Sacred writings from many cultures and traditions express the virtues of treating others the way you want them to treat you. The idea is that you respect and accept other people so that they will do the same.
However, you may be one of the countless people who have no love for themselves, and you have no clue about the types of self-care available.
Listening to your inner dialog will give you a good clue to how you treat yourself. Is your self-talk positive, or are you constantly criticizing? Does that voice in your head make you feel unloved and unworthy?
Even if you have decent self-esteem, are you too busy taking care of others that you neglect your needs? Although it’s good to be respectful and consider other people’s needs, you must consider your needs too. How would your family and friends feel if you treated and talked to them the way you do yourself?
Discovering Types of Self Care
You may be startled when you realize how you treat yourself. Do you get enough rest and recreation, or are you chronically bogged down with work? Do you feel energetic and optimistic, or do you feel negative and completely drained?
If so, it’s time that you discover types of self care you can start today. It’s never too late to stifle the negative self-talk and become a personal cheerleader. You can begin by becoming considerate of your body, mind, and spirit.
Have you placed your needs and happiness on the back burner? Have you forgotten how to show yourself compassion, forgiveness, and consideration? Here are eight types of self-care for you to consider.
1. A Technology Break
In the 21st century, society is getting even more dependent on technology. Make a quick mental list of all the gadgets you have that are supposed to make your life easier. The Internet, cell phones, television, and smart appliances are just a few things you feel you must have.
Did you know that Americans will spend an average of at least 44 years of their lives in front of a screen? That’s a disturbing statistic shared in an article published by Study Finds. How much of that time is necessary, and how much is robbing you of priceless moments with family and friends?
When you are considering types of self-care, try taking a technology break. Make it a habit of turning off your phone and the tv during mealtimes. You’ll be amazed at the lively family conversations you’ve been missing.
Make the hour or so before bedtime technology-free. Instead, you can take a soothing bath, tell your kids a story, or spend some quiet time with your partner. Remember not to allow social media to replace face-to-face visits with family and friends altogether.
2. Cultivating Your Creative Side
Do you consider yourself a creative person? Just because you’re not a famous artist or musician doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy art or music. Enjoying hobbies and learning new creative skills are types of self care that offer many benefits.
You needn’t be an expert in the creative interests you choose. Do you enjoy writing poetry or stories? Maybe you’ve always had a knack for decorating cakes or carving wood sculptures. Use your creative outlets to relax and have some fun.
Spending time doing creative things you love is an ideal way to lower your stress levels. According to an article published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health, stress can affect your total well-being. While you can’t eliminate stress in your life, taking a creative break can help minimize it.
3. Showing Your Gratitude
Any list with types of self care would be incomplete without mentioning gratitude. How do you feel after you’ve done something kind for someone, and they thank you for it? Not only does it give you an emotional boost, but it also shows you as a grateful person.
Sometimes, life gets so hectic that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. In this state of mind, you may not remember to count your blessings. If you allow a negative attitude to creep in, you may become more critical and less grateful.
When’s the last time you considered how blessed you are? Not only do you have your basic human needs met, but you also have many of your wants. There’s a distressing question that asks how you would feel if you awoke tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for yesterday.
Part of self-care is lifting your spirit with gratitude. Many people like to make a gratitude list or include it in their daily journals. When you feel down, review past entries to remind yourself of the countless things that enrich your life.
4. Living Mindfully
It’s sad when you consider how many people go through their lives without much thought to the world around them. One of the types of self-care taught by some Eastern religions and philosophies is mindful living. No task or idea is too insignificant for you to notice.
When you have a meal, do you race through it so you can get to another task? How many times have you awakened early to watch a sunrise or considered the glittering stars at night? It sounds complicated but living mindfully is simply opening your senses and being “at the moment.”
Try to consider every moment of your day sacred. Instead of rushing obliviously through your daily routine, do everything with reverence and purpose. Be mindful and grateful for every breath and every activity, no matter how small.
If you have children, you know how curious they are about the world. Their curiosity, trust, and bursts of joy can be a lesson to adults. Somehow, many adults become callous through the years and forget how to see the world as a child.
Even though you are an adult, your inner child is still with you. While you do have adult responsibilities and expectations, learn ways to relax and be a kid again. Revisit the fascination of nature or how fun it is to splash in rain puddles.
The best way to bring out your inner child is to spend time with your kids or grandchildren. Laugh at silly jokes or pretend you are a character in a make-believe world with them. As you spend quality time together, you get a break from being an adult, and your inner kid will thank you.
6. Staying Active
Are you physically active, or have you become a permanent fixture in your recliner? An article published by the Cleveland Clinic states that over 80 percent of Americans don’t get enough exercise. Being physically fit is at the top of the list for types of self-care.
You don’t have to buy an expensive gym membership or run a marathon to be active. The important thing is to get your body moving regularly. Walking, swimming and stretching exercises are low-impact and are easy for most people to do.