Developing The Habit Of Self-Care

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The most important gift of nature to man is he, body, mind and soul- the self. He is the only one that has been capable of realizing the beauty of the self.

With the largest brain volume vis-à-vis body size, humans have dominated the animal kingdom, very often improving nature’s intent. Humans are the only creatures that speak, read, write and of course smile and laugh. The zest for knowing more has taken mankind beyond the realms of the locale, out into and beyond matter and space. Quest for the unknown is limitless. A scientific approach to evaluating and understanding facts has vested him with a repertoire for times to come. His capability to preserve information for posterity has excelled through time, from cave wall drawings to stone tablets through paper down to digital documentation. No other being has been able to show even a semblance of “realization” of its yesterday or tomorrow.

While all animals, including humans, possess the instinct of self-preservation, only humans are capable of looking onto itself with an ego. It is this ego that has preserved mankind over other animals through aeons, battling the vile of nature, winning over turmoil, fighting wars to acquire cravings. Humans are the only creatures with capabilities of reasoning. The quest for why, what and how has stood the test of time over me, my and our.

But inherent in the why what and how equation, a single factor stays hidden and paramount the I. Yes I is paramount to life. With no I life becomes meaningless. “I should know why………………., I should know what………, I should know how……….” It is this that has made civilization possible. In the process of building civilization, man tends to neglect one factor that is paramount in the act. It is the self.

With the advancement of time, one tends to forget the today of the self, doing everything for tomorrow, forgetting that today too is part of life. Caring for the self of today is also as important as is that for the morrow. Herein comes the most powerful act of SELF CARE.

Self-care involves consciously doing things for oneself. One becomes more acceptable to society if it is evident that the person truly cares for oneself. Only if we care for ourselves can we care for the others?

Self-care begins with grooming- body and mind. Grooming body involves clean habits and practising good hygiene in daily life. It does not mean going around smelling like a perfumery. Grooming the mind involves building awareness that we are not alone and that we belong.

The second most important facet of self-care is improving skills. The everyday activity of any individual is varied and is according to acquired skills. Honing these skills and acquiring new ones gives oneself the confidence to face challenges. Any amount of investment in oneself in this will never be in vain. Skills come in handy when least expected. It is not enough that we improve ourselves through acquiring knowledge and skills; it is only a person that cares for the self will be capable of improving society through teaching others.

Self-care also involves indulging. This third facet of self-care involves doing things specifically for self-actualization. This involves learning to relax, spend time with the self where reading and acquiring knowledge from books play a great role. Travelling alone with a zest for knowing the world around us and of course sometimes just doing nothing like when on a lonely beach, away from the crowd.

The self is thus too important to be ignored. Ignoring the self amounts to ignoring life as it is.