Self-Care Is Not Optional – It’s Health Care
So many times the term “self-care” is equated with a day at the spa or taking a vacation. While both activities can be relaxing, the idea that self-care activities need to cost money, or that they are merely exercises in self-indulgence, relegates this necessary mental health activity to an “optional” status. The importance of expending energy on your own well-being and the effect our mental health has on our physical health has gained traction with some high-profile individuals. While this is positive, the concept needs to transfer into concrete activities that everyone, regardless of income or profession, can perform on a regular basis.
At Crystal Healing Techniques, we witness the negative physical effects that can occur when people don’t engage in enough self-care. We also teach people how to take preventative control of their overall well-being, naturally. Once you’ve incorporated some self-care activities into your routine, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it.
There are many self-care practices you can engage in that require nothing but your commitment. Let’s start with sleep, perhaps one of the most fundamental elements of self-care and an important health building block. Make a concerted effort to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Keep your devices, such as your phone, away from your bed. If you rely on it for an alarm, use the “Do Not Disturb” function until it’s time for you to wake up.
Avoiding stress may seem, initially, to come with an emotional cost, but that’s often because of the pressure we exert on ourselves. We may think we need to work longer and bring work home with us to “prove” ourselves to our boss. We want to be worthy of our friends, or feel needed, so we have a hard time saying “no” to every little request that consumes our time and energy. Some people get trapped in a “status war” and spend beyond their means so they project a certain image within their social or professional circles, creating financial stressors.
One easy way to decompress some feelings of stress is with breathing exercises. Other than learning a few simple techniques, this is something that comes very naturally! It’s also an exercise that is easy to do in any situation, including at work or before a potentially stressful meeting. In addition to relieving stress and anxiety, breathing exercises can also help you fully develop your lungs.
Something that can be a bit more difficult for people to implement is setting boundaries. It feels good to please people, but when we over-extend ourselves or commit to doing something that we don’t really want to do, that feeling of “pleasing” can convert into an internal conflict and anxiety. Getting too “wrapped up” in someone else’s life can also threaten our own identity, which can lead to other crises later, such as future resentment or anger towards that person. Try to change the way you view boundaries: Instead of viewing it as telling another person “no,” look at it through a lens of “letting the other person go” to establish their own identity, and to learn how to be more independent and self-sufficient. Setting healthy boundaries benefits others, not just yourself.
Relieving financial stress can seem the most difficult, but like everything else, your biggest investment is going to be in your self-discipline. Eliminate any unnecessary spending, such as streaming television subscriptions, or dining out several days a week. If you need quick access to cash, rather than taking out a loan, look at what you can sell. An attractive and budget-friendly sofa is just as functional as an expensive, high-end leather one!
If you own your home, you can also check into refinancing your mortgage. If current interest rates are more favorable than when you took out your mortgage, you may be able to reduce your monthly payment. If you have equity in your home, you may be able to refinance with a “cash-out” option that gives you access to cash by reducing your equity. Note that there are typically some costs associated with refinancing a mortgage, but you may be able to get those costs rolled into your new mortgage.
Self-care worth paying for
While some self-care exercises can cost money, you don’t have to spend a lot. Whatever you spend, however, you need to consider it as an investment in yourself. You may wince at the price of a prescription drug your physician prescribes for you, but most people grimace and then pay it because they see it as essential. It’s time for you to approach self-care with that same “essential health” mindset.
You can take yoga classes through an instructor, but you can reduce the frequency of those classes, and thus the cost, by purchasing videos or paying for access to online classes and performing the movements at home. You can access many natural remedies for anxiety that are very affordable. Explore the benefits of aromatherapy with nothing more than some essential oils and a diffuser, or look for cleaning and personal hygiene products that incorporate oils.
Paying various professionals as part of your self-care journey can also be worthwhile to your overall well-being. A personal coach or psychologist can help you work through your issue setting boundaries. Look for practitioners who perform natural techniques, as well. Flower essence therapy has been around for years, primarily in other cultures that recognized its therapeutic properties. Crystal therapy also goes back to ancient civilizations. Finally, here are several types of bodywork techniques, from deep tissue massage to lymphatic drainage, that can make you appreciate your body and make you more aware of the powerful mind-body connection.
Shift and reset
Prioritizing self-care the same way we do traditional Western health care may require a shift in our mindset, but it’s a necessary shift that is vital to our wellbeing. Practicing self-care presents us with a more satisfied, healthy, and happier society, benefiting everyone – from inside our living rooms, to into our workspaces. Whether you have a little to spend or a lot, as you are mapping out your self-care journey, include a crystal therapy session from Crystal Healing Techniques. It may just help you change how you view yourself and the world, and your important role in the world. And that’s pretty fantastic.