Investing in your health and future is non-negotiable. That’s why self-care should be a priority on your to-do list.
Self-care is simply taking the time to take care of yourself, especially before burnout strikes because of stress. If you do more than you are used to, you may have to start thinking about self-care to help with protecting the energy you have.
It’s hard to take downtime because we think we’ll get too far behind on our work. And we trudge on without any rest. But science shows us how beneficial self-care is for us and how important it is.
Self-care can be done in many ways. You could start more physical activities like walking or swimming, eating healthier or making sure you get enough sleep. It’s also taking the time to pamper yourself with warm baths, or manicures or dinner out with friends.
It’s a time where you don’t have to think about what everyone else wants from you and focusing on yourself and what you need to feel more relaxed and energized.
Here are 5 benefits of making self-care non-negotiable.
1. You’ll be more productive
You may think that taking mini-breaks throughout the day would make you less productive. But those breaks should be non-negotiable because they revitalize your mind and body. It can be as simple as taking 5-minute pauses. Go for a short walk and breathe in the fresh air, or do some stretching. Get up from your desk and get some water while you chat with a friend. All these breaks are so good to rest your brain. You’ll come back to work refreshed.
Make it a priority to think about things you can do for your self-care first, then come back to your giant to-do list.
2. Self-care enables you to respond better to difficult situations
Difficult situations come along when we least expect them. You may lose a loved one, or go through a bad break up, or get fired. All of these types of situations are emotionally draining. You want to feel those emotions, but you also want to be able to move on.
One way to help put your well being first is to do some form of exercise. Take a yoga class, or go cycling with a group of people. Do something you enjoy doing. Research shows that exercise helps you control your emotions better. Exercise helps you by taking your mind off your stressful situation. There are so many benefits to exercising.
Some days you may want to just watch Netflix for a few hours. You may feel that’s the only way on certain days to get your mind off any life situations that cause you stress.
3. Self-care improves your self-compassion
Another important non-negotiable self-care tip is to learn to love yourself. And the more you take care of yourself the better you’ll feel.
Listen to how you talk to yourself whenever you feel inadequate, or make mistakes and fail at something you really wanted to achieve, or when you don’t lose those 10 pounds you thought you’d lose by Christmas.
Do you call yourself a failure? Or you’ll never get out of this rut? Or do you hate yourself because you think you should know better?
One thing to remember is to think about how you would talk to someone else who just went through the same thing you did. You will begin to realize that you would never talk to anyone else the way you talk to yourself.
Treat yourself with the same love and compassion you would someone else. You don’t have to be so hard on yourself.
4. Self-care restores your energy resources
You can reboot your energy by focusing on yourself and what you need. If your mind is too cluttered or feeling strained because of hours of work, do something that will lift your spirits.
Take a 30-minute walk and listen to uplifting music. This will not only boost your energy but also your mental energy. You will feel awake again and ready to go onto the next task. Other ways to recapture your mental energy is too read a good book at the end of the day, or go dancing!
Making yourself a healthy dinner will also restore your physical energy. And you will feel better that you didn’t get take out comfort food instead.
5. You will have more to give others
Maybe you think self-care is being selfish. You may be the type of person who always does things for other people and never think about doing something for yourself. If you value other people’s needs more than your own, eventually you’ll feel depleted.
Taking care of yourself will help you restore the energy you need to help others. You need a break from your children or husband sometimes in order to recharge so that you can take care of them better. It even helps with your relationships with friends.
The more you practice self-care, the better your life will be. It’s similar to building muscle. It takes time, effort and patience.
Make self-care non-negotiable in your life. Don’t think of it as a luxury you don’t need. There are so many benefits to practicing self-care. Science shows how stress can lead to foggy thinking, feeling tired all the time, and even weight gain. The best cure for stress is self-care. Take the time to wind down and do the things you’ve always wanted to or love to do. You will see over time that not only will you have more energy, but self-care can also lower blood pressure and contribute to a healthy heart.
So do something creative or get out in nature and have fun walking, hiking or kayaking!
What fun things do you do for self-care?