The Importance of Balanced Self-Care
Self-Care is paramount in the overall health of a human being. Too often, self-care is portrayed as an occasional delicacy that we should indulge in here and there, when we make the time. Instead, self-care should be a routine, something that is carved into our daily schedule, a discipline that we have trained ourselves to participate in consistently for the betterment of our well-being, and as a result, the well-being of those around us.
True and honest self-care takes a strong mind and a willingness to prioritize what we know is best for us. It requires an amount of respect for you, your time, and for the people around you. Oftentimes, self-care may not look like the over glamorized versions of the practice you see around on social media or in ads. The strong mind and respect come into play when self-care looks less appetizing than those over glamorized images of self-care that are floating around.
In order to practice proper self-care, you may have to get up earlier than you want to on a regular basis. You may have to cut your Netflix binge-watching marathon short to go to bed on a regular schedule. You may have to indulge less in foods that aren’t good for you, alcohol consumption, or out-all-night partying sessions so that you can allow yourself the luxury of having time to take care of yourself. You may have to say ‘no’ to other people more than you usually do, which can be a very difficult practice to adopt.
For all of these reasons, you can see how the practice of self-care takes discipline. It takes discipline to do what is actually good for you, rather than participating in what feels good in the moment. It feels good to be able to help people when they need it, but it takes discipline to recognize when you are able to help and when you are able to say no. You are not responsible for the emotional upkeep of other people, but you absolutely are responsible for your own emotional well-being. All of this boils down to where you need to start on your journey toward actual self-care.
You need to start by identifying your priorities. It is important that you deeply understand what your priorities are, and why they are your priorities. You have heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” This is so true. This is why it is so important to make a commitment to a regular practice of health and balance in your own life. Self-care should not be the occasional indulgence, the emergency return to helping yourself when something crazy happens in your life. It may be boring or difficult at times, but self-care should actually be a regular practice of things that you do daily, weekly, and monthly in order to maintain health, balance, and wellness in your life.
If you commit to regular self-care, you will be stronger and have more energy. You will be happier. You will be more grateful. You will be more fully engaged in your life. This is the importance of balanced self-care.
The Types of Self-Care
There are many types of self-care. These are split into categories, and, depending on who you talk to, there can be a different number of categories. Here, we will focus on seven categories. Listed below are seven different avenues that we can practice self-care in, and a description of why each of these categories is important.
Spiritual-Spiritual Self-Care is anything that allows a person to feel a sense of connection to the world around them. It is anything that gives understanding and meaning to their life. Some examples of what you can implement into your self-care routine are:
-Get in touch with your values.
-Read inspiring material.
-Disconnect from technology for a while.
Emotional-Emotional Self-Care involves having a connection with yourself, understanding what you are feeling, identifying that feeling, and then moving forward in a way that honors yourself and your emotions. This is largely helpful for people who experience overwhelm and anxiety. Some examples of how to participate in Emotional Self-Care are:
-Taking hot baths with epsom salts (also physical) are a fantastic way to de-stress and allow yourself come personal time to reset. Bath salts and essential oils provide a great addition to your relaxation as well, and there are medical and emotional benefits to them.
-Listen to music.
-Stay-cations, days off for wellness, or a day to do NOTHING.
-Smile for one minute.
Intellectual-Intellectual Self-Care is extremely important and is often left out of self-care regimens. It involves your inner thinker, and depends on the expanding of knowledge and mindset in a way that you deem necessary. Learning things that are important to you benefits your overall well-being. Examples of what you might do to nurture your Intellectual Self-Care routine are:
-Reading, and Book Clubs
-Take a class for fun
Physical-Physical Self-Care is one aspect of self-care that we hear about often. This type of self-care involves proper diet and exercise, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest. Examples of how to take care yourself physically on a regular basis are:
-Get quality sleep, around 7-8 hours a day.
-Take a walk each day (being outside in nature is a great way to recharge), exercise 20-30 minutes per day minimum.
-Cooking for yourself, nourish your body and mind with a healthy diet.
-Stay hydrated, drinking half of your body weight in ounces is recommended.
-Check in with your body and pay attention to the signals it gives you.
Social-Social Self-Care is all about nurturing activities that develop personal relationships with those around you. Deepening and nurturing relationships with friends and family is often neglected as a result of seeming time constraints, but it shouldn’t be. Take the time to call your mom on a regular basis. Go out to brunch with your friends. Schedule a regular date night. These activities are important, and you shouldn’t skip them. Here are some things that are important in maintaining your Social Self-Care regimen:
-Spending time with loved ones.
-Lunch with a Friend.
-Join in a community of people, your neighborhood, Church, a club, etc.
-Prioritize people and events that are important to you.
Environmental-Environmental Self-Care, like many of these categories of self-care, has many aspects. Doing what is right for the environment is one aspect, and creating an atmosphere that is good for your wellbeing is another. A few things to add to your life for Environmental Self-Care are:
-Organize your environment. Having a clutter-free environment reduces stress.
-Make your personal space comfortable.
-Bring nature inside.
-Try your hand at gardening or growing something.
-Add sights and sounds to your space that put you at ease. (water features, art you enjoy, pictures of your loved ones, etc.)
