What is Self-Care, and Why Is It Important?
Self-care is exactly what it sounds like — taking care of yourself! Taking time to engage in activities that you enjoy and that are good for your physical and mental health is vital.
Think of your holistic health (mind and body) like a tall glass. If you’re constantly pouring out, soon you’re going to find yourself empty. In order to pour out, you have to make sure you’re getting filled too.
How Can I Make Self-Care a Priority When I Already Have So Much to Do?
That’s exactly the point! If you neglect self-care, you’ll eventually find yourself sick, tired, and likely resentful. Use these two strategies to find time for self-care:
Small Self-Care Actions
Little actions can make a big difference. Giving yourself a small gift every day can go a long way toward making sure your glass is filled. For instance:
- Use aromatherapy. Lavender can help you feel relaxed, citrus can give you energy, and pine can you feel less stressed.
- Make room for 5 to 10 minutes of meditation. Meditation has myriad benefits, and you don’t need to spend much time to reap them.
- Drink a glass of water. Staying hydrated ensures all other processes in your body can function more effectively. So instead of immediately reaching for another cup of coffee, drink a glass of water first.
Big Self-Care Actions
Small actions definitely add up, but making some larger commitments can have a huge impact on your life. Try some of these:
- Commit to bedtime. Ensuring you get 8 hours of sleep can make a big difference in how you feel during the day. Sleep is when your body heals and your mind processes memories, so if you’re feeling groggy and achy on a regular basis, make sleep a priority.
- Get regular exercise. Whether it’s yoga, walking, hiking, or signing up a Zumba or spin class, adding regular exercise to your schedule can have massive effects on both your mind and body.
- Set a weekly date with yourself. Schedule an activity like taking in a movie, reading a book, or having coffee with a friend once a week. (If you can’t find it in your schedule, then try once every two weeks or even once a month to start.) Setting aside a few hours on your calendar for Me Time can have a drastic improvement on your mental health. Try it and see for yourself.