Lately I have found that I am abnormally tired and not just “I need an extra hour of sleep” tired but mentally and physically drained. While it would be easy to blame my full-time job, internship, side gigs or incessant need to have a social life, the truth is that I am lousy at taking care of myself and organizing my time.
I shared this dilemma with my mother, who is having a secret love affair with Dr. Oz in her mind and as such is a self-proclaimed health expert, and she talked to me about self-care. I know what you are thinking: This is an obvious thing to do and everyone is doing it. But we’re not.
Self-care, like the name implies, is simply taking the time to take care of yourself. It involves listening to your body and its needs. But what does that mean?
I’m sure most of you have heard of the notorious TED talks. Well, as TED would have it, there is a playlist of nine talks dedicated to the subject entitled “The importance of self-care.”
Psychologist Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt Failure discusses the importance of seeking professional help for psychological issues versus attempting to tackling the heavy subject on one’s own, something he calls “emotional hygiene.”
Meditation and mindfulness expert Andy Pudddicombe discusses the importance of taking time out of one’s hectic life to do absolutely nothing. (I can hear the screams now.)
“We live in a busy frantic world,” Puddicombe said. “When is the last time we took the time to do nothing for 10 minutes undisturbed?”
During his presentation, Puddicombe said we rely so heavily on our mind yet we take little time to look after it.
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal started her talk off by admitting that what she has been teaching her clients for the past 10 years: that stress is harmful to the body, could possibly have caused more harm than good to her patients. Studies have shown that those who think of stress as damaging are often the ones who exhibit negative health issues due to stress. In her talk, “How to make stress your friend,” McGonigal goes on to say that she has a different outlook on stress and has found a way to reduce stress while working in conjunction with stress by simply thinking that stress isn’t as bad as we have often made it out to be.
Between my mother’s ravings about how I need to take time out for myself and reset my way of living, the TED Talks and my abandoned meditation practices, I truly do know how to engage in self-care. My next challenge is to simply do it.
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