Between juggling responsibilities and working hard to achieve your life goals, this roadrunner form of living can get overwhelming at times, which is why we tend to neglect self-care.
But what more of us don’t realise is the importance of self-care as it is crucial for our overall well-being. While it’s hard to allocate some ‘me time’ with so many items to check-off your to-do list, self-care is an important aspect of stress management. It’s a chain reaction – when your stress level is well managed, you can function better throughout the day.
Taking some time out of the day to practice self-care has many benefits. For one, if affects your physical health in a positive manner. Say for example you take some time to relax and get a massage or simply take a bath, this keeps you relaxed. When you’re relaxed, it prevents you from feeling overly stressed and as we know, chronic stress can lead to damaging our health.
Another benefit to note is that having a well-cared-for body makes you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, your emotions are stable and this will contribute to better communication with people around you. Also, learning to nurture yourself first before others will make you a better caregiver. Often times, people who neglect to make time for themselves will feel unhappy and be at risk of getting burned out.
Here are 10 simple ways for you to practice self-care in order to maintain your well-being. Jump on the self-care bandwagon because little steps like these go a long way.
TAKE A BATH
If you have a bathtub at home, a relaxing bath can help you relax and unwind after a long day. If you have kids at home and want some time for yourself, take a bath after putting your kids to sleep. Even if you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower will do. Studies have shown that a hot bath or show can lower your blood pressure.
You may have heard this one multiple times before. But it’s true – exercising regularly does wonders to your life, it extends your life span, it stimulates brain chemicals that uplifts your mood leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed. All of this is essential to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best part is, exercise doesn’t have to be done in a fancy gym, it could be done at home with no equipment required either. YouTube offers plenty of home workout videos, all you need to do is find one that suits you. Better still, go for a run outdoors – you’ll get a good sweat and breathe in fresh air.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged us to take short naps between the hours of zuhur and asar. When you wake up from a 10 to 20 minute nap, you will feel re-energized and ready to take on more tasks.
MAKE TIME FOR THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO
Most of us have that book sitting on the shelf we’ve been wanting to finish. Others may have found a recipe online they’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the time to do so. While we are constantly trying to meet the demands of work or family, set some time to allow yourself to try or finish what you’ve always wanted to do. Read a book, visit a museum, splurge on clothes, do whatever makes you feel good.
In addition to exercising regularly, we should also be mindful of what we put in our bodies. We are what we eat. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits and vegetables. You can also follow the sunnah and include food loved by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) into your diet such as dates, raw honey, yoghurt, milk, grapes, olive oil, barley, melon and pumpkin.
No matter how busy you get, you should not lose your connection with Allah SWT. Plan your day around the five daily prayers. The salah (prayer) serves as the foundation of our faith. When we pray, it provides us physical, emotional and spiritual benefits which ultimately is good for the soul. When you make time for Allah SWT, you will surely find ease.
When you perform ablution, the ritual of washing the hands, nose, face, forearms, hair, ears, toes and feet – it already gives you a sense of feeling refreshed. Also, the movements and positions of the prayer is beneficial for our bodies as it allows the increase in blood flow. Praying not only strengthens our relationship to the Almighty, but it also allows us to re-center ourselves.