Given our busy lifestyles and the multiple roles we play each day, it can be hard to find time for self-care. Whether you’re a spouse, a parent, an employee, or a pet owner – or all of the above! – dedicating time for yourself can seem monumental and sometimes impossible. Your friends and family have probably told you countless time that “you’re always so stressed,” or “you need to take a break and relax.” But have you ever thought about what you do to unwind and relax?
Often times, we fail to recognize our need for self-care because we’re so used to living without it and living on-the-go. Other times, we feel selfish and guilty about taking time for ourselves because we feel that we should be spending that time doing something else; like spending extra time with our children or getting a load of laundry done. We fail to realize how important and essential self-care is for our wellness and quality of life.
What is self-care?
Moreover, self-care is anything we do for our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. It’s the time where our mind, body, and soul can refresh and rejuvenate. Without it, our personal relationships, with ourselves and with others, begin to deteriorate because we feel overworked, overtired, and overstressed. As a result, we can feel overwhelmed and unmotivated which can adversely affect our self-esteem, abilities to cope with stress, and overall wellness.
Why self-care is important
Instead of thinking self-care is a selfish act, it’s important to understand it’s a necessity for your personal well-being. In other words, we need to make time to take care of ourselves so that we can continue fulfilling our various roles and responsibilities. It doesn’t have to be anything costly, it can be as simple as setting aside 5 to 10 minutes of your day for quiet time. Self-care can be absolutely anything that puts your mind and body at ease. It can range from reading a book to taking a hot bath or practising yoga.
You might be stuck trying to think of an activity because you haven’t thought of yourself in a while. Here are some ideas to help you start practising self-care!
One of the most important things we often forget about is giving ourselves credit when we do something great. We’re quick to pass judgment and critique ourselves when we feel we’ve failed or have done something wrong, but it’s important to take note of all the wonderful things we do each day.
Sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to avoid and bottle up our feelings – especially the negative ones. By doing so, our emotions can become so overwhelming that it will begin to sabotage many aspects of our lives, specifically our wellness. Instead of internalizing your emotions, it’s important to find ways to release them. This can be anything from journaling, painting, meditating, or confiding in someone you trust.
This can be anything from taking a long bath, getting a massage, spending time with friends, taking a fun class, or eating something you enjoy. Nourishment, and self-care, is all about loving and treating yourself.. which is something you most definitely need and deserve!
More articles on self-care: Looking after yourself or 22 acts of self-care.
- Experts, Y. (2015). Don’t Forget Yourself: The Importance Of Self Care. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/01/11/dont-forget-yourself-the-importance-of-self-care/
- Michael, R. (2016). What Self-Care Is — and What It Isn’t. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/08/10/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/
- Miller, S. (2016). Easier Said Than Done: Practicing Self-Care and Health and Wellness in Higher Education and Student Affairs. The Vermont Connection: Vol 37, Article 13.
- Roberts, E. (2015). Why Self-Care is Important for Your Physical and Mental Health. Retrieved on September 27, 2016, from http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/
- Theriault, A., Gazzola, N., Isenor, J., & Pascal, L. (2015). Imparting Self-Care Practices to Therapists: What the Experts Recommend. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy: Vol 49, No 4, Pages 379-400.
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