Why Self-Care Matters
Self-care is critical to both your mental and physical well-being. Integrating self-care habits into your daily life allows you to positively engage with your environment and preserve your health. Actively partaking in self-care routines allows oneself to monitor for deterioration of feelings such as: anxiety, depression, being overwhelmed, or unable to unwind. Self-care is multifaceted yet deliberate; it is an action. It is a holistic and supportive way to increase your daily mental and physical state. Though not a cure, self-care can help manage symptoms. The concept of self-care can include: hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, core principles, community involvement, seeking medical care when needed, and taking time to rest. Prioritizing self-care in the midst of a pandemic, raging wildfires, warfare, economic changes, or loss can dictate what kind of self-care your individual situation calls for.
Some types of self-care are:
Mental: Have you exercised your brain today?
Physical: Are you getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, staying hydrated?
Social: Have you gotten out and engaged in face to face interaction? Do you like where you live, feel safe, and respected?
Spiritual: Do you have a sense of connection to your spiritual path?
Emotional: What outlets do you use to process your emotions? Do you immerse yourself in healthy relationships?
Financial: Are your needs being met? Do you have a sense of financial security?
Occupational: Does your job empower your goals, and is it rewarding?
Make a Self-Care Plan
If you find yourself facing stressors in any of these areas - make a self-care plan! Identify what your needs and stressors are, create a plan, and act on it. Engage in activities for each of the categories as needed. With any type of self-care the most important thing is that you practice it. Schedule it into your day, write it on your calendar as an appointment with yourself, take action to make it happen. Your body will thank you!
Long Term Benefits of Self-Care
Self-care improves both your relationship with yourself, and with those around you. The benefits of engaging regularly in self-care practices are: resilience, lowering burnout, stronger relationships, reduction in anxiety and depression, increased energy, better coping skills and a sense of purpose. Physical self-care releases natural feel-good chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline into your body which staves off some of the ill side effects of feeling down. Be a stakeholder in your own life. Think of self-care as a supplemental guide to your overall health. Our lifestyles are a journey; try it out and tweak it to fit your needs. It is not one a one size fits all formula!