December 5, 2021
Last Updated on December 12, 2021
Self care is not only important, it’s essential. On a day to day basis, you might push aside self care for other things. You may think it’s irresponsible, or even selfish, to carve out time to care only for yourself.
But this can’t be farther from the truth.
Practicing self care has so many benefits for yourself and for others. When you make yourself a priority, you are making a statement of self love. And when you show up for yourself in this way, you can then show up for your job, school, and your relationships even better.
Let’s uncover 10 benefits of self care that will encourage you to incorporate a self care routine into your life.
Caring for your physical body is a form of self care. Exercise, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and cooking healthy meals all fall under this category.
If you don’t prioritize self care, it’s easy to see these healthy habits simply as more things you “should” do. But when you reframe them as actual ways to nourish and care for yourself, it gives them a much higher priority.
And rightfully so…
According to Dr. Wayne Jonas , an integrative health expert and family physician at Samueli Integrative Health Programs, neglecting these basic forms of self care contributes to 60% – 70% percent of chronic illnesses.
So, the next time you’re tempted to stay up late for work or school, you may want to close the computer and get some rest instead.
These simple healthy habits are actually so important for self care, and will contribute to your long term health.
How does self care contribute to improved time management?
Often, self care doesn’t come naturally. You have to go out of your way to exercise, meditate, cook, etc.
But once you do these things, you feel great afterwards.
Self care can help train you to do things that, at first, you may not want to do, even though they are in your best interest. This, in turn, leads to overall better time management skills.
You know what’s NOT a self care activity? Mindlessly scrolling through social media.
Self care practices often encourage mindfulness, or being present in the current moment.
Some are proven to increase mindfulness, like meditation and exercise.
But even more simple self care ideas can help bring you to the present moment.
Fore example, a simple walk in the park can encourage you to be alone with your thoughts and observe nature. Or, even a manicure requires bringing your attention to the present moment.
Often when we use our senses, we’re encouraged to be present. And so many self care practices can help us do this.
In order to love others well, you must fist love yourself. That’s why practicing self care can benefit all types of relationships— romantic relationships, relationships with family, and friendships.
Relationships with others take time and effort. Have you ever found yourself over extending yourself to ensure a partner or friends’ needs were met? Even at the expense of your own needs?
This is a common relationship problem that can often lead to feelings of resentment and even loss of personal identity.
That’s why it’s so important to spend time practicing self care. Then, you’ll ensure your own needs are met so you can bring your best, most nourished self to your relationships.
You are a human who deserves to be loved, cared for, and even pampered.
When you treat yourself like that’s true, you’ll start to believe it.
By making self care a priority, you are making a statement about how you feel about yourself. You are saying “I respect myself enough to make caring for myself a priority.”
Self care is not something you do with your excess energy– what you have leftover after work, school, and caring for others. It’s an essential priority.
If you’re struggling with self esteem, or struggling to make yourself a priority in this way. Start introducing some small self care practices into your life.
When your actions say that you prioritize, respect, and care for your self, believe it or not, you’ll actually start to believe it.
One study on self care found that medical students that engage in self care activities report lower levels of stress.
This shows two things— One, self care can help you reduce stress in your life. And two, anyone, even medical students, can find time for self care.
When you’re stressed, self care can be easy to ignore. Hobbies, sleep, and relaxation— common self care activities, are the first things people often cut out in times of stress.
But according to the research, this may not be in your best interest. Even when you’re stressed, consider keeping some time for self care. Your stress levels will thank you.
If you are a spiritual or religious person, Self Care can help you feel more connected to the Universe or God. Spiritual self care is a form of self care, and can include meditation, prayer, or even a walk in nature.
When you practice these forms of self care, you not only nourish your own self, but also your connection to a higher power.
This, in turn, can help you develop a sense of peace and live more in accordance to your values.
One study showed that of those who practiced self care, 83% reported that it decreased their sense of burnout at work. In addition, those who practiced self care consistently reported having more productive time spent at work.
So don’t feel guilty carving out time for self care even when you have tons of work to do. It’s important to take breaks for self care, and it may ultimately benefit you in the long run.
Often, the activities we refer to as self care aren’t just things you should do once or twice. They’re habits you should consider incorporating into your life on at least a somewhat regular basis.
Healthy eating, exercise, meditation, to name a few.
Framing these activities as forms of self care can help you ease in to developing healthier habits. If you do it once, you can do it twice, and so on.
Getting started with self care is an opportunity to start thinking about how you can bring healthier habits into your lifestyle in a way that is beneficial to you, and not just another item on your to do list.
In order to know yourself and have a strong sense of identity, you must first spend time with yourself.
Often times, self care provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Some forms of self care allow you to simply spend time alone with your thoughts.
Others could allow you to build new habits and better understand your likes and dislikes. For example, did you know that drawing, painting, or coloring can be a form of self care?
You may try this as a self care practice and have a new found interest. Self care can help you uncover and build your interests, preferences, and identity.
It’s hard to deny these amazing benefits of self care. Think about how you will incorporate self care into your life. When you’re tempted to neglect it, remind yourself just how important self care is for every area of life.
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