Welcome back to the blog!
This month we're discussing what self care is? Why, because I believe self care has been watered down and used to a point that it's defined as a task with little to no significance. So what is self care and how can it improve your life in as little as 7 days for free? So let's get into it.
I found two definitions of self care to are on point.
Self Care is:
The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health or the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress.
This definition of self care is not something you should take lightly. It is an action to preserve or improve your health, well-being and happiness. It is particularly important to practice self care during times of stress. Why? Because stress literally can kill you and if you aren't taking the necessary steps for self care during a stressful time, then chances are you can cause permanent damage to yourself.
Does this mean that self care should be practiced only when you're stressed, no. Think of it as diet and exercise. The more consistent you are with eating healthy and exercising, the better your health becomes. Therefore the more consistent you practice self care, the more it benefits your overall health.
Does self care sound like a simple task to you now? I hope not. Now when you hear self care, you have an accurate definition on what it means for you.
What are some ways self care benefits you?
Easier to care for others
The number one reason why most people fail to practice self care is because they focus too much on caring for others. Such as a parents with small children, children taking care of their aging parents, you have a demanding job or someone that just wants to see everyone happy, etc. Although these are important parts of your life, you can't pour from an empty cup. All of these people depend on you but what happens if you die, who will take care of them then? So give yourself your very best so you can give them your very best.
By investing in your own self care, you always ensure that you’re taking action to improve your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. When you don’t practice self care, you’ll often push yourself beyond your limits. Such as for work or saying yes to many obligations that you can't fulfill.
But when you practice self care what you’re telling other people is that you need time to invest in your own wellbeing. So instead of overreacting to stress or anxiety, you have a built in system where you take regular care of yourself to prevent crashing and burning.
When you practice self care you subconsciously tell yourself “I matter.” Taking care of yourself puts an emphasis on how much you love yourself. The more you practice self care the more confident you become because you recognize and value yourself.
When you practice self care you set clear boundaries. Most people focus on taking care of everyone else at the expense of themselves. This isn’t a healthy example to set for your loved ones. By practicing self care you set boundaries. You establish “me time.” You show those around you that it’s important to take care of yourself. And funny enough, when you talk to others about your self care practice, some will begin to share their experiences and/or ask you for tips. By setting boundaries you can inspire others to follow suit and take care of themselves.
Build Healthy Relationships
Those who practice regular self care can build more meaningful relationships. A relationship can break down if one person takes regular care of themselves and the other doesn’t. When you practice self care, you show that you still value yourself. Many people talk about how once you get into a relationship someone lets go. This is what happens when you value the other person and stop valuing yourself. Always value and respect yourself by practicing self care in your relationship. A healthy relationship doesn't require one to do or sacrifice more than the other, it should be equal. When you have a well balanced relationship, you both will have time to enjoy a self care routine.
Self care is important because it can help fight illness: both physical and mental. Those who suffer from mental illnesses, might practice self care to reduce symptoms which can eventually spiral into physical symptoms if left untreated. You’ll gain a stronger immune system with regular self care. For example, meditation can help manage anxiety. Anxiety untreated can spiral to have physical symptoms. Self care can also prevent negative physical symptoms. For example, exercise and eating healthy can help prevent a lot of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.
Improves Mental Health
Self care can play a massive role in mental health. Most psychotherapists will often recommend some sort of self care treatment. If you can’t afford to go to therapy to get help with your mental health, practicing self care can be a cost-effective alternative. For example, you can practice meditation which is often recommended by psychotherapists. I usually find a guided meditation video on YouTube and it has helped me tremendously. You can also find time to exercise which is another important self care practice that doctors recommend. You can create yourself a relaxing kit which is made up of all the things that help relax you so if you find yourself getting stressed out, you can go straight to your kit to provide yourself self care.
These are just a few examples of how self care benefits your life and with no monetary investment and in just 7 days! Just tweaking your life one moment at a time can reap great rewards. Do you practice self care? Share below on how you practice self care or if you need help creating a self care routine for a specific reason.
Next week we'll be discussing the different types of self care there are and how it impacts your life.