The demands of life are ever-increasing. Many find themselves overwhelmed, overworked, and often feeling like they have no time for things that matter to them.
With families to care for and deadlines to meet, sometimes it seems that we just can't do it all, let alone, to care for our own wellbeing.
The rise in technology over the years has proven to bring about more stress and burnout among individuals, leaving many to wonder if there is a better way.
This is why self-care is so important now, and the reason it is a phenomenon we are hearing about more and more.
What is self-care?
Self-care in its simplest form is exactly as it says: taking care of oneself. This looks different for each person; however, it has the same implication for general well-being, health, and happiness for everyone.
People often confuse self-care with the "treat yourself" mentality…I worked hard this week so I am going to treat myself to a nice dinner.
Although this is an element of self-care, it is not the entirety of the meaning of this term.
Often our bodies, minds or emotions are communicating to us that something is needed. It is in tuning into what they are saying and then responding accordingly that makes the difference.
This is when you begin to tap into self-care.
One day, you may feel sluggish and low in energy, and simply need to go outdoors to reconnect with nature and get Vitamin D in your system. Another day, you may need a little boost in confidence before a big meeting, so you use positive affirmations before going into work.
As you learn to pay attention to what “you” are telling yourself, you will notice how much better and more productive you become in your day-to-day life.
Why self-care? What is so important about it?
When stressed, one may resort to unhealthy tendencies such as sleeping less, not drinking enough water, sitting at a computer all day, or maybe even not spending enough time with loved ones.
Although this seems harmless, over time if not addressed, it can lead to many things such as burnout, anxiety, depression, or possibly even physical illness.
Self-care not only prevents this but elicits more creativity and energy so that we can function at our highest and best self.
In short, self-care only makes things better for you.
How can I practice self-care?
Here are three main categories of self-care:
Emotional self-care - journaling, bubble baths, taking a walk outside, positive self-talk, self-affirmations, self-compassion, spending time with loved ones, giving yourself permission to take a break, reading a book, going to therapy.
Physical self-care - incorporating movement or exercise regularly, prioritizing sleep, choosing more whole foods and less processed foods and beverages.
Spiritual self-care - meditating, listening to a positive message or talk, journaling, spending time outside with nature, and going to a weekly spiritual service.
The possibilities of self-care are endless. Only you know what you truly need.
The important takeaway from all of this is to be in tune with what you need, whether that be a need for the day or in creating lasting routines for lasting impact.
So ask yourself..
What do I need today?