By Younas Chaudhary
The pandemic has worn us out. Now, it is time to focus on self-care. What is self-care? Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. Self-care begins when you love yourself first, to start taking care of your mental and physical well-being.
Self-care helps us lead healthy and productive lives. I admit that I learned it the hard way. In June 2014, my wife, Bushra, was unexpectedly diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. I was depressed for the first two years after her diagnosis. Therapy and other ways to ease my mental strain were suggested, but the thing that worked best for me was self-care. Here are a few tips to love yourself:
- Start with self-compassion
Following Bushra’s diagnosis, I was angry at everyone from my family to God and I would constantly ask why this happened to our family. As months passed, I realized that depression would only worsen my health and life. So, I reconciled my thinking that God had a better plan ahead for me. God is testing my ability and patience to deal with grief. I started telling myself that I needed to take care of “me.” So, I began my journey towards self-compassion, forgiving myself and others, focusing on being healthy and happy, and leading a meaningful life.
2.Gratitude is key
Showing gratitude to God is something personal between you and your God. I personally believe that it is equally and even more important to show gratitude to people around us who make our lives better every day. For example, I felt the power of gratitude when I got a Facetime call from a friend who was on his deathbed. The friend had a serious health condition for several years and the doctors had given up all hopes. He could not talk but from his expressions I could gather that he wanted to thank me during his final moments. I was touched by his show of gratitude as I paid for his caregiver services. Such events show the power of gratitude.
3. You can start self-care any day
I ignored taking care of my physical and mental health in my younger days. There is no better time than now to believe in yourself and start taking care of your physical and mental well-being. Looking back, I regret those decisions and I encourage anyone to begin taking care of themselves and making it a regular priority.
4. Stop getting upset and angry
What makes you angry? How does it impact your health? I was not a happy man during the early years of my life, but later I mellowed down. Getting upset and angry makes you hurt inside and this impacts your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
5. A healthy lifestyle matters
Wake up early, have a daily routine, eat healthy home cooked food, and try to sleep at a fixed time. These consistent routines will get you seven to eight hours of sleep which will improve your mental and physical health.
6. Make time to be with nature
I purposely make time to be with nature by visiting trails, hiking, yoga, beach trips, and regular walks around my neighborhood. After living in Houston for four decades, I recently found out that Galveston’s sandy beaches are beautiful with their strong ocean waves. I suggest that you find and make time for yourself to be with nature.
7. Think positively
Always think positively despite the daily challenges faced at work and home. Think that today is the best day ever, help people around you, and go hug someone.
Self-care will reduce stress, take away anxiety, and will help you focus on your life. By taking care of yourself first, you will find your purpose in life as well as celebrate your victories and blessings. Start loving yourself now!
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.