Why Is Self-Care Important?

As I mentioned in my previous blog What the Heck is Self-Care?, I am on a journey to take better care of myself. Being snappy and feeling anxious or on edge all the time wears a person down.  Self-care makes it a bit easier to deal with the stresses in my life.

Self-care is simply doing the things you like to do that help you feel happy and healthy. There really is no limit to what self-care is 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.

Don’t do things you think you need to do or what others say you need to do. Do what you know you love and want. It doesn’t have to require money or be anything extravagant. Some simple ideas are to meditate, get up early, read a book, or go for a jog.

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Neglecting yourself and putting your needs on the back burner inevitably leads to an 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 believes it is selfish. Self-care is essential to having a healthy, productive, and happy life.

Self-care is imperative because it can help you deal with:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Negativity — Putting 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 others needs will be met too. You will experience less bitterness and resentment towards others if you take care of yourself.

If you find yourself at any point 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 happy such as babies or cats. This will allow you to relax and adjust your attitude. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be if you just put yourself first.

What the Heck is Self-Care?

I’ve been sick for over three weeks.  Started out as allergies, which irritated everything, triggering a sinus infection and bronchitis.  Then the broad spectrum antibiotic and antifungal I was taking kicked my IBS into high gear.  Don’t worry, I can take a hint!!  I took a week off work to go to my brother’s and rest and think. One of the things I realized is that I’ve been seriously lacking in self-care lately.

Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself. It is doing exactly what you need to do to feel the best all around. This includes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Each person has their own way to give themselves self-care. This can be anything from quitting your exhausting job, to getting your hair done, or ensuring you have time to read each evening before bed.

Taking care of yourself should not be overlooked. There are many benefits that result from a self-care routine. If you are not taking care of yourself, eventually it can lead to overwhelming stress, lack of confidence, less productivity at work, and even cause deteriorating relationships with family and friends.

To really understand self-care, you need to understand yourself first. Ask yourself these questions to gain some clarity.

? What are the things I need to do to feel complete?
? What activities help me relieve stress?
? Is there anything I can eliminate from my daily schedule that is preventing       me from taking care of myself?
? Am I happy with my exercise routine?
? Am I eating healthy?

The way you answer these questions determines your self-care needs. Once you have defined your needs, you need to make room for them in your schedule, and follow through to reap the benefits.

Self-care is extremely beneficial for optimal health. Let’s look at a few of the amazing benefits you’ll experience over time.

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Increased Positivity – Adding self-care activities to your schedule will give you something to look forward to. Now you will no longer be thinking about how bad your day is.  Instead, you’ll be looking forward to reading that book in total silence or getting your nails done after work.
Increased Self-Confidence – Your needs are now a top priority and that is a good thing. After all, you can’t take good care of others, if you’re letting yourself fall apart.  Self-confidence will naturally increase because you are simply doing the things that make you feel good.
Improved Immunity – Self-care allows you to give your body a break from stress, anxiety and emotional trauma, which increases your immunity. Stress and depression can overload your mind and body, so it is crucial to reduce your stress as much as possible.
Better Relationships – The more your needs are met the better your relationships will be with other people. When you are feeling down about yourself and don’t feel important, chances are that’s what you are putting out to others.
Higher Productivity – All the benefits that have been stated above help with increased productivity at work and at home. Less stress, higher immunity, and higher self-confidence all help to boost productivity.

Remember, self-care is all about you as an individual. So, what you need to do to take care of yourself won’t be the same as your spouse, friends, or family. After this routine is put in place, you should notice a significant change in your health and overall well-being.

Part 2 of the series