Article from guest writer Brad Krause.
The key to personal growth is being able to endure the small bits of discomfort associated with growth. Self-care helps us manage and eliminate stress and the challenges that everyday life can toss in our way. Instead of recoiling in the face of challenge, personal growth requires us to stand up and persevere. By providing comfort and rejuvenation, several types of self-care can help us succeed. Here’s how to get started.
The Basics of Self-Care
It is tempting to reduce the idea of self-care into simple pampering. There are luxurious and frivolous components of self-care, such as getting your nails done or taking a bubble bath, but even the most seemingly self-centered form of pampering provides a great benefit to our mood. Self-care goes beyond grooming and relaxing, though, to encompass any action we can take to support our lives and provide comfort in times of distress.
An example of self-care can include getting a sports massage after a tough workout. Such a treatment helps us to sustain our workouts, which are key to overall health. Without the massage, it is possible that we’d skip a workout or more because of injury or pain, which would have a domino effect on our well-being and fitness goals.
How Self-Care Can Support Life Goals
Similarly, self-care can help bolster areas in our life beyond exercise. Personal growth requires that we identify and work toward betterment, whether that’s going back to school, looking for a new job, or tackling a big life change. Making ourselves better requires an amount of hard work that can be frustrating, painful, and stressful. When faced with these difficult effects of growth, we can make one of two choices: walk away from the growth or power through the stress and discomfort. Self-care helps us do the latter and walk toward success.
In fact, one component of self-care is organization, which actually can require hard work -- much the opposite of getting a pampering spa treatment. But the effort you put into getting organized can provide a smooth road to success. When we organize our personal and work lives, we greatly reduce our stress. Take, for instance, something as simple as a cluttered and disorganized bedroom closet. Every day, you may walk into this closet and dig around for clothes you wish you had the time and inclination to organize. Now, imagine walking into that closet and smiling as you grab your outfit and head off to your day. Such positivity infects the rest of your life in immeasurable ways.
Even pampering can help us power through our tough days. A nap, for example, can help us reset ourselves and attain a sense of mindfulness about our lives. And when self-care and mindfulness align, personal growth can only expand.
Meditation for Personal Growth
The best way to attain mindfulness is through meditation. As a component of self-care, meditation does double-duty: It calms us, makes us relaxed and de-stressed, and provides an avenue for self-inventory that is crucial to personal growth. When faced with a difficult decision, mindfulness can show us the right path, not because of some mystical connection, but because in quiet reflection we tune away all outside noise and can listen to ourselves.
Creating Your Own Sanctuary
Meditation and mindfulness is so important that you should not only include it in your day, but you should also consider creating a dedicated space in your home for the practice. It’s easy -- some people meditate in their bedroom, some in the living room -- but the first step is really the hardest. Find a spot in your home that is quiet and out of the way of daily commotion. Although the kitchen works for some, if you have kids racing through there at all times of the day, it may not be the ideal spot. Make sure the space is serene and simple, but also not just an empty room. Add a nice spot to sit, a plant, and make sure that there is some access to natural light.
With mindfulness and other components of self-care, personal growth goals can be identified and attained. Your overall health will thank you for it.
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He createdSelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.
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