Why we fail to take care of ourselvesJust being physically healthy does not necessarily mean we are taking proper care of ourselves.
“Take care of yourself!” It’s one of those things we all have heard from our friends, family, spouse, and relatives at the end of a text, conversation or phone call. It’s a deceivingly simple thing to say to one another, but putting it into practice is a challenge.
When we talk about taking care of ourselves, we normally focus on the physical aspects of our body, and this usually means not falling sick, but does not falling sick and being physically healthy mean that we are taking proper care of ourselves? I beg to differ. The fact is that there are so many activities we could be doing to take care of our physical and mental health. And like the different shades of colours we see, how we can care for ourselves varies vastly.
However different they may be, the end goal of each of these actions is to enable us to function normally in our daily lives and bring forward the best version of ourselves.
But are we doing that? Are we really taking care of ourselves? Are we really doing enough? That is the big question we each have to go through and answer.
Self-care does not have to be complex; it can be as simple as not eating that extra piece of momo that your friend may give you, or waking up early to go on that run you had been planning, or putting aside time to unwind. However, the fact remains that most of us continuously fail to do so.
In this day and age, the pressure that each of us has to face on a daily basis has increased exponentially, and it is easier than ever to choose our professional goals over making lifestyle changes for our mental
“Maybe from tomorrow”. “I am tired. I have too much on my plate at the moment.” “I have to finish this work, or my manager will get angry at me.” “I don’t have time for such things.” These are all reasons we give ourselves for putting aside things we actually want to do over things that we are obligated to do. We fail to realise that it is only a matter of time before we have to deal with the consequences of our decisions.
So, the question still stands—if self-care is so important, why do we fail to do so?” Ask people around you why they didn’t continue going to the gym, stopped meditating, and continued eating junk food even when they knew that they shouldn’t. If you are honest, you will agree that you have discontinued doing things that give you joy and abandoned habits that you should have kept.
The answer to all of these is always the same. It got difficult to stick to habits that truly benefit us. But we must understand that even though it is initially difficult, it does get easier once you start doing it daily.
Taking care of oneself is a journey one always has to make. And at the end of the journey, you get a better you. The decision to take better care of yourself doesn’t need to start with a huge step like changing your whole diet or working out at the gym for hours. Each journey starts with a small step forward, and so should yours.
So, how do we do it? What things could we possibly do to take better care of ourselves? Well, for starters, you could try making a list. A list of things you always wanted to do but pushed back by convincing yourself that you don’t have enough “time”. Sharing your feelings with your loved ones. Starting a new hobby that gives you joy. Taking enough breaks in between work. Meditating to give yourself a sense of calm and balance. Eating a healthier diet. Developing a proper sleep routine. Praying. Making a gratitude list. And reaching out when it gets difficult.
The things we do and our actions to care for ourselves are never big or small. They just are.
This festive time of Dashain could be your chance to unwind from all the everyday hustle and bustle of your work, education or any other form of life stressors and give time to yourself. So, use this time to commit to better care for your overall being—physical and mental—and become a better person. It could be your time to bring forward the things that you held back and said “later” to. It's time to be the change you always wanted to see.