It seems like a buzzword, a phrase we see often on Instagram posts and Facebook shares. But does anyone actually, actively participate in self-care?
The good news is that many people do – they might just not realize it, or call it by name. These are the folks who make sure they get a good night’s rest every night, eat well-balanced meals, make time to see friends, and regularly take part in at least one activity that makes them happy.
Self-care is about taking consideration of all the things that might make an impact on your overall well-being, might that be physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. The best kind of self-care incorporates it all.
But some people make the mistake of leaning on vices – substances like drugs or alcohol, shopping, or toxic relationships – and think that’s self-care, because taking part in those things temporarily feels good. They give short bursts of relief from daily or ongoing stress.
The key is to know the difference. Healthy self-care is so important because it can make such a huge difference to how a person feels every day, and how they feel about themselves overall.
Self-care improves our mood and energy levels. When you feel refreshed, taken care of, and aligned with your peaceful self, your mood is naturally elevated. You’ll feel more motivated and driven to get things done, whether that’s that load of laundry you’ve been putting off or that report that’s going to blow everyone away in the boardroom. If you’re prone to anxiety, self-care can drastically reduce those persistent, negative feelings, reducing the effects of tension and moving you into a higher, happier state.
Self-care also improves our physical health. You don’t have to have a gym membership or the body of your dreams (yet) to feel energized and healthy. Physical self-care practices, like walking or dancing or yoga or even sprinting up and down the stairs of your own home, will trigger the happy chemicals in your body and naturally make you feel so much better than you did before you started your exercise.
Another self-care benefit is increased self-esteem. Think about the people in your life you most love – you make them priority, don’t you? They know they’re loved, and in your presence, they feel great. They feel secure. They feel trusted, supported, appreciated. When you participate in self-care, you’re telling your mind and body that you trust, support, and appreciate yourself, and that improves your relationship with the most important person in the world: you.