Why Taking Care of Yourself is ImportantWe live in a fast-paced world! Once your morning alarm goes off, you’re off to a hectic day. From rushing to avoid getting to work late, to dealing with the series of meetings you have lined up, to completing that project that was due last week, it seems there’s just no end to your stress-filled life. To stay on top of all these, you overwork, cancel your yoga session, limit social interactions, and even skip a few meals.
What’s scary is that we do not think twice before we put self-care in the back seat because of the expectations society has placed on us. As a result of this lifestyle, our emotional and mental health begins to suffer.
Taking care of yourself is extremely crucial to your wellbeing. That’s why we’re going to explore what exactly is self-care and its benefits.
What is Self-care?
In the broadest sense, self-care encapsulates just about anything you do that’s beneficial to yourself. It’s about practicing kindness to yourself. It’s acknowledging when you’re near your limit and then, taking a step back to replenish rather than reach your breaking point.
However, it’s important to realize that not everything that feels good can be classified as ‘self-love’. Many people resort to alcohol, random sex, and drugs, among many others, as a way to deal with stress. But these unhealthy coping mechanisms only give temporary relief. In the long run, they leave you feeling worse.
On the other hand, self-care activities are uncontroversially good. Whether it’s regular exercising, healthy eating, good sleep, meditation, these activities have a long-term benefit for your mind and body.
Benefits of Taking Care of YourselfSelf-care has several benefits, most of which are intricately linked. Committing to self-care will improve your overall wellbeing in the following ways:
Improved Physical Health
Your body is to you what an engine is to a car. If you fail to oil your engine, service it as scheduled, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down.
A huge part of self-care is looking after your body. This involves getting enough sleep at night, eating the right food, exercising and more. All these ensure that your body is fit to get you through the rigors of life.
As an example, exercising helps you to control your weight, just as it helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. It also reduces your risk of heart disease (which by the way, is the number one killer in the world). Furthermore, by incorporating good nutrition, you reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, and osteoporosis.
Strive to incorporate healthier habits to preserve your physical health.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Stress is an interesting phenomenon because what causes you severe stress might just be a mild inconvenience for another person. But the symptoms of stress are quite universal - depression, feeling overwhelmed, emotional burden, moodiness, anxiety, headaches, low energy, aches and pain, insomnia, and more. All these leaves you generally unhappy with your life.
Making time for relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, a warm bath, or even listening to music is another common theme for self-care. These activities have been medically shown to relieve the symptoms of stress and make you feel more grounded.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
By taking the time to take care of yourself, you get to calm your nerves. But more importantly, you begin to love yourself more. Self-love (not in a narcissistic way) results in self-acceptance which boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
Many studies have found that people with higher self-esteem are better equipped to deal with the setbacks of life. Since they believe in their ability for self-improvement, they are more likely to accomplish their goals. Check the happiness coach website for more information about self-esteem.
Better Relationships With Others
We all want better relationships with our spouse, children, coworkers, bosses, and more. But many of us fail to realize that before you can form meaningful relationships with others, you have to first develop a healthy relationship with yourself.
The ancient Greeks understood this profound truth. They believed that self-love is the foundation upon which all other love could be built.
As Aristotle succinctly puts it, “all friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself”.
Practicing self-care keeps you in the right frame of mind to form meaningful relationships with the people that matter most to you.
Imagine you have a report that’s due tomorrow, but you haven’t completed it because you kept procrastinating. After a hectic day at work, you get home, drink loads of caffeine, and get right to work. Staying awake is a big struggle but you push yourself and eventually complete the report by 4 am. Kudos to you!!! But if you think about it critically, what took you over 6 hours to complete might have taken you just 2 hours if you were refreshed.
The simple truth is although we’re always trying to get things done, we’re highly unproductive because we’re not in the right frame of mind.
Caring for yourself involves sleeping when you’re supposed to sleep and working when it’s time to work. But it requires better planning. By paying keen attention to your mental and physical health, you get more productive at executing your tasks.
Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you love to do. It involves figuring out what you’re truly passionate about. Sometimes, this helps you discover your secret talents, spark a career change, or a re-prioritization of previously abandoned hobbies. This helps to give your life more meaning. As Socrates admonished, “Know thyself.”
The Power of Self-Care
One of the biggest lies we’ve told ourselves is that there’s no time for us to practice self-care. Even amidst our seemingly tight schedule, the average person spends about 2 hours 24 minutes on social media daily. While you might not be hooked on social media, other irrelevant things are probably wasting your time.
It’s high time you set your priorities straight! Taking care of yourself is the only surefire way to guarantee a happier and healthier life. When that happens, you can be a better person, partner, parent, and employee. But remember, it starts with you taking care of yourself.