I never really understood the importance of self care and how good it can be for you. We have so much on our plates and often self care takes a backseat as it’s seen as a luxury and you might not have the time. Taking care of yourself is the first step to having a healthy lifestyle. I always say; “You can’t give from and empty cup, so start filling it.”
What is self care?
I used to have a very misguided idea of what self care was all about. So, what do you think when you hear the word self care? Maybe something in the line of a face mask, bubble bath, a massage or even a pedicure? While those do count as self care activities, that’s not what it’s all about. It is a mindset, and a commitment to prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental health. In its essence, self care means actively engaging in activities and practices that nourish and nurture our mind, body, and soul.
That might be something like exercising regularly, eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, and taking time for hobbies or creative pursuits that bring you happiness. Self care is not a luxury; it is necessary. By taking moments to yourself and tending to your needs, you can better manage stress and create a sense of balance and happiness in your life.
Making time for self care is an act of self love and putting yourself first. Fill that cup and let it overflow.
The importance of self care in your life.
Taking care of yourself has so many benefits for your mental and physical health. When I started making time for myself, it’s like I found the real me again. After having my first child, my whole life was about him and I forgot about myself. I slowly started losing touch with who I was. Taking time for myself changed that all, and it can for you too.
Self care reduces stress and anxiety.
When you make time for self care, you create moments of calm amongst the chaos, allowing yourself to unwind, recharge, and find solace in the present moment. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness meditation, taking a walk in nature, or taking a long, soothing bath, these intentional acts of self-nurturance signal to our bodies and minds that it’s okay to slow down and take care of ourselves. It doesn’t even have to be something that is generally seen as calming, I find hanging upside down from an aerial silk calming. Strange right, everyone is different and you need to find your own solace.
Self care improves physical health.
Making time for yourself isn’t just good for your mental health but your physical health too. Adding a few self care practices like exercise, nutritious eating, and adequate sleep into your daily routine boosts your energy levels, strengthens your immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. By making time for yourself you invest in longevity and vitality.
You’ll feel good and your body will thank you for it.
It increases self-esteem.
When we make time for self care, we send a powerful message to ourselves that we are worthy of love, attention, and nurturing. Doing things that make you feel good about yourself, whether it’s saying self-affirmations, setting boundaries, or pursuing your passions, fosters a deep sense of self-respect and appreciation. By taking the time to care for yourself, you build a stronger foundation of self-esteem, empowering you to face life’s challenges with confidence and resilience.
You become a happier version of yourself.
By taking the time for self care you create moments of genuine pleasure and satisfaction. Whether it’s spending time on a hobby, spending quality time with loved ones, or simply taking a moment to savor the beauty of the present moment, self care allows us to find the happiness within. When you make self care a non-negotiable part of your routine, you invite more happiness and positivity into your life, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond yourself and touches those around you.
How to make self care a part of your routine.
Is it easier said than done? Not really. It might not always be easy to make the time for yourself, but if you regularly force yourself to make the time, it becomes a habit and a part of your every day. It’s like brushing your teeth. You most probably hated doing it as a toddler and now it just feel wrong when you don’t do it.
When you’re just starting out with adding self care into your life, start small. Make small changes that would seamlessly fit into your daily routine. Take a few minutes to practice breathing exercises, take a walk in the neighborhood, or even change up a meal or two to something healthier and more nutritious. Making small, consistent changes in your life will lead to a healthier life in general and being healthy then becomes a lifestyle and not just a habit.
Set out a specific time for your self care.
Treat self care like any other important appointment by scheduling dedicated time for it in your calendar. Whether it’s a morning meditation session, an evening yoga class, or a midday break to read a book, block off time and commit to it. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I have found that getting active after having dinner helped reduce bloating so I do a 15 minute workout an hour after dinner. Sure it’s late at night, but my kids are asleep and I feel good afterwards. It works for me, and you need to find what works for you and stick to it!
Set boundaries for yourself.
Learn to say no to activities or commitments that drain your energy and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Put your own needs and well-being first by setting boundaries and protecting your time and energy for self care activities that nourish and rejuvenate you. No is a full sentence. You don’t need to say any more than that.
Be more flexible.
Life can be unpredictable, and there will be times when sticking to your self care routine feels challenging. Instead of being rigid, be flexible and adapt your self care practices to suit your current circumstances. Remember that self care is not about perfection but about showing yourself kindness and compassion. It’s important to listen to your body and understand that you are only human and you are doing the best you can.
Self care isn’t something to occasionally spoil yourself with; it’s an important part of living a healthy, fulfilling life. By making time for self care and committing to nurturing your well-being, you empower yourself to thrive amidst life’s ups and downs, creating resilience, joy, and inner peace along the way.
So, take a deep breath, slow down, and remember to put yourself first — you deserve it.
Your Wellness Warrior.