A consistent self-care routine can work wonders in all aspects of your life.
Within your emotional world, self-care can help you cultivate internal strength, allowing you to face life’s challenges with clarity and resilience. In your relationships, it can empower you to show up with more compassion and awareness. At work, self-care often translates into being more productive and feeling less stressed out.
Given its importance, many people find themself asking an important question. What qualifies as “self-care?”
In this article, we’ll be discussing the qualities of self-care. We’ll also share how Qi Gong can help satisfy many essential aspects of our self-care needs.
What is Self-Care?
According to renowned Qi Gong master, Lee Holden, “self-care is anything that nourishes your energy.”
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, we view energy as the essence of all living beings. This energy is also known as Qi. Every thought, emotion, and physical state is a reflection of the quality of Qi within the body.
When you’re healthy and feeling well, you have an abundance of vital Qi circulating throughout your body. It is well-balanced and flowing smoothly. When you’re sick, it means that that there is a blockage or imbalance in your Qi.
When you do self-care, you’re essentially increasing your abundance of Qi. You’re also ensuring that it’s circulating throughout your entire being. Of course, there are many ways to care for your energy in this way.
Dealing with Stress
Because stress plays a significant toll on both mental and physical health, many self-care practices focus on releasing stress.
There are many causes of stress, but all of them work the same way. When you feel threatened, the sympathetic nervous system is often activated, which is the body’s “fight or flight” response. This causes people to tense their muscles and experience anxious thought patterns.
One of the quickest ways to address stress is to move your body. This is why a lot of people turn to exercise for self-care, including yoga and Qi Gong.
Another important component of addressing stress is more internal. Since your state of consciousness greatly influences your level of stress, it’s a good idea to work with your mind. For some, meditation is a great choice, as it helps you release anxiety-provoking thoughts. If you can find activities that combine movement and meditation, you’ll have some great tools for overcoming stress.
Life is more enjoyable when you’re feeling energized and inspired. Without sufficient energy, your daily activities can become challenging and unsatisfying. Therefore, many self-care activities focus on increasing your baseline level of energy. There are a couple of different ways that self-care can help.
Sometimes, a lack of energy is the direct result of not having enough downtime. When that’s the case, it’s important to do things that allow you to relax and recharge. Spending time in nature and connecting with loved ones are two great ways to slow down and recharge.
Inspiration is another wonderful source of energy. Directing your mind toward inspiring thoughts can provide you with immense energy. Meditation and Qi Gong are two great ways to work with the power of the mind to increase energy and inspiration.
Cultivating Emotional Balance
Part of taking care of yourself includes working with your emotions in a skillful way. Therefore, many self-care practices focus on processing the emotions that life brings up.
Some people find journaling to be a helpful way to reflect and process. Others enjoy art, music, dancing, or Qi Gong. There are many additional ways to process emotions, but they all have one thing in common. They help you become truly present with the emotions you’re experiencing. They also help you transform negative emotions into more positive states of being.
Self-care helps to ensure that you stay physically healthy and well. Because the body and mind are intimately connected, all of the benefits mentioned above contribute to physical health.
Many self-care activities center around movement and exercise. Some people choose to run, go to the gym, or jump on a bicycle. Others prefer hiking, yoga, or Qi Gong. Engaging in a variety of different kinds of movements helps support the body’s various health needs.
What Qualifies as Self-Care?
Simply put, self-care can be any activity that nourishes your energy, and there’s a wide variety of activities that can be considered self-care.
If gardening nourishes you, it is certainly a form of self-care. The same is true of exercise, meditation, journaling, yoga, and Qi Gong, just to name a few. There is almost no limit to the kinds of activities that give you energy.
Based on this, you might be thinking: “What kinds of activities aren’t self-care?”
As the term implies, self-care is any activity that you do for yourself. It is something that nourishes your internal energy, not something that you do to impress or serve anyone else. As important as it may be to do your kids’ laundry, that activity probably doesn’t qualify as self-care.
Using Qi Gong for Self-Care
Qi Gong can help individuals experience all of the benefits mentioned above — reduces stress, increases energy, improves health, and provides greater emotional balance.
Qi Gong calms the mind by engaging the body in slow, meditative movement exercises. It helps you become keenly aware of what is happening within your being. By doing so, you’re able to cleanse and clear emotional tension and cultivate an abundance of nourishing energy.
Every person is different, which means that each practitioner has their own special relationship to Qi Gong. Some use the practice primarily for calming the mind. For others, it’s a way to maintain a stable level of energy throughout the day. For most practitioners, Qi Gong has nearly limitless uses in everyday life.
If you’re interested in discovering more about the wellness benefits of Qi Gong and giving it a try, click on the banner below to sign up for our free upcoming Qi Challenge.