Written by Siddhi Latey (Weloquent)
Kindness is the virtue of showing love. Growing up, we are told to be kind to our elders, our neighbors, our friends, to the less fortunate in our society, and the list continues. Unfortunately, this extensive list does not include practicing self-care and extending this kindness to ourselves.
Have you ever considered being nice to yourself, breathing free and firm, meditating, and exuding inner calm because it is a reflection of who you are?
Self-care improves one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. It is particularly relevant now since the pandemic has led to a spike in stress and anxiety for many of us. Amidst online classes, homework, and assignments, making time for oneself might seem like a far-fetched dream. However, the following six self-care tips are easy to follow - and allow us to be a more relaxed version of ourselves: -
Know What Self-Care Is.
Self-care is one of the most misunderstood concepts and is often confused with either self-indulgence or self-improvement. Self-indulgence is when you think about spending time in mind-numbing activities such as scrolling through social media, binge-watching a show on Netflix, or indulging in your favourite food. In reality, this self-indulgence can only give temporary happiness whereas self-care is more proactive and it works towards understanding yourself better.
On the other hand, self-improvement stems from “fixing” our drawbacks such as procrastination or laziness through exercise and other means. Self-care is different because it encourages you to nurture yourself now as opposed to working hard for a future healthier version.
Start with a Scheduler
A common complaint concerning self-care is that there is no time to practice it. Therefore, efficient time management is a prerequisite for self-care. Observe your day and make note of how long your classes last, how much time you need to study for, how much time you spend on your phone or watching a show, etc. Once you have a fair understanding of your routine, you will know when you can spare an hour or two for yourself.
Explore the Outdoors…Again
When we were in the middle of the lockdown, stepping out was a luxury that we could not afford. Now, however, if the situation has improved in your neighbourhood, consider enjoying the outdoors again (but with proper precaution). Instead of relaxing in bed with a phone, try to spend some time with nature. If you are a morning person, go for a run before your day begins and if you prefer the evenings, take your cycle for a ride when you go to visit your friends.
Pursue A Hobby
The best thing about a hobby is that you need not necessarily be good at what you enjoy doing. There is often a lot of pressure about being good at something you love. In reality, however, you may be a bad cook and yet enjoy fixing a meal for yourself, or you may be terrible at painting but the colours might excite you - so, don’t be afraid to paint in a colour book you maintain only for yourself.
Making time for your hobby at least once a week if not every day is important because it can lift your spirits and make you feel good about yourself. If it is not possible to spare time on weekdays, pursue your hobbies on weekends.
Reach Out to Your Support System
Maintaining physical distance need not necessarily translate into an emotional distance. If you are feeling low or bored, you can reach out to your friends and see what they are up to. Better if you can join them and spend some time unwinding. Share your thoughts with a parent or your sibling. After all, the pandemic has been rough on everyone. Ask your mother how she is coping with the stress and if you can do something to help her.
Book a Therapy Session
The pandemic has been a challenging time and most of us have not had the tools to deal with it. In fact, according to a survey by Best Colleges more than 90% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms due to the pandemic. Considering this, if you feel overwhelmed or anxious or experience any negative emotions, don’t hesitate to book an online therapy session with an expert who can help you manage your stress better.