Before we start caring for the environment, we have to take care of ourselves first. It is us who determines the kind of attention we deserve. It entails the right amount of self-love. But what if you can both take care of the environment and your being all at once? How amazing that will be!
First, let us redefine what self-care is. We will also learn steps to take to be responsible for our holistic well-being. We will see how to align our self-care routine to sustaining the environment. Let’s see how self-care is done the right way.
What is Self-Care and Why is it Important?
According to Counselling Psychologist Raphailia Michael, self-care refers to “any activities that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” It entails considering all aspects of our being especially when working on decisions. It is not only limited to fulfilling the hearts desires, but also satisfying our mind and body. It should be done in a holistic process. That said, self-care demands equal benefits, if possible, to mental, physical and emotional health. That should always be the case.
With this in mind, we should take note how progressive self-care is. It creates a healthy condition for someone to actually do productive tasks while staying happy when executing it. Steps should be accomplished willingly. It should be always beneficial.
Personally, self-care is a way to reduce stress. It can even reduce the risk of burnout. Does this mean we can do anything only thinking about ourselves? No, self-care is not a selfish act. It is the total opposite. When you think of how to take care of yourself, you somehow do that with this motivation: to do things with others in mind. We do not only think of what is good for ourselves. We also see how caring to self will impact others. That said, self-care is caring for everyone around us, too.
The very idea that we care for ourselves because we care for others defines self-care. This makes the whole idea meaningful and very rewarding. Imagine if the world can see self-care in this perspective, the Earth could be a better place to live in!
History of Self-care
The term “self-care” become popular in 2016 during the election season in the United States. It appeared to be one of the most Googled terms including queries of “what self-care is”. Long before that, the term self-care is only popular in the field of medicine. The view broadened over time.
Self-care was regarded by doctors in the 1960s and early 1970s as “a way for patients to treat themselves and exercise healthy habits…under the guidance of a health professional.” However during these times, self-care was mostly associated to mentally ill and elderly people. However, a study by B. Hudnall Stamm explored on how traumatic stress experienced by professionals can be solved by self-care. This gave the concept a new perspective. From then on, people started to give attention to this health need.
Women’s movement and civil rights movements also contributed to the foundation of self-care. In the 60s, these movements demand redefining health care. The stereotype is that “health care” is isolated to physical health alone. Especially in the Black community, wellness is hardly seen in clinical practices as they have claimed everything provided for them is only for the sake of “surviving”. The Black, as they were ones classified, emphasized their right to “live”, through proper and inclusive health care. Later on, the Civil Rights saw the essence of this plight. Self-care became a political act.
Meanwhile, the “self-care” we know today is a contribution of personalities such as Dan Rather. He pointed out that the true meaning of self-care is linked it to wellness. This marked a new era for the concept as it helped people see self-care to be a holistic fitness lifestyle.
How to Plan a Sustainable Self-Care Routine
There is nothing more exciting than planning for a self-care routine. Although there are a lot of specific plans available online, your self-care routine should be customized to attend to your needs. Make it sustainable (or zero waste), and it is more thrilling. To cut the chase, here are several steps to plan your sustainable self-care routine:
- Think of ways to help you maximize your sleep.
Sleeping is precious especially in your 20s or so. In fact, it is one of the most essential self-care rituals. Daily routines may vary depending on the personality, but sleep is always included in the plan. In this step, think of activities you can minimize or get rid of. This may be the use of electronic devices before going to sleep. When you eliminate activities that has indirect or direct harmful effect to the environment in place of rest, you are making a right choice.
- List activities you wanted to stop doing.
Taking care of yourself means getting rid of toxicities. This includes the things that are not really helpful, or the activities that are not meaningful. Stop for a while and think about this. Then, create limits and strictly follow them.
- Think of things you want to start doing.
A holistic fitness lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with zero waste living. There are a lot of sustainable activities that when you do it, you are actually nurturing yourself. Start by listing the things you want to develop but at the same time beneficial to others. It can be using reusable straws than disposable ones. Or trying washable sanitary pads, instead of those with single use.
When thinking about these steps, consider thinking about your physical, emotional, and mental self-care.
Sustainable Self-Care Routines
Initial steps in creating a sustainable self-care routine may be a bit difficult. You may know what you exactly need, but do not know where to start. Therefore, simple “recipes” to make self-care harmonious with the environment is provided in this article. These are just suggestions as we are all unique. Nevertheless, principles behind every ideas applies to all.
- Minimize the use of electronic devices.
Gadgets such as your smartphone usually takes up a lot of our daily schedule. Checking emails and feeds from your social media accounts may already occupy half a quarter or more of your day. It can control your life without you even knowing it. To turn things around, make sure you minimize your gadget use. Why not put limit on your cellphone use? Then, strictly follow your schedule. This will give you more time to rest, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Pamper using natural ingredients.
A little bath time with your favorite body wash and other skin care routine is relaxing. But you will not be relaxed after knowing that most of this products have harmful effects to the environment. Buy only products that does not have harmful setbacks to the environment. As much as possible, use raw products instead.
- Change the way you relax.
Instead of traveling to unwind, or going to cinemas, do things that are pro-green, instead. This includes sleeping at home, reading books, and even strolling or sitting in parks.
Aside from doing activities that will entertain you, you should also provide ample time to strengthen your body. Having regular schedule for exercise will help your body. It also has a positive impact to your mental and emotional well-being.
- Give time for meditation.
Doing nothing but meditate is also a good self-care routine. Instead of browsing your social media feeds on your break, why not sit for a while and think of what transpired the whole day. This will make you a beautiful person, in and out.
Self-care routines enhance the person we are. If we take rightful attention to this aspect of our personal life, we are responsibly taking care of ourselves. Always remember to keep in mind what is at stake with sustainable self-care routine. That way, we can plan and execute it the right way.