We’re sure you’ve heard time and time again that self-care is important. But when your schedule is jam-packed and your energy depleted, carving out time for yourself tends to be the last thing you worry about.
Though we’ve all been there, making time for self-care is so important. Not convinced? Let’s jump into the importance of self-care, and we can show you that even small changes can make a huge difference.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care means that you are taking care of your well-being; this includes your physical and emotional health. Normal stressors can start to affect your mental and physical health when you aren’t taking care of yourself. You can combat these stresses by enacting a self-care routine.
When you ignore your health, especially your mental health, you open the door to things like burnout, lowered self-esteem, poor quality of life, physical afflictions, flare-ups of mental illness, and potentially things like substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. Practicing routine self-care can help prevent and combat the snowball effect of the chaos of daily life.
You may feel you should be able to handle more stress than those around you. It’s important to remember that everyone struggles with stress differently. And often, we struggle in silence, not asking for help, so try not to compare yourself and what’s on your plate to other people.
Benefits of Self Care
Benefits are abundant when you put self-care practices into motion, benefits that can be felt physically, mentally, and even spiritually. When you prioritize yourself and your health by impairment a self-care plan, you can feel the changes to your whole being.
Physical Health Benefits
- Improved energy
- Lowered blood pressure
- Better quality sleep
- Improved immune system
- Regulated hormones
- Improved hair, skin, and nails
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.
Mental/ Emotional Benefits
- Improved concentration and focus
- Increase productivity
- Improved self-esteem
- Regulated moods
- Increase in positive thinking and joy
- Better management of mental illness
- Reduction of stress
- Improved relationships (this includes your relationship with yourself!)
Self-care is a pillar of your overall health and well-being, though it is the most ignored. We are not meant to be able to take care of everything and everyone all of the time.
Remember that everyone needs a break from the pressures and stresses of the world and daily life. Everyone deserves to have some time to themselves to destress. You can take this time to learn more about yourself and connect with yourself again.
How Do I Practice Self-Care?
There are many forms of self-care, and not all of them will work for everybody. It may take some trial and error to figure out what feels the best for you.
Also, it can be difficult to make new habits, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall out of your self-care routine; just pick up where you left off!
Forms of Self Care
Self-care basics revolve around your physical, mental, and emotional health. These are the three main areas to focus on adding self-care activities to your daily routine.
Read on for ways to start making changes. Check out this blog for more self-care ideas!
- Physical Activity – Adding some movement to your day is an easy way to start caring for yourself. Now this doesn’t have to be a strict exercise regime. This gentle, easy movement can get you away from your desk and connect to your body. You can take a 20-minute walk, yoga session, or boxing class. Movement is a great way to burn off stress and frustrations while caring for your physical self.
- Balanced Diet – We all know a crummy diet can make you feel just that — crummy. You won’t feel your best when you don’t receive the appropriate nutrients. By eating a balanced diet, you can get what your body needs. Having enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats in your diet is very important. Start including protein at every meal and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Decrease the amount of added sugars and processed foods. Instead, add whole grains, get enough water, and soon you’ll feel the benefits of a better diet.
- Sleep – Good quality sleep is essential to feeling your best. Most people need around eight hours of sleep. Not only do you need enough sleep, but you need quality sleep. Refrain from using screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime, make your room dark, quiet, and cozy. You could do light stretching and some meditation to wind down. Having a good bedtime routine helps your brain acknowledge that it’s bedtime, and you will be able to fall asleep faster.
- Journaling – Another way to destress or wind down for bed is some quiet time. This can involve journaling, meditation, or some breathing exercises. Utilizing a journal can be an outlet for you to relieve some frustrations or stress about your day. You can use a journal to explore the positives and negatives of the day.
Pro tip: Something like a gratitude journal, where you write down all the good things, can be helpful for those of us who lean toward the pessimistic side to change our mindset. The more you highlight the good and beneficial things in your day — or in your life — the more your brain will learn to focus on those moments rather than the negative experiences. Journaling out goals or plans is also a good way to let all the thoughts and stresses out. If you struggle with anxious thoughts, journaling out all of them via a brain dump is so helpful in relieving that never-ending cyclone of thoughts.
- Meditation – Practicing meditation is a fantastic way to destress. Deep breathing exercises can help release all the tension from your mind and body. It can bring calm and peace to your physical and emotional being. Put your phone down, turn off those social media notifications, and connect deeper to your mind. This can help you learn more about yourself and link you to your spiritual side. Read here for more info about spiritual self-care.
- Connection – Reconnecting with loved ones can be a form of self-care as well. Allowing family members or friends to see your more vulnerable side can help them connect deeper with you and offer their support. Sometimes it can be hard to know that someone needs more support if they are good at hiding it. Not everyone is comfortable letting others in, and that’s okay, but it may work for some people.
- Me Time – Let yourself do things you love! Too often, we have a to-do list that needs to be completed at work and home. Take time for yourself. Do a hobby you’ve always wanted, like ceramics or tennis; you could allow yourself time to read or listen to a podcast. Take a bubble bath and do your nails or a face mask. Spoil yourself; you deserve it!
Practicing self-care can feel odd if you aren’t used to spending time on yourself. But it is a necessity for your overall health. Too much stress can cause a lot of health problems, so knowing ways to decrease that overall load is the best way to combat the effects of stress.
Utilize different ways of self-care to take care of yourself, your physical self, and your mental health. You may even rub off on those around you and be an example of why self-care is so important.
Working towards taking care of all aspects of yourself can improve your health and quality of life.