Almost half of Americans report lying awake at night due to stress. As a result, many people feel burned out, which affects their careers and relationships. That's where self-care comes into play.
What is self-care?
The concept of self-care has been around for decades, but it has only recently gained popularity. In a nutshell, self-care is about your holistic well-being that reflects the way that you take care of yourself on the most fundamental levels.
Self-care isn't about selfishness. Taking care of yourself isn't a selfish act or being self-involved, but instead, it's a self-respectful act. When a person takes care of themselves in all aspects of their life, they have more energy, more reserve, and depth to take on challenges and engage with others at home, at work, and in the community.
It all boils down to making small and purposeful efforts, such as blocking out time for a date with your significant other, going to a yoga class, or planning healthy meals. Setting these intentions can help cut back on stress and worry.
Why is self-care important?
When you don't take care of yourself, you're more likely to experience fatigue and stress-related headaches or pain. But when you prioritize your well-being, you'll find that you have more energy to do what's important to you. Self-care isn't something that you necessarily have to spend money on, either. Eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and taking care of your mental health are all affordable things that integral to self-care.
Other reasons why self-care is essential include:
- It helps you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself since self-care produces positive feelings and boosts your self-esteem.
- Self-care helps you strike a healthy work-life balance. Be sure to take intermittent breaks, set professional boundaries, and avoid overextending to help you stay sharp, motivated, and healthy.
- It manages stress by improving your mood and increasing your energy and confidence levels.
- Self-care isn't just about your mental health. It's also about caring for your physical self by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
Some small, simple self-care habits that anyone can get into are jogging, meditating, deep breathing, laughing at least once a day, avoiding emotional eating, journaling, learning to say "no," and choosing who you spend time with.
Don't put off self-care until next weekend. Start today, and be consistent. You'll notice a huge difference pretty quickly!
- "Practicing Self-Care is Important: 10 Easy Habits to Get You Started," Forbes, September 19, 2017.
- "Yes, It's Trendy Right Now -- But What Exactly is Self-Care?," Good Housekeeping, January 14, 2019.