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Mindfulness is a quality that everyone possesses, and not something one needs to conjure up. It is, at the core, the ability of a human to be fully present in a given moment, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by their surroundings.
The challenging and catastrophic times, brought on by the pandemic, have taught us many lessons. It has made us realize that we are all connected — it is when we take care of ourselves that we take care of our families, friends and community as a whole.
To put things in perspective, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that self-care is what we do for ourselves, in order to “establish and maintain good health, and to prevent and deal with illness.” So, what does this mean? Let us deep-dive into this subject to tackle the notion that links self-care to a fluffy practice.
If you think self-care seems too selfish, self-serving, and is all about being self-involved, be rest assured that you are NOT alone! You have to start somewhere and have a firm belief that self-care is a path that makes interdependence extremely joyful.
It is also more than what we see on our social media feeds. For instance, commercials for skincare products, yoga poses, stress-relieving foods, beverages, etc. The idea of mindfulness that comes from self-care has, over time, evolved into caring for your mental health and well-being. It is ultimately about setting priorities, redefining boundaries, attempting to find a purpose, and keeping yourself emotionally safe, in order to engage with life in a much more positive way.
Self-care is very subjective. It is different for every individual. You can work towards achieving mindfulness by doing the following:
On the professional front, one may feel incompetent and needy, but if something is getting to you, ask a colleague or delegate the task. Also, as we all are susceptible to work exhaustion, no matter what you do, make sure you are not indulging in work that can be taken care of the next day in the middle of the night.
On the personal front, if you need companionship, ask someone close for support. If you need an unbiased voice from outside, seek the help of a professional mental well-being coach.
Self-care should not be kept to chance, as it won’t happen on its own. If in case you are the primary caregiver, it becomes paramount to design a family respite plan that identifies with your needs as well as the types of help other people can provide in a family. The vital ingredients to keep sanity in check are a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, hygiene, and a favourable environment. It ensures that you are taking sufficient care of your body and mind to make yourself happier, more self-centred, and a solid person
Do not simply ignore your mental well-being to avoid feeling selfish and end up being overwhelmed, fatigued, and stressed. It is good to take care of your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Take a firm decision not just during the ongoing pandemic, but also once it has passed. It will allow you to more easily fulfil your own needs, as well as the needs of the people around you, at work and in your personal life.