IS SELF CARE A FORM OF MENTAL HEALTH?
2020 ushered in new era of hyper awareness. People become acutely aware what was going on around them, which had profound effects on their mental health. The year couldn't have been more of a disaster! The pandemic, black lives matter, wars, civil unrest, human rights violations, and the effects of global warming (just to name a few). Somehow we all silently knew that nothing would ever be the same. But with all this unrest and instability, came new coping mechanisms.
Very early in the pandemic, #selfcare started trending. People became more transparent about how they were feeling. Many of us were struggling and looking for a way out. Personally I was struggling to cope. I felt trapped in my apartment far away from the people I cared about. I was worried about my future, my loved ones, and the state of the world. Three lockdowns in Paris didn't help either. I was like a caged animal searching for a way out. And as the days passed, it became harder to exercise patience. My life was at a standstill, and I could feel the weight bearing down on shoulders.
Before the pandemic started, I was always on the go. Work, work, work. I didn't know when to rest. I just kept going and going until I was burnt out. Once I was out of commission, then and only then would I stop to take care of myself.
Now there was this new thing called self-care. I had to learn in a new way. I started to put myself first. Slowly I began to realize that I would never be as happy and successful as I wanted to be unless I began to practice self-care. But what did self-care look like?
Self-care can be defined as taking the necessary steps to provide oneself with psychological well being. That may look different for everyone, and manifest itself in different ways. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is defined as "a broad concept which also encompasses hygiene (general and personal); nutrition (type and quality of food eaten); lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.); environmental factors (living conditions, social habits); socioeconomic factors (income level, cultural beliefs etc.); and self-medication."
What does self-care mean to you? And how have you implemented the practice of self care in your daily life?
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF CARE
There are many other ways to practice self-care. Implementing the correct self-care practices ultimately depends on what feels right to you, and what fits into your lifestyle. Creating healthy habits that foster our emotional and psychological wellbeing gives us a sense of serenity, and helps us to evolve. Supporting oneself by creating an environment of self-love is the key to healing the inner self. Self-care is not selfish but an act of self-love.
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