7 Great Ideas To Help Take Care Of Yourself

Whenever there’s a discussion about self care, people find themselves tied up in knots and conflicted about the concept. In almost every culture, prioritizing yourself over others is seen as being narrow, self-centered or even selfish. Caring for others is a virtue that is to be valued above all else, sacrificing your own needs and comforts so that others can benefit is the cornerstone of many religions and traditions. 

As we evolve socially, economically, physically and emotionally these ideas are no longer viable. The ancient prescription, “Physician, heal thyself” has never been more relevant than it is today. 

What Is Self Care?

It has never been easy being an adult – there are overwhelming pressures at work and in personal life, combined with our own goals and aspirations, society’s expectations, concerns about financial security, peer pressure and health issues. 

With hectic schedules and the relentless cycle of routines in most urban households, there’s rarely a moment for reflection or taking stock of oneself. Most of the time, we are driven by a constant adrenaline rush, anxiety, stress and emotional ups and downs. 

If there’s one major lesson that the world has learned from the Covid 19 pandemic it’s the fact that ultimately, as adults we are responsible for our own health, fitness and wellness, whether physical or mental. 

The only real way to counter this is to recognize the difference between the body’s natural response to stress – the Fight vs Flight response, generated by the sympathetic nervous system. The counter response is less known, but equally important – the rest and digest complementary reaction that calms, renews and rejuvenates the body and mind. 

Self care is a process by which this beneficial response can be evoked, so that we regain our stability and balance in the midst of our chaotic lives. 

A study in 2010 reports that self care is a combination of activities that you perform consistently every day throughout your whole life to prevent illness, promote wellness and ensure that you are able to cope with stress. 

It means being mindful of yourself, listening to your mind and body, paying attention to habits such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, recognizing signs and triggers of stress, being proactive about exercise and fitness, expressing gratitude, developing interesting hobbies, staying connected with nature and more. 

Later studies expanded the concept to finding the right ways to connect with healthcare service providers, communicating with mental health professionals, educating yourself about healthcare, and ensuring that whatever you do is a conscious effort to stay well, happy and fit. Some professionals add a spiritual component to self care, minus the religious element. 

Benefits of self care include:

  • Improved health and fitness
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Better personal and professional relationships 
  • Boosts self-esteem and self-worth

7 Great Gift Ideas To Give Yourself

Practicing self care means that you treat yourself as you would want others to treat you: with respect, kindness, care and mindfulness. This means seeing yourself objectively, and recognizing all aspects of yourself, knowing what makes you feel good or bad, ensuring that you know how to cope with difficult situations. 

One way to practice good self care is to give yourself the occasional gift, indulge in something beautiful, pleasurable, practical, fun, quirky or deluxe.

  1. Self care Hampers: If you’ve ever gifted a hamper to a loved one, you certainly know the fun time you had choosing the items, the packaging and the thrill of getting a cornucopia of varied products. Why not replicate that feeling, and this time just for yourself? Wellness and self-care hampers can be packed with healthy snacks and drinks, dark chocolate, fruit preserves, quality linen, music, decorative pieces, silk pillowcases, satin hair wraps, aromatherapy candles, personalized crockery and more. 
  2. Smart Ring: These are all the rage right now, with A-listers and celebs endorsing the benefits of wearing a smart ring. They are beautifully crafted pieces of jewelry that function as wearable fitness trackers. They can track activity, sleep and readiness, analyze data and offer personalized coaching programs that help you to adopt a healthier lifestyle and develop a deeper understanding of your own body. 
  3. Wellness Journal: With Bullet Journaling or BoJo becoming widely popular across the world, gifting yourself a journaling kit would put you squarely in the midst of a great trend. Wellness journals are different from plain, ordinary journals with their boring blank pages. These books offer checklists, to-do reminder columns, thought-provoking quotes, space for graphics and sketches plus lots of space to pen your ideas, thoughts, emotions, rants and words of self-learned wisdom and gratitude. 
  4. Skincare Products: Stop drooling over those shelves of luxury skincare products, and giving yourself a million excuses for not purchasing them. Treat yourself to the full range from a quality brand and pamper your skin. Create a skincare routine that’s consistent, set aside an hour or two just for this. Apart from the great external results that you’ll certainly see in a few weeks, it’s hard to miss the amazing inner transformation that accompanies glowing skin. You will feel more confident, cared-for and valued. 
  5. Learning: There’s nothing that refreshes the brain more than learning a new skill – whether it’s a new language, craft, dance, music, art, cooking, gardening or carpentry. Rejuvenate those gray cells and feel fresh, motivated and enthusiastic all over again. Gift yourself a course or classes in something you’ve never done before and watch how great you feel. Try to get out of the house instead of signing up for an online class. You’ll find that you enjoy the extra bonus of meeting new people, and the change of scene will perk you up. Don’t worry about becoming a master at whatever it is you choose. Just enjoy the process and you’ll find that wellness flows in effortlessly. 
  6. Mental Health Self Care: When stress levels cross the high watermark, you’ll find it impossible to cope with the simplest of tasks. Why wait till then? Gift yourself a mental wellness pack and keep your emotions at optimal levels. Your pack can include doodle pads to scribble in, a collection of pens and pencils, a mood meter, emotions checklist, journals and notebooks, mindfulness quotes from the masters, an Ikigai guide, stressbuster toys, motivational readings, calm patches for tension headaches,  and more. 
  7. Spa or Salon Package: Choose a day, switch off your phone, call for an Uber ride and head for the spa or salon you’ve always wanted to visit. Sign up for a complete session of pampering, head to toe. Don’t wait for an important event or special occasion – do it just because you care for yourself. Today, unisex salons and spas offer a range of products and services for both men and women. You’ll find relaxation and rest as you unwind, with the tension falling away naturally. 

Self care is paradoxically the best way to care for others in your life. When you feel well, happy and relaxed that’s when the finer feelings of altruism and kindness enter your mind and you’re able to give the best to your loved ones. Self care means acknowledging that you’re as important as everyone else in the world. 

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