Recently I have realized the importance of caring for myself in order to be a better person. I think I was so resistant to this idea because of how selfish it sounds. I need to put myself first and neglect my family and responsibilities? It just didn’t sound right. But as I have slowly moved into the direction of understanding the importance of self-care, I realize it is the most least selfish thing I can do. By caring for myself, it allows me to be there more fully for my family, my friends, and even perform better at my job.
When people talk about self-care the first thing that pops into mind is eating right and exercise. But, it goes way beyond that. Self-care is things you do for yourself that help you to be a happy, healthy, and well person. It is all about nurturing your body, your surroundings, your relationships, and your spirit. From the basics of dressing, bathing, and grooming to other things such as meditation, participating in hobbies, improving your surroundings and/or your life, can be considered self-care activities. Anything you do to increase your own sense of health and well-being is self-care.
Each person’s idea for self-care is going to be different. What one person sees as an engaging and fun activity another person may find it boring and draining. You have to find what activities bring you a greater sense of wellbeing and actively seek out to do those things on a regular basis. The benefits of regular self-care are great! Here is a list of 5 of those benefits.
Have you ever noticed how doing things you love can bring about a burst of energy you may not have had before you began the activity? I love to dance, playing with my little girl brings me so much joy, and I’m really into health, fitness, and nutrition. Whenever I actively pursue activities in these areas, no matter how tired I am, I can usually expect to be energized by the end. Taking the time to engage in activities I love helps keep my energy levels full and prevents me from feeling drained all day. Lately, it has been my goal to incorporate at least one activity that energizes me each day. By recharging my energy, through an activity I love to do, I am able to be more energized for my family, friends, and coworkers. In this way, self-care not only helps me, but it allows me to be more fully present and engaged for the people I interact with.
When you start taking care of yourself you become more confident. By eating right, exercising, and engaging in enjoyable activities you start to feel good, both mentally and physically. This good feeling you get from doing things for yourself boosts your confidence. Taking the time to really care for yourself and help yourself become the best you you can be makes you feel good. This new confidence will exude from within attracting positive energy your way. When we take care of ourselves we feel healthier, happier, and more balanced this leads to increased confidence.
Prioritizing your day and making the time to do things for yourself increases your happiness. Today people are often so bombarded with work, errands, household chores, etc. it can be very hard to find the time to do something for yourself. This can often make us feel sad and depressed, like our life has no meaning. By finding what you love and committing to doing it every day, even for a short amount of time, you will increase the joy and happiness in your life.
It’s really easy to get caught up in our own daily life struggles. By participating in self-care we can minimize these struggles and increase our happiness. Being mindful to the present moment and creating gratitude for the people and things in our life decreases negativity. Using gratitude in your self care routine can decrease your negativity and make you happier. You are more mindful and present to the blessings in your life and create a space where negativity does not belong. This too allows you to be more present to the people around you. Because you are not all consumed by your negativity you can really be there for your friends and family in a more loving and mindful way.
When we are able to prioritize our life and participate in activities that make us whole, we are able to be happier and less stressed out. We all have stress in our lives. The key to managing stress is to find healthy outlets. By taking the time to engage in activities we love, exercise, or soaking in a bath (just to name a few) we can create a healthy outlet for the stressors we face on a daily basis. Identifying these outlets is a key element of good self care.
There are many benefits of regular self-care. These are just 5 of my favorite! What other benefits to self-care can you think of? I love hearing from you so please let me know in the comments section below.