Are you asking yourself, “What is self care?”
Many people are suffering from mental health issues nowadays. In fact, nearly one in five adults in the United States report suffering from a mental health problem. And self care is an important part of finding a way to work through these problems.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go through what self-care is and why it’s super important for your life.
What Is Self Care?
Self care is actually a wide-encompassing concept. Essentially, self care is anything you do to keep yourself happy and healthy. This can range from the obvious to things that are specific to you and your needs. Self care helps you prevent illness and maintain your health.
Self care can benefit your mental health, physical health, or emotional health — it’s not limited to just what keeps you physically healthy.
Of course, access to self care isn’t equally available to us all. Socioeconomic factors can play a significant role in how able people are able to follow a self care routine. People with disabilities may find it harder and more complicated to practice self care, since they have different needs that may need to be met in different ways.
Women also tend to have less time to practice self care than men. And of course, people of color face different and more significant barriers when trying to practice self care.
So, when considering your self care options, it’s important to consider your life positionality and what space in your life you have. Take a break, and don’t overdo it.
Examples of Self Care
Since self care is hard to define, you may be confused about what constitutes self care. Some examples of practices that could be part of a self care routine include:
- Exercising regularly, stretching properly, and eating a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Brush your teeth, shower, and perform other hygiene practices
- Make regular appointments at your doctor, dentist, eye doctor, and whatever other medical professionals you need
- Watch a movie or a television show
- Meditation and breathing exercises
- Take a long, relaxing bubble bath
- Take an afternoon nap
- Write in a journal or diary
- Try out artistic practices, like drawing, painting, or knitting
- Read a book
- Go for a walk or otherwise spend some time outdoors
- Play an instrument, or listen to music
- Spend time with your friends, loved ones, or pets
- Reorganize your home or office
If these don’t sound right to you, they may just not be to your taste. You’ll have to experiment to find a self care routine that works for you. You can use this self care guide to learn more about self care.
Self Care Health Benefits
The health benefits of a good self care routine cannot be underestimated. A self care routine helps you manage your stress anxiety, so you’ll perform better at your job and do better in your personal life.
Overall, self care makes you a more productive person. Self care improves your relationships, too — when you feel better, you interact with other people in a more positive way.
And, reducing your stress levels will help your immune system, so you’ll be less sick less often. Since self care helps you reset, it can improve cognitive functions like memory, information processing, and critical thinking.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, practicing self care can help you feel better on an everyday basis. Self care can help you fight off insomnia, which helps you sleep better. Practicing self care can help you feel less tired, which will decrease how fatigued you feel on a day-to-day basis.
If you struggle with poor self-esteem and body image, practicing self care can help improve how you feel.
Self Care Tips
If you’re having trouble starting a self care routine, there are actions you can take. Use one of the many calendar apps out there (or a physical calendar or daily planner) to block off time each day to practice self care, and set reminders so that you don’t forget.
You should also start small when starting a self care routine. If you just throw yourself in the deep end, you’re more likely to fail quickly. Pick something you think you can stick with, and once you’ve made that a habit, start building yourself up.
And, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. That will just give you more stress and anxiety. If at first you don’t succeed at following a self care routine, take a deep breath and try again.
Be thoughtful and careful when creating a self care plan. Think about what will fit into your lifestyle, and what you need most out of your new self care routine. That will help you prioritize, so you can start improving how you feel more quickly.
If something in your self care routine just isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to drop it. Doing something that doesn’t benefit your mental and physical health just because you said you would is never worth it.
Get Started With Self Care Today
It’s not as demanding as you think to add self care to your schedule. So now what you know the answers to “What is self care?”, what are you waiting for? Start creating your self care plan so you can begin your wellness journey.
Are you hunting for more health and wellness advice? We’ve got you covered. Check out some of the other articles on this website today.