-Add recycling to your daily activities
Financial-Financial Self-Care involves the way you behave and experience money. Money and finances are a huge stress in our culture, and it is important to add this in as a category of self-care as a result. Creating and sticking to a realistic budget is very important, and can actually lead to a feeling of freedom when utilized properly. A few ideas for enhancing your Financial Self-Care routine are:
-Make a Budget that suits your means
-Add a category to your budget for things you love to do
-Stick to your budget
How Regular Massage Therapy Fits in Your Self-Care Routine
Massage Therapy can be a very important part of your self-care routine. There are many things you can do that are inexpensive or free to assist you in your self-care journey. If you were to choose one thing to be helped along with, might we suggest that Massage Therapy be it. The benefits of Massage Therapy are huge, and there are multiple aspects of Self-Care that are affected by the regular implementation of Massage Therapy to your routine.
Regular Massage Therapy assists you with your physical, spiritual, and emotional categories of Self-Care. At Healing Solutions Inc, we also try our best to assist you with budgeting and Financial Self-Care by offering our Wellness Memberships. Our Wellness Memberships provide you with a discount for getting regular monthly or bi-monthly massages. We hope this will help! To check out our Wellness Member deals visit our website here.
Adding regular Massage Therapy to your Self-Care routine is beneficial for anyone, however, we have quite a bit of information about how regular Massage Therapy can benefit people who have different, very specific, needs. More and more people are turning to massage therapy to deal with chronic pain. In much the same way that an ordinary person might see a practitioner of massage to work out some tension in the neck, sufferers of chronic pain syndromes can benefit from regular intervention in the form of medical massage. To read more about how regular massage can benefit those with chronic pain, visit our Massage for Chronic Pain blog.
A second group of people who benefit greatly from regular Massage Therapy are athletes. Whether you are recovering from a Sports Injury or you are wanting to improve your performance, regular Massage Therapy will be useful for you. A Sports Massage is designed to focus on helping the athlete perform better at their sport through improved Range of Motion (ROM) and muscle flexibility. For example, a runner will want a massage that works on hips and legs to help increase speed and mobility. The type of massage that is to be done will depend on when, before or after an athletic performance, the massage takes place.
Some athletes will want massage before an event to help loosen the muscles and get rid of adhesions prior to an event in order to provide more speed and mobility. After an event, the athlete will be more focused on flushing out the muscles so that they can recover quickly. A quick recovery will help the athlete improve performance at their next event. Stretches may also be needed in order to get rid of adhesions and inflammation, depending on the condition of the muscle after the event.
Sports Injury Massage is all about helping athletes heal from a torn muscle, twisted ankle, muscle cramps and recovery from surgery or to prevent surgery. Athletes tend to get repetitive injuries from overuse of a muscle group while performing in their sport. There are many injuries that can happen as a result of overuse.
One such injury, plantar fasciitis, is a common sports injury for runners. Plantar fasciitis causes the foot and calf muscles to lock up and make it difficult to walk. Another common sports injury is tennis, or golfer’s elbow. In short, a Sports Massage is utilized to increase performance, and a Sports Injury Massage is important in healing and recovery of a sports injury. To learn more about the Benefits of Sports Massage and Sports Injury Massage, visit our Sports Massage vs. Sports Injury Massage blog.
Although we have mentioned that Massage Therapy on a regular basis is beneficial for these specific instances, it is important to note why everyone can benefit from a regular Massage Therapy session. Many people seek Therapeutic massage therapy for straightforward reasons, including relaxation and feelings of caring, comfort, and connection.
Think about it. How often are you able to disconnect and let yourself relax? It has been proven that Therapeutic massage assists the body in entering relaxation and recovery mode, and the effects last long after the actual massage has ended. Therapeutic Massage is a key factor in finding the perfect balance in a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about Therapeutic and Wellness Massage, visit our blog.
Regular Therapeutic Massage Therapy has all of the following benefits, and many more:
-Mood enhancer, and improves your mental health
-Can reduce or eliminate regular migraine headache pain
-Regulates blood pressure
-Assists in post-surgery rehabilitation
-Increases body flexibility
-Improves your quality of sleep
-Strengthens your immune system
-Helps improve posture-related stress
-Assists in the treatment of many medical issues
All in all, massage therapy has countless benefits to improve your quality of life or that of someone you love. Whether you have a chronic issue or are looking for ways to promote a healthy balanced life that is preventative of pain and suffering, massage therapy is right for you. Your health and your overall well being can reap the rewards of receiving massage. Did you know that massage has reduced the need for pain killers by 36%? Think about how much that would help your everyday life if you added massage to your health routine. In 2013 a study showed that 56% of Americans received at least one massage quarterly.
How do you think your life would change if you got a massage at least four times a year? Research shows that 83% of Americans are stressed at work and over 50% of lost workdays are stress related. Remember that massage has been proven to boost the immune system and releases endorphins which means that massage is making people happier and healthier. We have locations in both Broomfield and Boulder. If you would like to schedule with us online, follow the links below.
As always, feel free to contact us. We would love to help you with your Self-Care journey. You can reach us at www.HealingSolutionsInc.com, or you can call us at (720) 768-3381 with any questions.