Lately, more and more often, at the end of a conversation with someone dear, in an email signature or in a simple message, we hear or send a short, quiet, but full of care: “Take care!” What does it mean to take care of yourself today? Is that concern reserved for emergencies or should it be part of our relationship with ourselves always and everywhere? How is this concern reflected in and how should we practice it?
What is self-care and what is it not?
Taking care of ourselves is every activity we do to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Although this almost academic definition sounds simple in theory, it is often overlooked in everyday life. We all spend most of the day jumping from one obligation to another on a long list of things that cover work, family, friends, home, and so we reach the evening completely tired and empty. It doesn’t seem tempting to add another item, self-care, to that long list.
Fortunately, taking care of yourself is much more than a small empty square that we tick between the sent e-mail and the laundry. As well as much more than a mere phrase of pop psychology, a bubble bath or the decision to treat yourself to your favorite treat. It is an attitude towards oneself, which colors and drives all our deeds. Taking care of yourself means adjusting your own radar so that you can hear your body and emotions, understand your own needs and love yourself enough to take care of them. It’s not just pleasant hedonistic activities, but on the contrary quite often boring obligations or decisions that fill us with fear, despite being good for us in the long run. You take care of yourself when you schedule a systematic examination or when you cook something healthy, although it is easier to put it off and prepare yourself for some immediate pleasure.
Why is taking care of yourself the most important life lesson?
The answer to this question is obvious at first. It is contained in expressions and clichés such as one famous in Serbia: “If you are not kind towards yourself – you are not kind towards others either.” And although there is truth in this, of course, taking care of yourself is important primarily for ourselves, not for others.
This is because it is the key to prevention, and prevention is the key to health – both physical and mental. Following yourself and your body means not allowing a little discomfort to turn into ailment and illness. So do not wait for the red alarm, but be in constant harmony with the commands. Taking care of yourself is the most important life lesson because it means taking responsibility for your own well-being, for your own health. Do not look for excuses or culprits, but only time and ways to dedicate yourself to your body and soul. Which brings us to the question…
How to introduce self-care through everyday habits?
The first step is the state of mind: it happens when you realize that you do not have to constantly improve yourself from the beginning, but to take care of yourself patiently and persistently.
The second step is to get to know yourself: because each of us comes with our own “instruction manual”. And if your instructions are lost or rarely opened, it will take time to learn what each signal means.
The third step is education: after you learn to listen to your body, you need to learn what you need to give it and why. To understand which vitamin, what food and what activity will bring you good. And how to turn a healthy decision into a habit.
We are here to make it easier for you to take care of yourself. Let us give you a push start on your first step, support and knowledge on the second, and a map, compass and specific advice on the third.
Take care of yourself. And we’ll take care of you.