Regardless of your age or station in life, self-care is IMPORTANT. (Yes, that’s in caps for a good reason!) And by self-care, I don’t just mean washing your face every day or indulging a bubble bath and a glass of wine. Luxurious skincare routines and relaxation are great, but true self-care goes much deeper. Here’s how to get started in self-care.
A lot of us have a hard time making space for self-care or convincing ourselves we even deserve it, in the first place. I’m about to give you 5 HUGE reasons why you should start practicing self-care TODAY plus some tips on how to get started.
5 Important Reasons to Get Started in Self-Care
While the actual way you practice self-care might be different from the way someone else does, the basics are the same. We all reap the same rewards when we practice it regularly.
1. Get Started in Self-Care to Relieve Stress
Everyone experiences stress. Some of us are better at managing stress than others, of course. It’s like some of us are just born able to handle more. Or, maybe, we experience things that prepare us for stress. Regardless of how easy of difficult stress seems to you, excessive and long-standing stress is bad for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Stress-relief is crucial and practicing self-care is a great way to start.
Whatever form of self-care you choose to do, you’re providing yourself an outlet to temporarily let go of whatever may be going on and relax. These activities can trigger your body’s relaxation response, which helps prevent stress from physically damaging your body.
Check out this post with tips of how to make room for relaxation in your life.
2. Self-Care Improves Your Emotional Health
Do you ever feel completely at your wits end – like one wrong word from someone else and you could blow up? Have you stubbed your toe on a table and gotten WAY more angry at the table than you should have?
Beyond protecting your body from the effects of chronic stress, self-care contributes to your emotional well-being. You’ll feel refreshed and more ready to take on whatever comes your way.
By caring for your mind and body you’ll also increase your confidence, which improves your mood and productivity. It’s a wonderful cycle of ever-increasing positivity that will help you recognize your self-worth.
3. You Get Time Alone (or with people)
Even the most flamboyantly extroverted person needs some time alone. Practicing self-care, whatever that means to you, offers this. Being alone gives you time to meditate, reflect, and concentrate on your needs.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Sometimes it’s nice to practice self-care with a good friend or a group of people you enjoy. A girls’ night, a date night, or group therapy might be just the thing for you.
5. Self-Care Eases Resentment
Regular self-care helps you maintain a positive outlook on the rest of your life. If all you ever do is go go go, pay attention to others, and stress about being productive, you’ll grow perpetually tired and resentful.
Have you ever felt that? Has someone asked for help and the voice in your head scoffed, “UGH! Leave me alone for just FIVE MINUTES, please!” Hey, it’s normal. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it DOES mean you need a little downtime.
4. You Become a Better Caretaker When You Start Self-Care
When you think of a “caretaker” your mind probably goes to one of three places:
- Parents caring for children
- Children caring for aging parents
- Professional caretakers
But, it doesn’t stop there. Have you ever talked a friend through a tough situation or supported someone through any sort of emotional turbulence?
Taking care of others, in any capacity whatsoever, can be emotionally draining. Making time to take care of yourself is the best way to ensure you become the best caretaker you can be.
How to Get Started
Creating a self-care routine can seem overwhelming if you’ve never thought about it before, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s good to start with the basics. Consider these self-care tips:
Some examples of simple self-care activities include:
These are all good places to start but please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. Self-care can be anything, as long as it helps you relax, recharge, and enjoy yourself.
Know Your Self-Worth
No matter what, you’re worth the time you spend on self-care. Neglecting yourself will only lead to misery and burnout. Perhaps you’re already there, but it’s never too late to take care of yourself properly.