I want to start with a quick reminder: You should never feel guilty or selfish about taking time for yourself. Self-care is the most important thing you can do to preserve your emotional and physical wellbeing. And one of the best ways to destress is with self-care.
It’s about improving your energy, becoming more focused, feeling centered, and managing your stress. Put simply, self-care is all about healing the body, mind, and spirit from daily burn-out. And by doing so, you’ll be healthier, happier, and able to give your loved ones the best version of you!
How self-care helps you manage life
We live in a society where we’re encouraged to work long hours and take little vacation time. The underlying message is that self-care is “indulgent.”
But the truth is taking care of work, family, and home, with no time to recharge your batteries can leave you depleted, exhausted, and stressed out.
Practicing self care has many benefits. Beyond calming your senses, it can take you back to a healthy place where you feel more focused, less stressed, more productive – and in tune with your highest self. And isn’t that what we all deserve?
Self-care improves mental stress
I get it. From the tim you get up in the morning until you go to bed each night, there’s a good chance every precious minute in your day is accounted for. You work until dusk, and just fit in enough time for groceries. Then there’s dinner, cleaning up, laundry, getting the kids to bed. Whew! You’re exhausted. And waking up to do it all over again.
When you are in constant fight or flight mode your emotions become raw. And chronic stress can often lead to emotional problems, such as anxiety, moodiness, feeling of overwhelm, and even depression. Self-care is so important for building emotional resilience.
Taking the time for a soothing salt bath, writing in your gratitude journal, or simply going for a walk alone, can often be enough to soothe your raw emotions.
Even if you can devote only 15 minutes a day, self-care quiets your mind and allows you to become more centered. In fact, research suggests that adding a self-care routine into your daily life may actually help you become more confident, productive and creative.
Self-care improves physical stress
As simple as it sounds, many people pay little attention to their own self-care. And that can affect you physically. If you're constantly under stress, you can experience physical symptoms. Headaches, stomach upset, chest pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, and problems sleeping can all be related to stress.
Even though most stressors today are mental and not physical, many of us develop physical symptoms from chronic stress. If your body tends to tense up when stressed, you likely have experienced back, neck, shoulder, or hip pain.
Massage may feel indulgent but it helps treat all types of stress — even beyond physical. Massage not only stimulates feel good hormones, but also the parasympathetic nervous system.
If chronic aches and pains are something you deal with regularly, a massage might be the self care for you.
Time alone can help you manage stress
Humans are social creatures, but sometimes never having any alone time can begin to wear you down. Studies show that people often feel self-conscious when enjoying time alone, especially if they think others are watching and judging them. This can stop people from doing things alone that would ultimately bring them joy – like a solo meal in their favorite restaurant.
But taking a little “me-time” is actually linked to increased happiness, improved life satisfaction, and better stress management. And of course, spending time alone is an absolute must for self-care.
When you’re relaxing alone, it’s so much easier to self-reflect and simply tune into your highest self. If you’re constantly feeling pressure to take care of others, this might be exactly the kind of self care you need.
Practicing self-care does not have to be complicated
Self-care can take many forms. It could be as simple as getting enough quality sleep each night or a quiet walk with your pup. Too often though, we focus on what we don’t have or can’t do in life, rather than appreciating the beauty that’s around us.
While taking an expensive vacation might not be in your budget, enjoying a little solitude, curled up in your favorite chair may be just what your stressed-out mind needs.
Creating an evening ritual, steeped with self-care is another simple but effective way to reduce stress and turn your brain off at night and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. And it can be as simple as throwing on your comfy pjs, listening to relaxing music, and savoring a soothing and delicious drink.
Remember, self-care is all about taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. And that doesn’t have to be complicated. What works for one person may not work for another. But that’s the beauty of a self-care routine: it’s just for you.