What is Self-Care and Why is it Important?
I know you’ve all heard the term “self-care” by now. Do you know what it really means though? I feel like there has been this misconception for decades that self-care is face masks and bath bombs. Although I sell these and would be more than happy to supply you all with the most earth AND body-friendly face masks and bath bombs, that is not all self-care is. While some people may choose these as their form of self-care, there is so much more to actually caring for oneself than that. Let’s dive into the importance of self-care, what it is, and why it’s important to us all.
The actual definition of self-care is any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and/or physical health. I sort of disagree with this, however. I feel like self-care categories are physical, mental, and spiritual because emotional goes with mental and spirituality is another area we tend to not focus on, but it’s more important than we realize, even if you don’t follow an organized religion, per se. I will explain more about this later.
So, What Exactly Is The Importance Of Self-Care?
Self-care may seem little and insignificant, but it’s an important practice to incorporate into life, no matter your occupation or life circumstances. In fact, the busier your life is, the more you need self-care practices. Why? Taking care of yourself and practicing self-care helps prevent burnout. Everyone experiences burnout differently, but typically you’ll notice you’re easier to irritate or upset when you don’t take the time you really need for yourself. I personally notice myself doing this and end up canceling things in order to take the time I need to re-energize and take care of my needs. I am happier, healthier, and more productive when I spend time decompressing and taking care of myself.
Types of Self-Care
Self-Care can be physical, mental and/or spiritual and you can practice them together, depending on your activity. That will make more sense as we discuss what each form of self-care is and what is encompassed in them.
Physical self-care would be things like taking a break and walking, biking, running, working out… anything physical that you ENJOY! That’s the key… you MUST enjoy it and it must be something that takes you away. That will not be the same for everyone. My son is a runner. He loves the heck out of it. I used to run marathons and loved it also, back in the day. Now… not so much. Now, running doesn’t bring me joy. I don’t get any kind of release from it. Kickboxing, on the other hand, gives me that stress release and enjoyment, and I do this frequently as a form of physical self-care.
Mental Or Emotional Self-Care
Mental, or emotional, self-care would be things like stress management activities, working on your emotional maturity (self-help books would go here), forgiving someone, or showing compassion and kindness. For me, I have different things that work for different stressors. Sometimes kickboxing is my stress management activity for mental and/or physical. Sometimes it’s a bath bomb in a nice warm bath to just relax. Other times, I will go for a hike alone to ground myself or take a day to spend with my oldest and my grandbaby. Self-care doesn’t have to be what everyone seems to think when they think of self-care, a bath, and bath products.
I sell them and I’m still telling you, that’s not all that self-care is! I think this got started because it’s an easy and simple way to de-stress, but self-care and stress management is so much more than that.
Spiritual self-care would be things like connecting to your preferred religion, alone time, meditating (also could be mental), going out into nature (also physical), journaling (I think this could go with mental self-care as well), or spending time in a place you feel is safe, or sacred.
I practice multiple forms of self-care EVERY SINGLE DAY!
That’s right. I’m a busy, business-owning, single mom, with very little time and I practice multiple forms of self-care EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. How? It’s easy and I’m going to walk you through how you can too!
The importance of self-care cannot be understated!
I wake up, do what I call gratitude journaling, meditate for 30-60 mins after (if I do a sleep meditation, I skip this in the morning), workout out (30-45 minutes is my typical), and then get ready for the day. Before even getting out of bed, I journal and meditate. I am a single mom, so I don’t have to worry about waking anyone next to me up, but if you can do this, I highly recommend it. If you cannot lay in bed and do these things, I suggest going to another room, even a closet, if it’s big enough for you to sit in.
In addition, every night we each have alone time. We all get ready for bed and do our bedtime routine, say goodnight, etc. If we choose to sleep, that’s how we spend it, but we each get up to 2 hours of alone time before we go to sleep, so we each can do our own self-care. Let’s face it, for a single parent, while kids are sleeping is typically the only time to do self-care acts. Either way, the kids each do what they’d like by themselves and I do what I’d like by myself. It gives us time apart to recharge and I think it really helps us appreciate each other and the time we spend together more. Also, the kids are learning HOW TO MAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE!!!!
What Is The Importance Of Self-Care Practices For Kids?
Learning how to incorporate self-care practices is just as important for kids. If we can start them early, they might just be more stable adults. I also notice I deal with far less behavior issues than my friends do and maybe this is why. Who knows, but it couldn’t possibly hurt to teach kids to recognize when they need “me time” and how to set the boundary for said time. In fact, I think it’s absolutely beautiful when parents teach their littles to process feelings and handle them. Knowing how you’re feeling and what you need is a huge part of self-care and life, in general. The earlier the importance of self-care and self-care practices are learned the easier time we have in life; I think. You tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you have. Email me using this link!
Self-care IS NOT selfish and you can do it even while you’re at work!
Until next time…
Keep it Zen,
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