What is self-care?
Self-care is an activity you do intentionally to make yourself feel good, content, and peaceful. You know you need self-care when the level of any of these three states are running low. Instead of letting them all drain away, you choose to step back and do something to refill them.
In addition to taking care of emotional health, self-care also includes taking care of your mental and physical health. An example of taking care of mental health is managing the signs of stress and anxiety. Taking care of physical health is keeping your body healthy and maintaining a healthy level of energy.
Most of us are aware of the simple concept of taking care of ourselves, but not everyone pays attention to how we take care of ourselves and why.
“Good self-care is key to living a balanced life and having a good relationship with yourself and others.”
Self-care can include activities of daily living such as brushing your teeth, showering, and feeding yourself. It also can be a special activity that you deliberately plan, such as getting a haircut, going to the gym, or getting your favorite food or drink. Whatever it is, everyone has their own self-care routine and purpose.
Now, let’s discuss why we need to have self-care rituals in our life:
#1 You’ll get to know yourself
Practicing self-care is an ongoing process of self-discovery. You will face many trials and errors before you can find which self-care practices work for you and which do not.
Once you find what makes you feel satisfied and inspired, you will understand yourself a lot better. Sometimes, this even can even bring insights about yourself that you never knew before.
#2 You’ll improve resistance to stress and disease
We all know that nothing lasts forever, so it is with happiness. Life will give you many challenges and that often result in stress, depression, and frustration.
But, through self-care rituals that work to recharge your energy, happiness, and calmness, the stress won’t last long because you will know how to cope with it.
Think of it as if you were about go into an exam and had already studied the material. Nothing is certain because you don’t know what questions you’ll be asked, but having done the study and bringing the right material gives you the tools you need to get through it. Hence, you will feel more at ease and ready because you’re prepared to combat this battle, as compared with if you went to an exam with no preparation.
In addition to taking care of your mental health, taking care of your body regularly will protect you from getting sick easily.
For example, you know spicy food is not suitable for your stomach, therefore, you will do your best to stay out of it.
Just like the example above, self-care can be as simple as paying attention to what you consume and how it impacts your body.
#3 You’ll become more productive
Practicing self-care will teach you to actively respond to a problem instead of just passively expecting it to go away by itself. It will improve your problem-solving skills.
For instance, when you have a bad day, you know getting your favorite matcha latte will make you feel better. So, instead of being sad for a long time, you choose to get up and respond to the situation.
As I mentioned before, self-care is a way to recharge your positive energy. Thus, when your positive energy is full, you can more easily complete your daily tasks.
#4 You’ll learn to respect yourself
As you gain better understanding of yourself, you will be more careful of the words that you use when you talk to yourself. You will know what, where, and when to say something to yourself. Disrespecting yourself and being too hard on yourself will not get you anywhere but to feeling miserable.
If you have respect for yourself, you will know when and how to react to certain situations, especially situations that draining your positive energy. You wouldn’t want to spend all your energy on every single situation that is happening in your life. Instead, you will prioritize. This way is healthier because you can save your energy for things that actually worth fighting for.
#5 Your self-esteem will improve
We doubt ourselves a lot of the time and it can affect our self-esteem. Practicing self-care regularly will teach you when to step back from all your worry and self-doubt and observe the situation as objectively as possible. From there, you can think of how best to respond.
For example, you’re about to give a presentation. Ten minutes before it begins, you’re feeling nervous and worried that you will forget everything you’ve already prepared. However, because you practice a breathing technique regularly, every time you feel nervous, you practice this ritual. Consequently, this helps you to feel calmer and confident, and you’re ready to give your presentation.
Your thinking and memory will function better when you are calm. This is because calmness gives you a sense of control over a situation. When you think you have control over yourself, you can make better decisions, you can choose what does and doesn’t affect you, and you can be confident in how to handle a stressful situation.
To sum up, self-care is an activity that aims to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not only it can help you to get to know yourself better, but it also will teach you methods to restore your positive energy and discover your inner strengths.
When something is upsetting you or making you stressed, self-care is the first thing you go to. Good self-care is key to living a balanced life and having a good relationship with yourself and others.
So, have you practiced self-care today?
P.S. if you’re looking for self-care ideas, read stories from our friends here and get inspired!