I feel suffocated, emotionless and my world crumbling around me. For this reason, I’m trying to inhale a large breath in and exhale another out after a stressful day or was it not so stressful after all? I’m thinking to myself, what was my day like.. not so bad in fact, so am I just pretending that the rush of the world going by too fast around me is affecting me as I live each day? Ok! So let me try to get another go at breathing easily, peacefully but more mindful instead of thinking about everything; meaningful or not. As I sit in my own space, I figure out that I need to breathe in easily and let oxygen expand into my lungs, flow into my body, reach my brain and then it’s time to let it all out to makeb space for more oxygen. The more I do this, the more I realise what my body, mind and soul holistically needs. It needs love or rather self-care and I confirm it as I look at my bitten nails, as I look in the mirror and see tired eyes and a slouched body. I continue to feel it through the pressing headache I have. Many things are going inside my body and my mind, no wonder I feel heavy. I need to take care of myself more because I feel and look somewhat miserable. I forgot about myself as I was dragged into my busy and goal oriented lifestyle.

Isn’t This Common?
This is a situation which we possibly find ourselves in too often. We tend to make time for everything, but we forget about ourselves and how much our individuality fuels who we are and how we go about each day. It’s all about the self-care, an essential gift which we need to owe to our self with gratitude and without guilt. We are who we are and how we treat ourselves!

Time to watch out for yourself – Self-care is the word!
Self-care is not just keeping your nails polished with the brightest colour and/ or your hair done in the fanciest and most expensive way because it’s the trend, but it’s looking after yourself mentally and physically too besides other ways. And what I mean by taking care of yourself, it refers to ways which are otherwise satisfactory for your own general well-being.
Self-care can take many forms such as:

  •  Sensory – looking out to the sensations around you and being able to appreciate the
    present moment
  • Emotional – engaging with your definition and understanding of what goes through
    your mind
  • Spiritual – getting in touch with what really matters to you; your own values and
    beliefs
  • Physical – keeping healthy through physical rituals and routines
  • Social – connecting with others around you

They are all important aspects which we need to include in our daily encounter, whether we have time or not. This is not a one-time deal, but it must become a learned habit, which is necessary for all of us. As I write this, I remind myself of my own self-care ideas, and I’m willing to share them with you.

My own idea of self-care…
I love going to the beach and appreciate all the nature around me including the feel of the water, the smell of the sea, the texture of the sand, watching the sunrise and sunsets, meeting friends, being completely on my own at home and get lost in my own thoughts, going for walks and trekking, playing with animals, listening to music, helping others through volunteering and the list is endless. This shows that I have more than just work and study, but I am not always aware of this. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that life is more than the normal routine we tend to engage in! I now invite you to think of your idea of self-
care.

It’s only beneficial
A main benefit is to replenish your own energy and renew yourself for a more meaningful and balanced life. It is an approach where you can become closer and more attentive to your needs and giving yourself little pleasures. So, self-care is all about this and having more of what makes you happy, content,
serene and satisfied after all. But because we tend to keep ourselves busy with school and work and all other musts, we might need to specifically allocate such likings within our daily schedule, until they become our healthy habit. Once you manage to do this, you’ll delight in small pleasures, and nothing will seem quite as difficult as it did before, because you learn to set a time for everything. After all, it will help you feel more connected to your inner self, but also to the world around you as you deal with life as it comes.

What’s your plan?
Think of what makes you happy and what defines your idea of self-care.. be it a journal with your reflections, praying, meditating, lying on your bed with your favourite music on, singing, going for therapy, running, or joining a group for supportive purposes… Make sure that this is what you really need and desire at this specific time in your life. Go ahead, stop what you’re doing and think about this and plan ahead.. this surely is your first step into taking care of yourself. The will to read this article can also be your motivational factor for taking the plunge and set the list..