If you had to define self-care, you could say that in its simplest form, it’s really just doing the things you like, and that leave you feeling happy, healthy, and energized. There is no right or wrong way to do self-care, because it’s all about what you like doing for yourself and your personality that makes you a better person, parent, spouse, sibling, and friend.
What you don’t want to do when it comes to self-care, is do things that other people think you need to do. Most people aren’t shy about telling others what to do, especially when they see people they care about trying to make changes. (But that, as my father used to say, is a story for another day.)
The bottom line for self-care is to do what YOU love to take care of yourself. Neglecting yourself and putting your needs on the back burner inevitably leads to burnout and an otherwise unhealthy life. Self-care needs to be a part of everyone's personal schedule and shouldn't be overlooked due to time or because someone else believes it is selfish.
Taking care of yourself is an essential part of having a healthy, productive, and happy life.
Here are three reasons why self-care is so important…
Reason #1 –
Self-care relieves stress
Most everyone lives with stress in their daily lives but it's important to try to reduce this as much as possible. Plenty of medical research shows that stress can cause many negative side effects. This includes headaches, low energy, aches and pain and even insomnia.
Taking care of yourself with meditation, yoga or other exercise routines are just a few ways to practice self-care and relieve stress at the same time.
Reason #2 –
Self-care reduces burnout
Burnout is another form of extreme stress that results in physical and emotional exhaustion, negativity, lack of enjoyment and the feeling of hopelessness. Burnout typically happens when people are overworked or during events that you feel you can’t control.
Self-care allows you to take a break from these activities that can result in burnout. Even if it’s a simple one-minute break where you just close your eyes and breathe, it will help reduce this type of stress.
Reason #3 –
Self-care promotes positive energy
Always putting yourself last and prioritizing everyone else's needs over your own will turn just about anyone negative. The feeling of not being important and that their needs overpower yours is a horrible feeling. The fact is, the more your needs are met the more positive energy you build up, making it easier to meet the needs of others. You will experience less bitterness and resentment, and develop a more positive attitude towards others if you take care of yourself.
When you find yourself at the point of feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just negative towards people stop what you are doing immediately. You can easily take a few minutes to refocus your mind. Maybe you need to talk to your friends and family for a few minutes or look at a few pictures that make you smile. (Cute kittens, anyone?)
This will allow you to relax and reset your attitude. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be if you just put yourself first.
You don’t really want stress, burnout, or negative energy messing up your days. Yet, that’s what you allow to happen when you constantly put your need for self-care on the back burner. Make time for yourself, to work on you and do what you love, and you will soon find yourself kicking stress, burnout, and negative energy to curb.
This is Part 2 of a 10-part series on Taking Care of Yourself
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Part 10 - What happens when you don't take care of yourself