Self-Care: Most people possess a wide range of skills and knowledge, particularly as they relate to their chosen career path. However, it’s also good to possess skills and knowledge outside of your career— particularly if they can help benefit yourself and others. Here are five things to know and be familiar with to help yourself and those around you.
Many people believe that self care is synonymous with self-indulgence, but the actual definition means that you’re taking extra care of yourself to become and remain healthy. This allows you to be able to perform better in both your professional and personal life. Self-care includes medical care, hygiene, nutrition, and mental health care. Examples can include:
- Doing your favorite hobby
- Eating healthy
- Listening to relaxing music
- Sleeping and waking up close to the same time every day
- walking/sitting in nature
Self-care won’t look the same for everyone, but your self-care routine should aim to better your physical and mental well-being.
Patience and Respect
Being patient with others and yourself is a valuable skill to have. It helps to be able to recognize when you’re becoming impatient, what is causing this feeling, and the steps you can take to develop a better response. It also involves learning to let go of what you can’t control.
Respect is equally important, and can lead to stronger and more positive relationships. It can be as simple as saying “please” and “thank you”, and genuinely apologizing when you do something that hurts another person.
General Wellness Self-Care
An extension of self-care, general wellness is something that everyone should be familiar with to live a healthy lifestyle. Most people understand that they should eat healthily, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, abstain from smoking, and engage in drinking alcohol occasionally— but there’s so much more to wellness than most people may know. Other examples include:
- Going to the doctor regularly (including the dentist and an eye doctor)
- Spending time with others and limiting social media use
- Wearing sunscreen and limiting the use of tanning beds
- Ensuring regular sexual health check-ups and opting to compare STD tests to find the most appropriate one for your needs.
This is often easier said than done because most people aren’t exactly sure how to eat nutritiously, how much water to drink every day (it varies for each individual), or even how often to exercise. General wellness is truly a responsibility that we all have to ensure that we live long and healthy lives.
Having basic first aid skills can help save your life and the life of others. Basic first aid skills include knowing how to spot a concussion, knowing the signs of a stroke, how to set a split for a broken limb, how to treat burns, and how to stop excessive bleeding. The Heimlich maneuver is another life-saving technique that everyone should learn. It’s used when a foreign object (including food) is blocking the airway making the person unable to speak or breathe.
Also, CPR is another life-saving technique that is beneficial for everyone to learn. It involves both chest compressions and breathing into the victim’s mouth to keep blood and oxygen flowing. CPR can be learned properly online on websites like ProTrainings, or in person. This is good to learn even if you’ve successfully used the “hands only” method in the past.
Communication is used in every aspect of life, so being able to do so effectively is very important. This goes for verbal, written, and expressive (body language) communication as well. Good communication also involves active listening and eye contact, as it’s important to concentrate on what a person is saying before thinking of your own response. Good communication also involves asking questions to gain a better understanding and being concise in your explanation.
Moreover, good communication skills make a strong foundation for negotiation skills, which are also important. It involves both active listening and compromise. Clear communication is necessary for holding a discussion to meet your needs and/or goals. This also helps foster conflict resolution and will bring a solution to a problem.
There are many ways to use your knowledge and skills to help others, whether physically, emotionally, etc. You can even use your skills and expertise in your career field to help others, whether you work in healthcare, the skilled trades, or business— all career paths meet a need in some way. In addition to the examples listed above, you can also get involved in your community and volunteer work to take a more active approach to using your soft skills (e.g., communication, patience, etc.) to help others.