Although we have good intentions, different factors prevent us from taking care of ourselves on a day-to-day basis, which takes us away from health, our feelings and happiness. What is the attitude to cultivate essential self-care? We give you the keys.
The unbridled pace that we impose on ourselves and the numerous duties and internal and external demands that constrain us make us often forget our day-to-day self-care.
Self-care is listening to yourself from the certainty that your nature is to be well and that being well is what you deserve. This type of well-being involves respecting your own needs to allow your body to regain the ability to self-regulate.
It is about following our impulses more to do what the body asks of us, what we like, before what is imposed or what we are supposed to like, although today’s society is organized in a way that makes us addicted to the opposite.
Reconnect with the need to take care it is essential to our guarantee good mental and physical health. How to achieve this reconnection with personal care? We give you the keys to awaken your full potential.
1. LISTEN TO US AGAIN
The most important thing is to strengthen the invisible thread that keeps us in communication with ourselves, with our most genuine bodily sensations and needs. Sometimes the withdrawal that we experience with the body is such that we are unable to identify the fatigue that overwhelms us, the hunger and even the small pains.
The head occupies so much space that the sensations are buried, as if anesthetized.
And more at this time in which the fear of getting sick favors this remoteness perhaps as a defense mechanism. But only by reconnecting with the sensations can we identify what can give us satisfaction in each moment, what we need to feel good.
2. STOP, REST AND PLAY
It is the body that lives in the present, and not the mind. Therefore, to keep this communication alive with us, we need to return to the here and now, and slow down.
If you observe the natural rhythm of any other living being – your cat, your dog, etc. you will see that they all take time to stop and rest, even to play. In fact, they spend more time sleeping and playing than doing any other activity. How many times a day do you give yourself permission not to do? And to play?
3. GIVING YOURSELF LOVE
Allowing ourselves this time to stop and listen to each other depends on the amount of love we can give ourselves. Without that love, self-abuse in the form of self-demands, unkind self-talk, or feelings of guilt can be constant.
It is about understanding that we deserve to be well, and that what we do not give ourselves, neither can others. In fact, if you give it to yourself, you will stop demanding it.
Loving one would be a first condition to be able to love those around us.
However, many people regard self-esteem and self-care as a form of narcism.
But, just as in the case of an emergency on airplanes, if the oxygen masks fall, we are invited to put on our own first and only then dedicate ourselves to helping others. We must remember that if we lack oxygen, we can do nothing for others.
4. DON’T BLAME YOURSELF OR DEMAND TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF
However, it is easy to get lost in the outside. Women, because they tend to take care of others more than themselves, and men, because they are more aware of external success than of their needs. The many centuries of Judeo-Christian culture have led women to blame themselves when they prioritize themselves. They have taught us above all to sacrifice ourselves.
Our culture values duty more than pleasure and love.
Selfishness gets a bad press, to the point that taking care of yourself ends up meaning more dose of self-demand to achieve new achievements: for example, in order to achieve a more attractive body we force ourselves to exercise or follow a diet to lose weight. We take care of ourselves by striving strictly. We do it again from the external “should”.
5. THINK ABOUT THE NEEDS THAT WE MUST COVER
As living beings that we are, we depend on an environment and it must satisfy our needs, needs that we can identify through physical sensations. When the stomach rumbles it is because we are hungry.
When we yawn, we need to sleep. These needs range from the most basic, such as physiological needs (sleep, eat, drink, have sex, etc.), to the highest and spiritual needs such as self-realization, through the needs of security, affection and recognition.
Today, paradoxically, physiological needs are the ones that we are covering the worst: we sleep less than ever in history, sleep disorders are common and we eat fast and badly. Sex doesn’t work out very well either. It is the last after all obligations. We do not have the most basic self-care integrated into our day to day, which in turn prevents us from satisfying our highest needs, since the basic ones constitute the ground on which the others settle.
6. REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NATURE
This lack of contact with our physiological needs is explained, to a large extent, by the fact that we live far from nature, in spaces such as cities that prevent us from perceiving the changes in light that the daylight hours and seasons of the year bring. Year and that separate us from a rhythm and cycles in keeping with nature.
This way of living disconnected from nature installs us in that world of ideas and of “how it should be”.
It disconnects us from our body and leads us to stop respecting its rhythms. For the first time in the history of mankind, in 2020, the mass created by man exceeded that of nature. In other words, it seems that it will be increasingly difficult to regain this contact with our body, with our origin, and therefore meet our most basic needs.
7. MOVE MORE TO RECONNECT
Living in cities also prevents us from meeting another important primary need: movement. The city implies a greater use of the car and living in closed and small spaces. However, we are made to move continuously.
Performing physical activity regenerates us internally and energizes us.
Pediatrician points out, for example, the importance of free movement in children’s development.
In adults, exercising facilitates the discharge of fear and tension. Moving also allows us to develop organismic wisdom, that is, to connect with the physical sensations that tell us what feels good and what doesn’t. Movement generates internal force to change things and transform what we do not like. For all these reasons, moving is self-care.
8. TAKE CARE OF THE RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS
Another element of self-care is contact with others. Relationships help us feel good about ourselves. We need hugs, intimacy and belonging, because it gives us security. We are social animals that regulate themselves through others.
Our autonomic nervous system is designed to empathize and feel compassion, to read in the faces of those around us those signs that indicate danger or the opposite. When these signs awaken us security, pleasure and happiness appear, while insecurity puts us on alert and makes us feel unhappy, because it is in a safe environment where we can feel free to play, to be spontaneous, and to be calm. And enjoy.
9. FEEL IN HARMONY
The psychologist Abraham Maslow defines peak experiences as those in which the person feels in complete harmony with himself and with what surrounds him and therefore experiences a deep state of well-being. In this state, the person is one with the world.
We could consider that it is the moment when that person feels all their needs satisfied, even those of self-realization. One is more in contact than at any other time with the face of “God” on earth. But what do we need to promote those experiences, that way of feeling?
You can make a list of all the resources that facilitate the feeling of fulfillment from all those experiences of happiness that you can remember. All these resources, which are already in you, constitute one of your main inner potentials to develop self-care.
10. EXERCISE TO KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES
We propose an experiment to connect with this feeling of fullness in your daily life and find out what could facilitate it.
Close your eyes and relive an experience of well-being. Remember a time in your life when you felt particularly good, a time when you felt very happy. If you can, recall the best moment of your life or one of the best. Watch your body
- What were the bodily sensations you had thanks to that experience?
- What was your breathing like? In what part of your body did you feel pleasure or well-being: in the legs, in the chest?
- What conditions led to those sensations? Freedom? The lightness? Recognition? The movement? Laugh, sing, share, play?
Allow yourself to feel it and pay special attention to what changes in your body when you enter this state.