Self Care – You Are Doing It Wrong!

By Minhaz Remo

Lifestyle habits that actually benefit you

As the food arrives, one of your friends speaks up and says, “I think it might be a bit too heavy for me, I’m trying to watch the junk food.”

Picture this: It’s a Friday night, and you’re having your weekend hang with a few close friends. You’ve gone over to the friend’s place to watch a movie together, get some much-needed adda, and basically spend some quality time together. It’s getting late, and all of you were so wrapped up with the chit chat that no one prepared any dinner. You decided to order some online – 3 large pizzas with extra cheese, plus drinks.

Photo: Elijah Fox

In response to the friend who speaks up about watching his junk food intake, another one says, “Ah! don’t worry! It’s just for today. You earned it after a hard week of work. It’s called treating yourself” as he gobbles up 3 slices of pizza.

This a common scene here. A week of work followed by a weekend of eating out or a loud party in the name of “Treating Yourself as Self Care because you deserve it”

‘Self-care’ is so misunderstood these days, that people use the term to justify any and all reckless and self-harming behaviors. Don’t even get me started on “YOLO”.

Bingeing on Netflix and then crying about why you do not lose weight isn’t self-care

The term self-care actually refers to actions by oneself which are beneficial, and which enhance one’s health or wellbeing. Bingeing on Netflix and then crying about why you do not lose weight isn’t self-care.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema

Here are 3 self-care habits that actually benefit you

1. Choose the healthier option –For those of us who like to hang out with our friends in Dhaka, mostly do so at a restaurant, coffee shop or a fast food joint. Unfortunately, the most easily available options for dining out are junk food. Fast, easy and glutenous. So how do you choose a healthier option in these cases? Start small. If you’re getting pizza, opt for a medium one, or something with less cheese. Going for a coffee? Skip the sugar, or use a sugar substitute, or even downsize your coffee order. Getting a rice bowl? Try a protein rich salad with chicken or tofu instead. These small things over a few weeks and months will add up to make a difference. You don’t have to eliminate your social hangouts; just make better choices.

2. Focus on the Z’s – As we grow older, so do our work commitments increase, so that we spend most of our time at the office. When we do come home, in order to regain some control over our lives, or maybe to forget the work pressure, we either spend time on social media or binge on Netflix. While this does give us some sense of control it is time wasted on doing things that can degrade rather than enhance our lives.
You don’t have to give up on Netflix or social media. Get an app block like Block, or APP Block. Set a timer or a daily usage cap so that you’re not sacrificing sleep on these apps. These will also work out your self-control muscles. Your priority should be to get 6-9 hours of quality sleep. The z’s not only help your body recover but also carry out all sorts of maintenance and injury treatments.

3. Get moving – Movement is medicine for a reason. Think of what happened to your cars and bikes during lockdown, when they weren’t used. As complex systems as they are, the human body is more complex, now imagine what happens to your body when you don’t use it to its fullest potential.

That is why get some exercises in. Join the gym or do a kickboxing class. But start somewhere! your body will thank you later.

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