What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself. It is doing exactly what you need to do to feel the best all around. This includes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Each person has their own way to give themselves self-care. This can be anything from quitting your exhausting job, to getting your hair done, or ensuring you have time to read each evening before bed.
Taking care of yourself should not be overlooked. There are many benefits that result from a self-care routine. If you are not taking care of yourself eventually it can lead to overwhelming stress, lack of confidence, less productivity at work and even cause deteriorating relationships with family and friends.
To really understand self-care, you need to understand yourself first. Ask yourself these questions to gain some clarity.
- What are the things I need to do to feel complete?
- What activities help me relieve stress?
- Is there anything I can eliminate from my daily schedule that is preventing me from taking care of myself?
- Am I happy with my exercise routine and am I eating healthy?
The way you answer these questions determines your self-care needs. Once you have defined your needs all you need to do now is to add it to your schedule and do them to reap the benefits.
Self-care is extremely beneficial for optimal health. Let’s look at a few of the amazing benefits you’ll experience over time.
- Increased Positivity – Adding these activities to your schedule will give you something to look forward to. Now you will no longer be thinking about how bad your day is and only be looking forward to reading that book in total silence or getting your nails done after work.
- Increased Self-Confidence – Your needs are now a top priority and that is a good thing. Self-confidence will naturally increase because you are simply doing the things that make you feel good.
- Improved Immunity – Self-care allows you to give your body a break from stress, anxiety and emotional trauma which increases your immunity. Stress and depression can overload your mind and body which is crucial to reduce as much as possible.
- Better Relationships – The more your needs are met the better your relationships will be with other people. When you are feeling down about yourself and don’t feel important chances are that’s what you are putting onto others.
- Higher Productivity – All the benefits that have been stated above help with increased productivity at work and at home. Less stress, higher immunity, and higher self-confidence all help to boost productivity.
Remember, self-care is all about you as an individual. So, what you need to do to take care of yourself won’t be the same as your spouse, friends, and family. After this routine is put in place you will notice a significant change in your health and overall well-being.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is simply doing the things you like to do that helps you feel happy and healthy. There really is no limit to what self-care is because it’s all about what you like doing for yourself.
Neglecting yourself and putting your needs on the back burner inevitably leads to an unhealthy life. Self-care needs to be a part of everyone’s personal schedule and shouldn’t be overlooked due to time or because someone believes it is selfish. Self-care is essential to having a healthy, productive, and happy life.
Self-care is imperative because it prevents:
- Stress — Most everyone lives with stress in their daily lives but it’s important to try to reduce this as much as possible. Plenty of medical research shows that stress can cause many negative side effects. This includes headaches, low energy, aches and pain and even insomnia.
- Burnout – Burnout is another form of extreme stress that results in physical and emotional exhaustion, negativity, lack of enjoyment and the feeling of hopelessness. Burnout typically happens when people are overworked or during events that you feel you can’t control. Self-care allows you to take a break from these activities that can result in burnout. Even if it’s a simple one-minute break where you just close your eyes and breathe, it will help reduce this type of stress.
- Negativity — Putting everyone else’s needs over your own will turn just about anyone negative. The feeling of not being important and that their needs overpower yours is a horrible feeling. The fact is, the more your needs are met the more others needs will be met too. You will experience less bitterness and resentment towards others if you take care of yourself.
If you find yourself at any point feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just negative towards people stop what you are doing immediately. You can easily take a few minutes to refocus your mind. Maybe you need to talk to your friends and family for a few minutes or look at a few pictures that make you happy such as babies or cats. This will allow you to relax and adjust your attitude. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be if you just put yourself first.
Simple Self-Care Tips And Ideas
Self-care is a very broad term and can honestly mean anything. Self-care can be described by each person differently. To one person it can be about doing anything that is fun and exciting but to the next person it is about being quiet and fully relaxed in the moment and even then, someone else might think it’s a combination of both. Self-care is an individualized plan of activities that will allow you to be mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.
If you haven’t been practicing self-care for a while or at all, it can be overwhelming at first to break it down and know where to start.
- Self-Care First – Just like health studies have shown exercising first thing in the morning gives the best results the same goes for self-care. Take care of yourself first to start your day off positively. When you get things out of the way you’ll feel accomplished and awesome.
- Schedule Self-Care – Today people are more productive than ever. But, they are also distracted. The best course of action is to schedule in the things you want to do for self-care. Schedule that haircut or massage. Schedule a short phone call with friends or family during your break at work. Schedule lunch with friends. If you write it down you’re more likely to do it.
- Be Attentive – Be aware of your surroundings as well as yourself. Your environment and knowing what you like and dislike plays a major part in self-care. If you are adding things to your routine that you don’t like and don’t make you happy, look for a way to remove it or make it better.
- Reward Yourself – Self-care shouldn’t only be about rewarding yourself but it is a great way to get started. It could help you to get some much-needed work done and help you get the care you need. Maybe you know you need to exercise but it’s not something that you really enjoy doing. Start rewarding yourself for doing it so that you get an immediate benefit for anything that will only provide long-term results. For example, did you do your exercise every day for a month? Schedule a facial or massage to reward yourself.
- Try Meditation – Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and help you relax. The goal is to focus on breathing and nothing else. Studies show that meditation and prayer help cut down on stress and improve memory.
- Take Alone Time – Self-care doesn’t have to be about going and spending a bunch of money or doing exciting activities. Sometimes people just need alone time. Take time away from children and coworkers so that you can rejuvenate and focus on your own thoughts.
- Spend Time with Friends and Family – Schedule some time with friends and family. Go out to dinner or play board games at their house. Do something different than you usually would do with them also. Make it a date so you have something to look forward to.
- Buy Something – Go buy a new outfit, a pair of hiking boots or a coffee at Starbucks. Add it to your budget so you don’t go overboard. It’s okay to splurge every now and then if it makes you feel good and isn’t completely unhealthy.
Self-care can be simple. All you need to do is figure out what is best for you and do it. One thing that might help you decide what to do is to write down the goals that you have for yourself so that you can ensure that the things you do lead you towards meeting those goals.
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