Self-Care Part 2
What is it? | Benefits of Self-Care
So, what is self-care, and why is it so important? As it turns out, there are many different self-care practices, and not all of them suit everyone…it’s very individualized.
Self-care is a broad term that encompasses just about anything you to do be good to yourself. Essentially, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others.
It’s partly about recognizing when your resources are running low, and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away. It also involves integrating self-compassion into your life in a way that helps to prevent even the possibility of a burnout.
However, it’s important to note that not everything that feels good is self-care. Self-destructive activities like drugs, alcohol, over-eating and risk-taking may help us to regulate challenging emotions, but the relief is temporary. The difference between unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-care activities is that the latter is positively good for you.
No matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, practicing self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. It is important to remember that self care is just that…a practice, like yoga, and that continuing to work on it is key.
Whether you’re facing a rough patch or simply going through the day-to-day grind, self-care should always be on your agenda. Make time for yourself everyday…even if you have to schedule it into your calendar!
Benefits of Self-Care Include:
A Healthy Work Life Balance | Better Productivity:
When you learn how to say “no” to things that overextend you and start making time for things that matter more, you slow life down in a wonderful way. This brings your goals into sharper focus and helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing.Contrary to common belief, workaholism is not a virtue. Overwork, and the accompanying stress and exhaustion can make you less productive, disorganized and emotionally depleted.
Improved Stress Management:
While a little dose of stress can give us the healthy nudge that we need to meet the deadlines or finish that overdue task, constant stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health. Smart self-care habits like eating healthy, connecting with a loved one or practicing meditation cuts down the toxic effects of stress by improving your mood and boosting your energy and confidence levels.
Better Health | Improved Resistance to Disease:
Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, caring about your hygiene, and exercising regularly…etc. There is evidence that most self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), meaning that your body goes into a restful, rejuvenating mode, helping it to fortify its immune system. So, with better self-care often comes fewer colds, cases of flu and upset stomachs.
Knowing Your Worth | Enhanced Self-Esteem:
Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself because it produces positive feelings, boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Also, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.When you regularly carve out time that’s only about being good to yourself and meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Specifically, you treat yourself like you matter and have intrinsic value. This can go a long way toward discouraging negative self-talk and your critical inner voice.
Start Living, Stop Existing | Increased Self-Knowledge:
Life is a precious gift. So why waste it when we have the choice to have a more meaningful existence? Yes, you have a lot of responsibilities, but it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is also your responsibility. Little things like sipping tea while looking at the raindrops racing down the window glass, enjoying a bubble bath, or reading a book are essential for your daily happiness. While things like taking up a new hobby or learning a new language can make your life more purposeful by giving you a new reason to get up in the morning. Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you really love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself a lot better.Sometimes, this can even spark a change in career or a reprioritization of previously abandoned hobbies.
When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish. In truth, self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate to others as well. “Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self preservation.” – Audrey Lorde