The news of Gujarat’s Kshama Bindu marrying herself sans any groom with all the Hindu wedding rituals did spread like wildfire everywhere. Although she was brave enough to commit the act of self-marriage and became India’s first sologamist, people were divided into various opinions over her daring act. While some severely criticized her for her unusual move, there were a maximum number of people who lauded her for embracing self-love in an unheard and unseen avatar before. While Kshama did find love with herself and no one can deny that, it is a fact that the practice of finding time for self-care can make us love oneself which in turn can make us happy and keep us in a good mood paving the way for better mental health. Self-love is only possible when we take some brief time out for ourselves and prioritize ‘me time’ highly. Although spending too much time alone can make us feel lonely, it is quite necessary nowadays to take some minutes out of our busy schedules to reflect more on our lives nicely and find ways of appreciating ourselves so that we can plan our next steps with a happy mind.
Self-care has been defined as “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.” Each of us can tailor our own self-care routines so that we can find ways of relaxing physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Most of us tend to view self-care as a luxury and not as a necessity. The truth is that it does not require fat bills or overloaded bank accounts to indulge in self-care routines. The joy of taking out time to take part in fruitful activities can be enjoyed by all irrespective of the type of their economic background. Self-care isn’t only about splurging money to buy the desirable high end products, pampering with the uber luxurious beauty treatments, eating out in five star hotels or going around the world with a fat lot of money. It is not about living life king size but enjoying life in a way that brings contentment where the factor of money has no role to play. A simple life that has the capability to bring us mental peace can automatically lead us to appreciate ourselves thereby bringing in high self-esteem.
Some of the simplest practices of self-care that can help us in bringing a big change with lots of positive feelings are-
Practicing gratitude daily
The easiest and the cheapest yet priceless example of a self-care ritual is waking up and thanking God for giving a beautiful day before moving ahead with the daily chores. A wonderful way of practicing gratitude is buying a journal and starting the first line with the following sentence – Thank you God for a fine and wonderful day. Moreover, writing down the things that we currently possess at the moment in our journals and feeling grateful for them can raise our positivity up a notch making us feel happier and joyful for the rest of the day. Another method of practicing gratitude that doesn’t cause a penny but requires mental effort is trying to find positivity in our surroundings and events by bringing positive words to mind.
Make the habit of sharing and spending sufficient time with loved ones a necessity
One of the most selfless kind of moral quality that a person can possess is his/ her ability to share or give out more. Besides sharing our snacks and things with our loved ones, the practice of giving out things to the needy is a noble deed that can make us feel contented as it gives us the feeling that we have been able to bring a difference in the life of someone. Take part in donation drives because it is a great kind of social work that really helps us in feeling grateful. Philanthropy can bring rewarding changes in our lives as this excellent deed not only gives us recognition but brings blessings and gratitude from the one that we have helped. Spend time happily with your family by speaking about positive topics as it can not only bring happiness to you but also to the listeners. Take your family out on visits to parks, religious places sometimes on weekends as it can not only boost your mood but can also bring moments of cheers to your dear ones.
Spare time for forming a bond with birds and animals
When you have your breakfast in the morning, tear some pieces of a bread or any food item and keep it outside in the window sills or on the railings of balconies so that birds can feed on it. The sight of watching birds munch happily on your food can bring a big smile on your face. This practice can make you have a bunch of avian buddies soon too. If you have a pet animal in your house then indeed you are blessed. These selfless and unconditional loving creatures will always long for your cuddles without judging. Their licks, hugs and way of looking up to us with deep adoration can only make our day better. If you are thinking of adopting a pet, it is a wise decision as it can bring a wonderful change in your lives. However, you can always befriend the stray animals in your street by patting them whenever you come across them and giving them some meals. These actions will only make you feel good every day and make you feel that life is indeed beautiful.
Take long walks alone to your favourite places
A fitness cum self-care routine is a daily solo trip for a short period. A morning walk or an evening walk alone can work wonders for our physical as well as mental health. While going out for these daily soothing exercises, bask yourself in the glory of your surroundings, attract positivity in your life and lift your spirits. A early morning walk is a must everyday because the fresh and crisp air in the first half of the day will refresh your mind highly, energize you and you can go off to your workplace in a confident and happier mood.
Pursue your hobbies seriously
If you don’t have a hobby yet, think of one and pursue it seriously. It is a fact that becoming passionate about our hobbies can help us in becoming skillful which will only boost our confidence and make us feel a lot more happier. A great way of spending your time alone in a self-care ritual is pursuing the hobby that gives you the scope to love yourself and appreciate life. While avid readers can have a blissful self-care ritual by losing themselves among their books and feel the literary world with their vivid imagination along with enjoying the smell that shuffling of pages brings, the passionate gardener can have a nice date with their plants and spend time by adoring the greens, flowers with droplets of water and playing with the soil.