Sometimes, in the ongoing daily rush of life, we end up putting ourselves way down in our order of priorities. Other things and other people take precedence. Unfortunately, if we don’t take out the time for our own selves, we will eventually face unhappiness, frustration and burnout. I have gone over the “why” of self-care in earlier posts. Therefore today as part of this series on my theme of “The A2Z of Physical and Emotional Wellness”, I’ll talk about the concept of nurturing yourself. The inner you needs nourishment in order to grow, and only you can provide this.
What are some of the ways of nurturing yourself from within?
Read: Reading books of different genres is great for your emotional and intellectual growth. As a teenager, I was fixated only on fiction but fortunately, later in life, I discovered lots of other genres that resonated with me. I’ve read books on history, marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health, and a lot more. Each new idea you read about, broadens your world a little bit more. Of course, I still read a lot of fiction too!
Listen to your body: As we grow older, our body changes and we need to learn to listen to it. If you pay close attention, you will figure out the cues your body is giving you. Respect them, and adapt your lifestyle. It might mean changing your sleep pattern or adopting a new diet/fitness plan.
Spend time with positive people: You might have read that we are basically an average of the five people that we spend the maximum time with. Now if that is true, shouldn’t we choose our five wisely! I’d rather spend my time with people who are positive, hopeful and joyful rather than pessimistic and cynical.
Do things that bring you pleasure: Make time in your life for things that bring you joy, no matter how small or irrelevant they might seem to others. Follow your passions, indulge your hobbies. Doing something creative is great for the mind and the soul.
Practise relaxation: Learn some relaxation techniques and practise them regularly. Even a five-minute daily meditation can help bring down stress levels considerably. Some people use exercise or music therapy. Find what works for you and helps you.
Have a learner’s mindset: Open yourself up to new experiences in order to nurture yourself. Treat life as an ongoing adventure and a constant learning experience. Try to learn something new every so often – be it from a TED talk, or a blog from your own career field, or anything outside your current knowledge area. Constantly learning new things keeps our brains from ageing too early too.
Take tech breaks: Schedule some downtime for yourself where you don’t check your phone/laptop/tab etc. for emails and messages. Put your phone on silent mode for a bit. Use the break to catch up with other things. Try booking a weekend break where you don’t carry any gadgets and tech with you. Disconnect to reconnect.
Spend time outdoors: Being out in nature is great for nurturing yourself. Try and spend some time outside, maybe in a neighbourhood park where you can go for a walk. When you plan a vacation, try to work in some kind of park/hiking/outdoors experience too. It will be fun and rejuvenating.
Taking out time to nurture yourself is not selfish; by taking care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of others in your life too. It is as essential as any of the other responsibilities of life.
What are the things that you like to do for nurturing yourself? Do share!