Guest Post: Self Care by Dylan Foster
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Harnessing The Power of Self-Care
for Personal Growth
Although personal development is something we all aim for, it can be difficult to focus on it when we are stuck in a routine. This is why new beginnings with their opportunity for turning a new leaf, tend to trigger a desire in us to be better, and do better. Whether you are starting a new career, going back to school, or tackling some other big life change, there is no better time to look at your personal growth goals and harness the power of self-care to achieve them.
Though we often associate personal development with what’s in our minds, it is important to fuel our growth with a healthy body. Many of us think of exercise and healthy eating as mere tools for weight loss, but they are in fact key components of self-care, delivering benefits that go far beyond a slimmer body. These includemore energy, improved focus, greater self-esteem, reduced symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, and stronger willpower for those recovering from an addiction. All of these are helpful, if not essential, toward personal growth.
The Mind-Body Connection
For a long time relegated to the world of dubious pseudo-scientific theories, there is an increasing amount of evidence that the mind-body connection is real. According to Medium, our state of mind can directly affectour bodily health and vice-versa. When you gain awareness of this connection, you can practice reinforcing it.
There are several ways to do this, but meditationis by far the most common and most accessible. Just take a few minutes every day to sit in silence and focus on the movements of your breath. By aligning your thoughts with your breath, you are aligning your mind with the core functioning of your body. Yoga is another great wayto do this, adding an element of movement that further reinforces the mind-body connection. You can practice yoga at home or take a class (classes generally cost up to $16).
The emotional aspect of our health can also directly affect the way we take care of our bodies. According to various studies, the state of our living situation can determine the way we perceive and react to being at home. In other words, a cluttered environment can cause stress, which can lead to unhealthy food choices. In order to create a stronger mind-body connection, you must transform your home into a place of comfort and serenity by removing the clutter and organizing the possessions you want to keep. Then, give your home a deep clean by hiring a maid service, which costs an average of $122-$256in Midvale, UT.
Working on your mind-body connection isn’t a direct ticket to health and productivity, but it does help you make better decisions. According to The Guardian, people who are able to think of their bodies as part of themselves, rather than an external vessel separate from their brains, are more likelyto treat their body well.
Learning to Relax
“Relaxing” can seem like counterintuitive advice when you are looking to fulfill certain goals, but the truth is the better the downtime you give your mind and body, the better work they will do when you need them to. Learning to de-stress and wind down is one of the most important formsof self-care you can do, and it is essential to achieving your goals.
One of the best ways to relax is to engage in a hobby or new skill. Whether it be learning a musical instrument, painting, knitting, woodworking, sewing, or starting a garden, hobbies are great for our well-being. Creative hobbies, in particular, have been shown to help with job performance. This is because, as well as giving you a sense of progression and improvement, they can help you enter a deeply relaxing state of flow.
Self-care is crucial toward any new personal development goals. If you take care of your mental and physical health, you are priming yourself towards making better decisions in other aspects of your life, such as your career and personal relationships. Self-care is about learning to be kind toward yourself, which teaches you to be your own greatest ally and supporter.