Why Self Care Matters
Do you wonder why self care matters so much when it seems like you see it mentioned everywhere these days? There are actually many reasons why self care matters to you directly, from your physical health, mental health, and the reduction of stress in your life.
Why is Self Care Important?
Self care is important for many reasons. One reason is because you need to take care of others in your life and you have to take care of yourself adequately before you can do that.
Why Taking Care of Yourself is Important
For example, the oxygen mask theory is that you need to put on your own mask before you can help anyone else, which makes sense. (You don’t want to pass out from lack of oxygen, which wouldn’t be very helpful as you are now the one needing help, right?)
Then there is the fact that one of the base levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is basic care for yourself as an individual. Before you can ascend to the top of the pyramid (self-actualization) and be the person you are truly meant to be, you have to build from up and take care of your basic needs first. (Like food, shelter, physical health, mental health, etc.)
You Need Self Care For Your Overall Health
Self care and spending time on yourself is a fundamental building block for your physical health, mental health and emotional health.
Physical Health – Caring for your body and getting regular checkups, eating right, and exercising all contribute to your having energy to get done what you need to do each day.
Mental Health – Paying attention to your thoughts – both positive and negative, and not letting stress or anxiety get the upper hand in your life, all help you to be able to relax and relate to others better.
Emotional Health – Knowing yourself well and what is right and wrong for you, are all important for your overall wellbeing.
Spending Time On Your Own Needs is Important Too
As Mom’s and caregivers, spending time on your own needs is importantin terms of the example you set for your children. Your kids need to know it is okay for them to have needs of their own as adults too.
As caregivers, you need that reservoir of strength to be able to pull from as well. You can’t take care of someone else if you are ill yourself, right?
Self Care Helps You to Manage Stress Better
If you never take time for yourself, you are probably stressed out, irritable, and exhauasted. You may even be close to being on the verge of being burned out.
You are better able to handle stressors and triggers, when you are calm and rational. If your stress level is on a zero (low) to ten (high) scale, you want to be closer to zero as a pre-emptive strike for any stress coming your way.
What are the Benefits of Self Care?
Self Care Benefits Your Family and the People Who Count on You
Life should not always be about what others want. Your needs count too. You need to have your basic needs met.
Self care is a deposit in the bank for the long haul of life. If you want to be fulfilled as a person, you want to experience and live out some of your hopes and dreams.
Some of those dreams will coincide with what your family wants to do too (vacations, maybe). Some of your wishes will not – your desire to have a little alone time to regroup after a hectic day at work.
It is in your family’s best interest for them to have a happy you too. Because you are nicer and more fun to be around, correct? Plus, it helps ensure you are around still by focusing on things that are good for you too – like exercising and getting enough sleep.
Self Care and the Work Place
What about your work place? Why should they care if you are stressed? Mainly, because a stressed employee makes more mistakes and has a shorter fuse.
You also tend to give up easier if you are stressed and tired, rather than someone who is not stressed and well rested. (This is why vacations are also necessary).
Bottom line, if you are the center of your own little universe, and all those in your care are counting on you, it makes sense to pay attention on how you are doing too.
Better Balance in Your Life
When you have a level head, you can see easier what truly needs done and what is just “noise” in the background. Not everything will seem like an emergency or a big deal.
You can achieve a better balance of your work and home life. Practicing self care means also knowing what to put boundaries around in terms of your own self-respect.
No, I won’t work 60 hours a week forever and forgo my family time. No, I am not answering that email at 9:30 at night, etc.
Better Stress Management
A little bit of time on the front end managing your stress levels means never getting to the emergency boiling point of stress. It is the original – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – scenario.
Less stress overall means better stress management. Why self care matters is because it can address so many issues if self care is done regularly and often. It is the continual putting off of our own needs over time, that brings us to a crisis point.
Over time, you will get better and better at paying attention to your own needs, monitoring what in your body is crying out for some attention. You will also becomne your own best caretaker by knowing and anticipating your own needs in advance.
Oh, I have a big meeting on Wednesday, I probably need to make sure I get plenty of sleep the night before, etc.
If you aren’t sure if stress and anxiety are a problem for you, read “Stress and Anxiety Wear Down Your Brain” by Popular Science. It is a great article on why we need to pay attention to stress and anxiety and the overall impact they have on our life.
What Are The Types of Self Care?
There are several different types of self care that should be considered when practicing self care.
You need to take care of you physically, by making sure you get adequate sleep, rest, nutritious food, exercise, regular checkups, etc.
All of the things that contribute to your mental health are included here. Seeking help when needed (should be as normal as going to see your regular doctor) from a therapist or mental health professional if having problems. Addressing stress and anxiety and making sure you have challenging, engaging work to use your brain.
Believing in something bigger than ourselves, whether that is religion, the universe, nature in all its glory, etc. You need to spend time taking care of your soul too, whatever speaks to you.
Humans are meant to be social. Whether it is time spent with your family, friends, co-workers or others, we need time with other human beings.
And, of course, love is obviously a big part of who we are. Your spouse or partner, friends, kids, and family members and spending quality time with them fills your cup in a big way.
Spending time getting in touch with your feelings, your thoughts, and journaling about them is a good way to make sure you are being true to yourself. You want to do things that make you happy and fulfilled overall.
Making sure you indulge all of your senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Finding ways to immerse yourself in each of these areas on a regular basis will make your life richer.
Enjoyment, joy, laughter, entertainment – all of these are important parts of what make you happy on a regular basis. Since we are all different, what makes you happy will be different than what makes me happy. It is up to you to figure out what makes you happy, then do some of it on a regular basis.
Examples of Self Care
There are so many different ways to practice self care as you can see from the categories above. However, here is a short list of some ideas to get you started. And, don’t worry, there are many more ideas in the article: “Simple Self Care Ideas and Tips You Need in Your Life”.
Ideas for Self Care:
- Go for a walk in nature
- Have lunch with a friend
- Scrapbooking (or other favorite hobby)
- Luxurious bubble bath
- Spending time on the phone with your family member
- Reading or writing in a journal
- Learning photography (if you are interested in it)
Self Care Tips to Make it Easy for You
Try to limit your social media (I know – everyone says that – it is true). This can (1) give you back more time to practice self care and (2) help you to get out of the rabbit hole and cess pool of negativity that it can be.
Establish a day when you focus some dedicated time just for you – Self Care Saturday or Sunday – maybe? If you have no way of making that happen, try to start with small increments of time – 15 to 20 minutes – and then increase it from there. How about keeping the last 20 minutes of your day free to spend some time in bed, reading, putting on lotion, practicing some deep breathing, etc. before falling asleep?
Why Self Care Matters
Hopefully, you can now see why self care matters in your life. I hope you feel inspired to set aside some dedicated time and explore what you want more of in your life.
First decide what areas of your life need the most attention right now. Then, wherever you are, just begin. And, there is no beating yourself up for not having done this already allowed.
More Articles for You on Self Care
If you are interested in more articles on self care, here are some to get you started.
- Self Care Subscription Boxes to Make it Easy to Give Yourself Some Love
- Simple Self Care Ideas and Tips You Need in Your Life
- Self Care Products to Help You Destress Now
- Expressing Yourself as a Form of Self Care
Please join my newsletter below for more inspiration in your in-box on a regular basis.
While you are here, make sure you grab your copy of the "Self-Care Mini-Guide" to help you figure out how to add self-care to your daily life. Just click the link Loveselfcare Self-Care Mini-Guide to download your guide!