Why Self-Care Is So Important
Why Self-Care Is So Important
To live our healthiest life, we know that we need to eat well, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, avoid stress where we can and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But when the busyness of life gets in the way, it can be hard to stick to all of the things we know we should be doing.
We might then become anxious, we may question ourselves and we feel guilty – all of which sends us into a negative spiral of guilt and self-doubt.
Life is busy, so feeling guilty about all the things we haven’t done, instead of celebrating what we have, is bad for our physical and mental health. Which is why self-care is so important. We could all probably do with a lesson in putting ourselves before others sometimes, and self-care is at the heart of that.
Self-care looks different to all of us. To you, it might look like getting up 20 minutes before the rest of the house to enjoy a coffee alone in the garden with nothing but nature for company. To someone else it might look like a luxurious bubble bath, a night out with the girls, or a regular back massage. But whatever it looks like to you, here’s why it’s so important to not neglect your own self-care.
- It destresses us – looking after the needs of others at the detriment of our own personal needs leads to a build up of stress. Imagine a simmering pot with the lid tightly shut. Eventually, that steam needs to go somewhere and its likely to be directed at someone else, further adding to our guilt. Allowing ourselves time to unwind helps us to destress and better able to cope with what life throws at us.
- It makes us more compassionate – many of us are caregivers, looking after children, grandkids or perhaps elderly relatives. Taking time to nurture our own needs helps us avoid burnout and stops any potential deeper feelings of resentment towards those in our care.
- It benefits our emotional health – caring for ourselves helps to boost our confidence and self-esteem that in turn helps us feel more valued both by ourselves and by others. It makes us feel more appreciative of life, thus boosting our emotional wellbeing.
- It benefits our physical health – a long soak in the bath or curling up for an early night with a good book won’t directly impact our physical health, but feeling better emotionally and mentally helps to alleviate stress, which can take a physical toll on the body. Stress can lead to heart disease but not only that, it can make us reach for our ‘crutches’, our bad coping habits such as smoking, drinking or overeating, which can lead to physical effects such as lung disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and generally feeling under par.
Whatever self-care looks like to you, make sure you embrace it. Your partner, kids, family members, friends and colleagues will get the best version of you. And so will you.
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