As we transition to the new season — a time of rebirth — you might be thinking, "This springtime, how can I elevate my personal health and care for myself just a little bit better?
A great place to begin is with the core concepts of self-care and mindfulness, two of the most commonly used buzzwords in personal health today. Mindfulness refers to the practice of non-judgmentally observing the present moment, while self-care is all about nourishing yourself physically and mentally on a daily basis.
If we inspect the concepts more closely, it's clear they are closely linked — or, more precisely, that mindfulness is the foundation of self-care.
Think about what it means to take care of yourself: Eat properly. Go to the gym. Soothe yourself when you're feeling stressed. Take time for friends. Give yourself encouragement. Avoid self-destructive thoughts. Get a good night's sleep. Pray and be grateful. Take a deep breath. Smile and stand up straight.
Such behaviors, repeated many times a day, are the essence of self-care. Over time, these actions will lead to a state of overall health and well-being.
What do these self-care behaviors all have in common? They flow from a state of mindful self-awareness. To combat distorted, negative thinking, one must first be aware that it's happening. To remain positive, one must remember to be grateful, which requires awareness detachment from one's personal sense of suffering. To eat healthy, or to workout when you don't feel like it, one must remain aware and committed to larger goals without caving in to short-term emotions.
On the other hand, the unhealthy opposites of all these self-care behaviors arise from a lack of awareness or mindfulness.
So, as you go about your daily routine, and attempt to take good care of yourself, begin by taking a deep breath and non-judgmentally noticing the present moment. It is the basis of self-care.