November is a national caregiver awareness month. The significance of consciously honoring caregivers also means honoring the importance of self-care. And it is important because it is not easy to do self-care especially when you are responsible for other people’s well-being. That is why we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work all the caregivers are providing. And it is also important to recognize the challenges all the caregivers, including us, are facing, which is “self-care.” Such a familiar concept, yet it’s always set aside.
We need to admit–it takes courage and organization skills to create some time for self-care. But we also need to bring the fact to consciousness that we cannot take care of others unless we are well.
And in reality, everyone is different in terms of “de-stressing”. So, here we are suggesting 6 ways to come up with your own best way to do “self-care.”
There are 6 areas you would like to cover to make your time-efficient self-care routine. Managing one thing in each area will make you feel good because it will support all the 6 needs of your well-being.
Here are the 6 areas and self-care examples:
You need to “express your emotion” in a productive way. For some people, that is playing music, singing a song, or dancing to music. For some people, drawing art, writing a poem, or maybe writing a letter or journal. For some people, making a cup of tea mindfully might be the way to celebrate a joyful moment. Taking on some help from a mentor or a coach may also be emotional and practical care.
This is the activity that will make you feel that you are in control, such as cleaning your room and organizing your closet. Also making a short-term/long-term plan, or making a budget will also help you feel you are taking a control of your life. Meditation is also a great way to remove “clutter” away from your mind.
This is self-explanatory–this is what you do to take care of your body–such as take a walk and do yoga. Sleep 6 to 8 hours a day, stay hydrated, eat balanced meals, etc. Try breathing deeply and slowly during your tea break while you are holding the teacup–it will help reduce your blood pressure.
This activity stimulates and satisfies your intellectual curiosity. Don’t you feel good when you learn something new? This activity includes reading a book, listening to an informative podcast, taking a nutrition course, etc.
We need interaction with healthy people. We need to feel loving and loved. This is the activity to gain a sense of unity. Nurture your relationship by going on a date with your friends, partner, or spouse. Take time to call your family and friends. Join a caregiver community that offers friendship and support.
Being spiritual is not necessarily going to a church or becoming religious, although religion could give spiritual strength. Being spiritual means you know you are connected with a power bigger than yourself and reassures you with abundant love, compassion, greatness, mercy, and hope. There are times when you feel overwhelmed, but spiritual strength enables you to bounce back. The activities include
- Taking time for self-reflection,
- Conducting tea ritual
- Taking time for affirmation, and
- Writing down what you are grateful for.
Start with One from Each Area
The challenge is to make it a habit. The fastest way to make it a habit is to start in the simplest way. Pick one activity to take care of one of each 6 areas: 1) emotional 2) practical 3) physical 4) mental 5) social 6) spiritiual. Each person has different needs and challenges and a set of “best self-care” varies. Below is one example of 6 actions of self-care:
Relaxing with a good cup of tea is a great way to wind up a long day. SEI MEE TEA offers a variety of non- or low-caffeine teas including “decaf sencha powder,” which performs like a healthier matcha alternative. Why don’t you treat yourself to start a new habit today?