If you ever find yourself questioning,’Why is self care important?’ then this article is for you. We’ll dive deep into 11 reasons it’s actually healthy to indulge.
Self care has become increasingly popular in the holistic wellness communities over the last few years. But what exactly is self care? More relevant, why is self care important? We’ll answer those questions while also addressing 5 benefits of self care, why self care is important for mental health, as well as list out free ideas on how to begin today. If you’re looking for a more extensive self care activities list, I highly recommend reading this article packed with self care routines.
After this article you will be fully versed in the realm of self care and can explain to others why taking time out of your day to help yourself is actually essential for a high quality life. Let’s dig in!
What is self care?
According to the Webster Dictionary, self care is rather staright forward:
noun. ˌself-ˈker. : care for oneself.Merriam – Webster
However, nothing in life is that simple. I like to think that self care is an art. It’s understanding and valuing our own needs not at the expense of others. While in the same breath, not allow others to come before our own needs.
The best way I like to describe self care is it’s a deliberate pause in life. A time to reflect, a moment to recover, an opportunity to let go.
You might be thinking, that sounds beautiful but still… what is self care? A place to begin when defining what is self care, is to ask yourself what does your mind, body, and soul crave?
Is it rest? Then in that moment self care is rest. Is it a break from a relationship that is draining and negative? Then in that moment self care is a pause on a relationship. Does your body crave movement? Then in that moment self care is an enjoyable way to express physical movement.
Day by day, self care will look different.
Why Is Self Care Important?
It’s common to think, “well I have a family, I have work, I have school, I have commitments… There’s rarely time for self care. How important is it really?”
To which I say, even more so than if your schedule were empty.
Self care will actually free up time when it is done right. It is indispensable for maintaining a healthy and balanced life. By engaging in self-care practices, individuals create a sanctuary for replenishment, allowing them to recharge and navigate challenges with resilience. Beyond the immediate benefits, self-care serves as a sustainable strategy for long-term well-being. It prevents burnout, it allows higher quality of sleep, it safeguards your time and energy. It prioritizes what’s valuable in your life.
5 Benefits of Self Care
Self care has a list of emotional, mental, and physical benefits. All answering the question, “why is self care important.” Here are five main benefits you will experience immediately:
- Reduced Stress: Engaging in self-care practices actively mitigates stress levels. Whether it’s through mindfulness, relaxation techniques, or pursuing enjoyable activities, self-care provides a sanctuary to unwind. By consciously taking time for yourself, individuals can alleviate the pressures of daily life, promoting a calmer and more balanced mental state.
- Improved Self-Esteem: Self-care contributes significantly to an enhanced sense of self-worth. When individuals prioritize their well-being through activities aligned with personal values, it fosters a positive self-image. This, in turn, leads to improved confidence and self-esteem. The intentional acts of self-love inherent in self-care create a foundation for a healthier self-perception.
- Healthier Relationships: Self-care plays a crucial role in fostering healthier relationships. By tending to one’s own needs, individuals enter relationships with a sense of fulfillment and emotional balance. This contributes to effective communication, empathy, and the ability to connect with others on a deeper level. Ultimately, self-care empowers individuals to bring their best selves to their relationships. You are also more likely to maintain healthy boundaries.
- Reduce Burnout: One of the immediate benefits of self-care is its ability to prevent burnout. In a world where demands can be overwhelming, setting aside time for rest and rejuvenation becomes a protective measure. By recognizing and addressing signs of burnout early on, individuals can sustain their energy levels and avoid the detrimental effects of prolonged stress.
- Increases Happiness: Engaging in self-care practices is directly linked to an increase in overall happiness. Whether it’s pursuing hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or simply taking a break, self-care brings joy and fulfillment. These moments of happiness, when incorporated into daily life, contribute to a positive mindset and an overall sense of well-being.
The Importance of Self Care and Mental Health
This point might not be obvious at first, but self care is crucial for mental health and trauma recovery. Why? Often times when we struggle with our mental health we are constantly telling ourselves all the ways we are wrong, worthless, or incapable. Self care breaks that mental pattern by introducing new habits that completely counteract those thoughts.
Same is true with trauma survivors. Those who are first new to recovery are only familiar with the state of survival, the last thing on their mind is to indulge in self care. However, it is the very activity that will bring a person out of survival mode and begin to relax their nervous system.
Self care is incredibly healing. Especially when you incorporate activities that will activate the parasympathetic nervous system (your rest and digest). Breath work, EFT tapping, meditation, sound healing are all examples of such activities. Affirmations are also wonderful when it comes to reprogramming the subconscious mind to think more highly of oneself. Yes, this counts as self care.
Self care also helps:
- Manage stress and anxiety
- Increase self compassion
- Enhance positive thinking
- Build better boundaries
- Heal the nervous system
- Improve quality of life
- Cultivate joy
- Sleep better
- Prevent overthinking
- Connect you back to your body
- Build resilience
How to Begin The Sacred Ritual of Self Care
The biggest misconception when it comes to self care is that it needs to be expensive, indulging, or self consuming. Nope. Some of the best self care activities are free, simple, and refreshing. Here is an extensive list of self care activities that you can begin right this moment ( a ton are free):
- Go for a walk outside
- 5 minute breathwork
- Journal what you are grateful for
- Write down any emotions that are surfacing
- Play your favorite music and dance around
- Do a simple face mask or skincare routine
- Paint your own nails
- Draw or color
- Read a book in your favorite cozy nook
- Take a nap
- Drink some hot tea
- Add lemon to your water
- Cook your favorite meal
- Watch something that makes you laugh
- Call your family or friends
- Take yourself out on a date
- Go for a hike
- Brush your teeth
- Comb your hair
- Do the laundry
- Clean your home for ten minutes
- Ask your tarot cards for guidance
- Play a sport
- Have a game night
- Create a vision board
- Try a new activity
- Say your affirmations in the mirror
- Give yourself a hug
- Listen to someone who needs to talk
- Do a guided meditation
- Touch grass
- Take time to acknowledge everything you’ve done right
- Have a picnic
- Do a photoshoot
- Write down what is important to you in life
- State your boundaries
- Light a candle
- Burn some sage
- Hold your crystals
I hope these suggestions help you along your journey. Remember to be gentle with your soul.