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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.