters like your emotions, goals and aspirations in a healthy way, can reward you with a sense of tranquility, as you have peacefully contemplated matters that are emotionally nourishing.
Such benefits can then reflect in your everyday activities. A study conducted by Van Vleet analyzed the benefits of positive mindfulness on patients with chronic illnesses. The results showed that patients who gained a positive mood through interaction with their loved ones were perceived to be coping more effectively with the tolls of their illnesses due to link of daily emotional support and up building. As psychological self-care had a significant impact on these individuals it is thus reasonable to conclude that the same effects can also be applicable and beneficial to the average individual.
Social self-care can be hard during this time because of social distancing. However, enriching current relationships that you hold can be very rewarding. research suggests that caring behaviors trigger the release of stress-reducing hormones. evidence suggests that the life-enhancing effects of social support extend to giver as well as to receiver. With current technological advances, socializing online can be very effective. Especially from the comforts of your home, balancing your social and personal time is much easier. With various meeting platforms you can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness and reduce your stress and improve your self-confidence and self-worth by engaging with people in your community this will help you to maintain and build strong relationships with friends while creating healthy boundaries that help with communication, trust and conflict management. Although it may not seem as significant upholding social connections plays a major role in coping with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one.
Spirituality today comes in all forms. Simply believing in a higher power through God or the power of the Universe is enough to hold a spiritual standing. Several studies have found the benefit of spirituality among-st addicts. Patients with high spiritual beliefs had a better capability to remain abstinent from alcohol and good long term recovery than others. The review of spirituality as a whole has found that positive values, beliefs and the power of faith contribute to health and happiness. Religious participation and spiritual practices have a positive effect on the survival of the sick, low disease incidence, prolonged remissions of chronic diseases, lower anxiety and depression level, healthy lifestyle and compliance.
Spirituality is strongly based on a personal quest for understanding of questions about life and meaning. Building narratives based on healthy perspectives may facilitate the integration of traumatic sensorial fragments in a new cognitive synthesis, thus working to decrease post traumatic symptoms. Furthermore, positive beliefs, comfort, and strength gained from spirituality, meditation and prayer can contribute to well-being. Improving your spiritual health through self-care will enhance your journey to a wholesome healthy life.
Professional Self-care can be achieved by adopting healthy stress mechanisms. Adopting healthy self-care strategies can promote characteristics of resilience, personal qualities or traits such as optimism, self-confidence, level headedness, hardiness, and having the ability to be resourceful during times of diversity. Additionally, you can integrate professional self-care into the work environment as a leader. A study found that when managers promoted work engagement to reduce the effects of negative affect and emotional exhaustion on productivity loss due to presenteeism through intervention. They recognized the importance of skills to build inner-calm to manage the complex work environment as providing permission to staff to implement self-care activities in the workplace, regardless of their employment status. Implementing such structures within your workplace will yield a positive work environment that will factor into your whole life balance.
Written by Edwina Fay Bijurenda (CBT Kenya)
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