What is self-care?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined the term “self-care” as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.
In the words of Audre Lorde; “Self-care is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation”.

Why do we need to indulge in self-care?
It’s simple- because we work all day and need refreshment in life. We need to relax and rejuvenate. That’s why we must spare some time for our mental health and do something to take care of ourselves.
Remember how we were taught in school “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”! To avoid that, it is important to take some time off and take care of our well-being.
The purpose of self-care is de-stressing.

What are the types of self-care?
Self-care can be broadly divided into two types-
The first and most important type of self-care is emotional self-care-
Meditation, breathing exercises, sleeping, etc are all forms of emotional self-care.
Then comes physical self-care-
It can be something as simple as exercising daily, taking a refreshing bubble bath, cutting and painting your nails, etc.

Is it just a “fad”?
No! Self-care isn’t “just a fad”. It is a necessity.

How can you understand that it is time for some self-care?
Here are the signs and symptoms which will help you gauge that you need a break-
1) If your to-do list never seems to end
2) If you are not able to sleep properly at night (and if you are often getting nightmares)
3) If you are not able to get sufficient sleep (less than 5 hours)
4) If your head is constantly aching
5) If you are frequently experiencing body pain
6) If you suffer from an upset stomach now and then
7) If you tend to cry at trivial things
8) If you tend to overreact and have more quarrels with your friends and family.
9) If you keep feeling dizzy all the time (feel like your head is spinning or you are losing your balance)
10) If you are either eating too much or not eating anything at all.
11) If you notice that you are dragging yourself everywhere you go.
12) If you have lost interest in daily activities which you earlier used to enjoy doing
13) If you think that your room looks like a big mess and so does your vision board.
14) If you just feel like quitting your job despite no good reason for feeling that way

What can you do to take care of yourself? What all things come under “self-care”?
When you do what you like (maybe your hobby or favorite thing to do) it is a form of taking care of yourself.
These things stimulate the nervous system and help you get rid of depressing thoughts.

What is not self-care?
We just mentioned that “doing what you like” is self-care. BUT, things that you like doing that can harm you DO NOT come under “self-care”.
If you think that chugging several shots of vodka would be self-care,  that is wrong! If you feel down and start smoking deal with it or eat or drink something that will make you sick- that is also NOT self-care.
Going to stay at a resort that is way out of your budget just because some influencer on social media did it for their self-care is not self-care for you.
Do what you like, what you can afford, and what you can tolerate.

What you do not need-
You don’t need expensive yoga mats, hydro flasks, mandala books, exorbitantly priced stationery,  etc.
It is a myth being promoted on the internet.

Here is a fun fact about self-care that you may not have read about before-
Did you know- mango trees have their season when we get great yields, but after bearing a few thousand fruits, the next entire year is their “off” time! During this period, the mango trees are said to “rest and rejuvenate” when they let their shoots and leaves grow. Fascinating, right?

How self-care needs to be promoted
We feel that organizations should also promote self-care at offices.
The employees who work hard day and night for almost 8-9 hours daily deserve breaks and some time off.
Allowing a paid leave or two every month is a good way to give them time for self-care.
Nowadays, many offices have facilities like gyms to promote fitness. Similarly, offices can also have spaces like libraries and meditation rooms to promote self-care for all employees.
In the companies that provide free, unlimited refreshments like herbal teas and other such beverages to the employees, the employees seem happy about it. It helps them to take care of themselves between stressful meetings and trying to meet deadlines.

In schools, we often hear children complaining that they don’t get enough recess time or their lunch breaks or snack breaks are too short.
Their requests for longer breaks are often ignored. But if they are given longer breaks, we will probably be able to see improvement in their performance.

Here is something you may not have thought about-
Unfollow those pages or accounts on social media that give you anxiety or make you feel envious. Especially those that use a lot of editing for their pictures and videos. Reality is often disappointing and when you come back to reality it feels quite depressing. To avoid feeling so, try to stay away from unnecessary flaunting. Avoiding overstimulation of your brain is an important aspect of self-care.

