Do you believe self-care is an extravagance? Not worth the trouble? Beware of this belief, because what it translates to is: “I’m not worth the trouble.” Self-care is often overlooked and neglected, perhaps because some perceive it to be too self-focused or even self-indulgent. When life is jam-packed with work, family and social commitments, taking the time to care for one’s self seems downright impossible to do. Well, not only is self-care possible, it’s actually essential for our physical, emotional and mental wellness.When you don’t practice self-care, your levels of stress and anxiety can escalate, resulting in other negative effects which undermine the health of your entire body. Common signs and symptoms of stress include:
- Digestive problems
- Muscle tension and pain
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy eating
Self-Care = Self-Love
Self-care is strongly connected to our self-esteem, our sense of worth. Taking time to care for yourself is a reminder to you and to others that your well-being is valuable. It also makes you feel better about yourself, boosting your levels of confidence and happiness.
Other benefits of self-care include:
- Reduces stress
- Restores work-life balance
- Improves health
- Prevents burnout
- Increases focus
The first non-negotiable essential for successful self-care practice is a shift in mindset. You have to start by deciding that you are worth taking care of. The decision has to come from within you – no one else can choose this for you. Once you’re able to really grab hold of this mindset, schedule some time for regular self-care. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time; you can start small, maybe 10 minutes a day if that’s all the time you’ve got to spare right now. It’s important to build this into your regular schedule, whether daily or weekly.
Here are some self-care ideas that anyone can try. Many of these ideas won’t cost you anything and don’t require a lot of time, but the point is this: you’re taking this time for yourself, because you’re worth it!
- Exercising regularly
- Eating well
- Taking regular breaks to rest and relax (check out these restful rituals)
- Getting a massage
- Going to the spa (or you can create your own home spa experience)
- Pay some special attention to your physical hygiene (bathing, grooming, etc.)
- Spending time in nature
- Unplugging from technology
- Getting enough sleep (learn how to create the perfect sleep environment!)
- Learning not to overschedule
- Creating healthy boundaries
What are some other things you do to practice healthy self-care? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!