The Importance of Self Care
Bubble baths, meditation, yoga, a quiet moment with a cup of hot tea, reading a good book, massage....what do all of these have in common? They are acts of self care. You may have heard this phrase lately in social media or even the news, but what is it exactly, and how important is it?
What is Self Care?
Self care is anything that makes you take a moment and relax, a personal time out. It most often refers to caring for oneself by mindfully taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. It's being aware of your well-being and taking a step back before burning out. Simple things like keeping a daily gratitude journal, going outside to enjoy the sunshine, or having coffee with a good friend are forms of self care. And even though enjoying a good piece of chocolate or a glass of wine can be considered self care, it is important to realize when an act of self care has become unhealthy and self sabotaging.
Why is Self Care Important?
But why is taking time for yourself so important? It sounds almost selfish to focus solely on yourself, not too mention trying to fit it in your already busy schedule. However, one of the big benefits of self care is having the energy to keep up with that busy schedule. Many studies have shown that self care and stress relieving activities make people more productive and more focused on their work. Something as simple as taking a deep breath or a short walk around the office can help re-focus your mind. These acts bring you back to the present moment for better clarity.
Another important benefit of self care is an improved immune system. When your body is stressed, much of its energy is going to protecting the body by being in a constant state of fight or flight. This is OK for a short time, but over a long period of time, the stressed state creates inflammation and disease in the body. Taking time for self care promotes a relaxation response in the body, allowing the body to focus on things like the immune system.
Self care also creates a space for self compassion and self knowledge. Taking a moment to journal or meditate about your day or a situation can make you see your own positives and negatives. Looking at yourself with truthful eyes, you learn to love and accept yourself as you are and change as you need. It can also help us sort out what we really want and don't want in order to make our lives happier. Self reflection is important in order to evolve into better human beings.
There are many forms of self care and many benefits to practicing it on a regular basis. If you incorporate it into your life, you will see and feel the benefits. Try taking one day a week and doing one thing for yourself. Unplug from social media, reduce the noise around you, and simply do something relaxing. You not only need it, you deserve it.
On a personal note, self care has been important for me. I suffer from high anxiety and mild depression. Most weeks it is my small acts of self care that really help me cope with the many stresses of owning and working a small business while trying to live a healthy life. My goal this year with Point Clear Wellness is to focus on promoting more self care and stress relief. These were two factors that inspired me to go into the massage career field. Helping others deal with anxiety, stress, and depression in a healthy manner has always been a passion of mine because I truly empathize with them.
My favorite forms of self care include:
a bubble bath every week with hot tea and good music
getting weekly coffee with my best buddy for an hour
walking my dog
reading a good book
writing in my journal
reading magazines at the bookstore while drinking hot tea
mini DIY spa sessions at my home
......and of course
my 2 90 minute massages every month.