What can you do for yourself?
A self-care routine cannot be a “one size fits all” kind of thing. It will be different for every individual; it will be unique to them. It will depend on the person’s daily routine, likes, and dislikes, physical ability, emotional state, etc.
However, we’ll give you a few ideas and you can see for yourself if any of these would be possible for you to do-

1) Read a book
Romance, Mystery, Self Help, Autobiographies, there are so many options to choose from!

2) Visit a museum
You will feel awestruck when you see the beautiful paintings and sculptures there.

3) Travel
You will feel so peaceful and rejuvenated when you travel to a different place and see the beautiful scenery, try a new cuisine, etc.

4) Do something adventurous
You can try something thrilling like bungee jumping and you will get the adrenaline rush and forget about all your worries.

5) Listen to some music
Try listening to something instrumental like Moonlight Sonata or any other classic symphony. It will be very soothing.

6) Cook something new
Tired of eating dal and rice every day? Try cooking pasta or noodles or something different like dim sum! Cooking is so therapeutic!

7) Go for a long drive
When you see the ever-expanding sky from your windows, you will automatically feel so much better!

8) Go to a beach
Beaches are people’s go-to place for getting some calm.

9) Try trekking
What could be better than spending some time in the arms of nature?

10) Watch a movie
A movie theatre is a wonderful place, isn’t it?

11) Set up a cozy corner in your house
Grab some pillows, a blanket, and some snacks and watch your favorite rom-com or binge-watch any of your favorite series.

12) Paint
Get your paints and brushes out and start creating something exquisite. You won’t even realize how long it must have been since the moment when you started painting.

13) Write your thoughts down
Grab a pen and start writing down your feelings on paper or in a notebook or diary.
You can even share it with the world if you wish to.

14) Meditate
There is no better way of self-care than meditation! You can start by initially meditating for 5-10 minutes, then increase it gradually to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, and so on, and take it up to an hour!
There are many guided meditation videos available on YouTube or you can also play some meditation music on YouTube or Spotify or other services like Gaana, Amazon Music, etc, and make your meditation routine.

15) Go to the park
Sitting on the lush green grass, breathing in the fresh air, looking at the beautiful, colourful flowers and butterflies, seeing cute dogs and cats roaming around, and watching kids playing and grandparents walking will make you forget all your tension.

16) Hit the gym!
Get pumped up at the gym and help yourself become stronger and improve your flexibility. After all, self-care isn’t just about cherishing what you have but also improving yourself.

17) Get a massage
You can go to the spa and get a nice relaxing massage. It will not only help to calm your nerves but also improve blood circulation.

18) Go to the salon
Get a cool haircut or try to change your hair color. A change in your look might make you happier and the compliments that you will receive will make you more confident. You can also get your nails painted or do a manicure/pedicure. The relaxing experience will be great for your mental health.
The options are so many. It is for you to decide now which one you’d prefer to do.

So which one of these ideas will you try out? Will you try more than one thing from the ones mentioned here?
Do you think you have any other ideas that you would like to share with us?
Do you think that we forgot to mention something important here?
Do let us know your thoughts.

If you are still not able to figure out what you can do, don’t worry! Just make yourself some tea and then you can take your time to figure out how you will spend your break taking care of yourself.
May we suggest a few options for you? Amrita Naturals’ Lemon Tea and Giloy tea are worth trying! But don’t take our word for it! Try it yourself…

Here we have also curated a small list of the top 3 books that will guide you on what self-care is and how you can go about it-

1) The Comfort Book by Matt Haig
Written by The Midnight Library author, this book offers the readers reassurance and reminds them to slow down and take a moment to relish the beauty of existence.

2) There is Never Anything but the Present by Alan Watts
This piece is an essential treasury of elevating quotes to guide and support the reader. In this amazing work of philosophy, the author Alan Watts has communicated wisdom to the readers.

3) Create your calm by Meera Lee Patel
Written to help the readers to understand themselves better and forget the obstacles and worries they face daily. The brilliantly illustrated pages feel like a safe space for the readers and provide scope for reflection, and self-acceptance, and encourage them to feel the freedom to move along with happiness.

We would now like to conclude this write-up with a quote-
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
-Eleanor Brown
We hope you liked this write-up. If you’d like to read about anything else here, please let us know.
Thank you for reading till the end! We hope you have a nice day.

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