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.

self-care

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.

Five Signs It’s Time to Quit

Your stomach is always in knots.  You yell at your spouse or kids over the smallest things. On your lunch hour, you just want to take a nap. Maybe it’s time to rethink your situation.

Over the years I have had many of those “hit you over the head” moments. You know the one where you come to the stunning realization that NOW is the time? But there have also been times when I have sat and stewed for weeks or months, wondering if I was making the right decision.

I polled my friends on Facebook, and came up with these

Five Signs It’s Time to Quit (your job, relationship, or whatever)

You’re Crying/Dreading/Angry/Sick Every Day

If your job, relationship or living situation is affecting you negatively, be it physically, mentally, or emotionally, that’s a good sign it’s time to quit.

“I knew it was the right decision when I noticed I wasn’t angry all the time (anymore).”

“When it became evident it was affecting my health.”

“When I was secretly fantasizing about the other person dying a natural death.”

“When I developed an ulcer.”

Different Values or Directions

You’ve been there for years and there’s no room left for improvement or advancement. Or your values are way off each other.

“If the job didn’t fulfill me or my children couldn’t be a priority, then it wasn’t worth keeping.”

“Realizing that the direction you are heading is not the direction you want to be going and asking oneself is this what I want to settle for in the end.”

The Situation Goes From Bad to Worse

The last company I worked at went from a 10 person office to a 25 person factory/office in a matter of months. Growing pains aside, we also went from having some degree of autonomy to having our corporate bosses in Spain dictating and second-guessing every move we made. All the fun got sucked right out of the room. That’s when I knew it was time to leave.

You’ve Tried to Remedy the Situation

You can see the problem. You try to have a meeting, offer a suggestion or even fix your own “bad attitude”, but to no avail.

“I went to them and made specific recommendations on how to improve business. They did none of them.”

In my case, it seemed that any time one of us tried to improve/modernize a process, or explain why what works in Spain won’t necessarily work in the U.S., we were immediately shot down. “Because I said so” was heard regularly.

Your Gut Tells You It’s Time to Quit

Sometimes you just have a feeling, that “hit you over the head moment” or God breeze, or gut punch. Whatever, you call it, be sure to trust that “still, small voice.1

“For me, it is a feeling. I know when something is no longer right for me and scary or difficult as it may be, it is time to leap and hope the net appears.”

When I prayed about it and couldn’t get a settled feeling about staying. I knew that was the Holy Spirit telling me ‘It’s time to go.'”

The Next Step

If at all possible, try to have an exit plan (see How Changing My Life Helped Me Move Forward). Sometimes, just knowing you have a way out will make it easier to get through the last few months.

Whatever, you do, don’t wait too long. After all, you have the rest of your life ahead of you!

1 1 Kings 19:12