Oftentimes what comes to your mind when you hear the word self-care?
An afternoon spent in a luxurious spa, treating yourself to a decadent chocolate cake perhaps, binge- watch netflix series or on an expensive holiday? Sure, these things are very enjoyable and give us a much needed break from the monotony and stresses of life. But are they really acts of self-care?
These days, we are seeing an ever increasing trend of entertainment outlets. Pre-corona times meant weekdays filled with stressful work or studies and weekends dedicated to outing with friends or family interspersed with “self-care” activities. COVID lockdown suddenly put a halt on all these things and forced us to stay home. Locked up at home, we became limited in the things we could do and missed out on all the treats and temptations of the outside world which we had considered normal! This drove people crazy as they were unable to fill their time meaningfully at home with themselves and their near ones.
So this begs the question, what really is self-care? If we take care of ourselves in its true sense, then why do we feel miserable when we find ourselves in such unexpected situations? Just imagine a life where we do not even feel the need for breaks and everyday can be so fulfilling and joyous like as if there is no tomorrow!
The subject in question here requires a little clarification on the word “self” itself. When we refer to self, we think of this body and consequently, do things which satisfy the bodily needs and pleasures. By all means, the body undoubtedly needs taking care and we need to be clean and presentable. However, there is a deeper aspect within this body which is called by many different names such as spirit, atma, soul or consciousness that needs an even more delicate and constant care. It is a living energy that drives all our actions and reactions. Weakness in the soul is responsible for our tiredness, hopelessness, fear and depression which reflect on our face and impact our temperament. Depletion in the spirit causes imbalance in relationships, affects the environment around us and wreaks havoc on our mental health. This negativity is also manifested in physical health in forms of various diseases. On the other hand, miracles happen when we give adequate nourishment and pampering to the self (soul) everyday. Soul-care revives us and gets us out of the slumber. We feel energetic and begin to see a new wave of freshness in life. Not only will our faces glow but our entire being becomes radiant and we will be beaming with positive energy which we can spread to others. By starting and ending the day with a positive note can do wonders to the self. Now this is true everlasting self-care, isn’t it?