5 Reasons You Need to Practice Self-Care
You know how airline attendants tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else in case of an emergency? That’s what self-care is like. You have to take care of yourself before you can help others. Once you do, you’re able to be a better employee, spouse, friend, or colleague.
Self-care involves taking care of ourselves mentally & emotionally so that we’re physically ready and able to do everything we need and want to do.
I used to think I was too busy to take care of myself. I thought I would get to that later.
So I just ran myself into the ground, worked like crazy, and zoned out on social media or TV when I needed a “break”.
At some point, I also thought I had successfully implemented the idea of self-care. I thought that by working like a maniac during the day, all I had to do was take a hot bath or drink tea at night to unwind. Long story short: that didn’t work. Why? Because I wasn’t really taking care of myself, I was just putting a BandAid on my emotional state. The next day when I went back into a stressful environment, I ended up right where I started: stressed, tired, foggy.
And then I learned that “later” never really comes. Like happiness, we can’t wait until something happens or changes to take the time to care for ourselves. All we have is now.
As a busy professional, you want to make sure you’re at the top of your game. Like an athlete, you can’t afford to be on injured reserve or on the sidelines. To attract business or climb the corporate ladder, you have to have energy, stamina, and vibrancy.
Why do you need self-care? Here are 5 reasons you need to implement a self-care regimen ASAP:
- Be a Better Spouse/Partner/Employee/Parent // Whether you want to be a more present spouse, a more active parent, or a more productive employee, self-care allows you to show up as the best version of yourself.
- Manage Your Stress // A whole post unto itself, stress has deteriorating effects on your mind and body. By winding down and taking care of yourself, you can stave off negative effects of stress. Try getting hygge!
- Feel Reset & Centered // Studies show that taking breaks — even short ones at work! — lead to higher overall productivity and alertness. Same goes for your life — sometimes walking away from something gives us a fresh perspective and attitude.
- Prevent Burnout // In the industry I just left (legal), burnout is a common problem. Some of those situations could have been prevented by taking preventative steps to better manage stress.
- You’re More Interesting // By engaging in self-care activities, you learn a lot about yourself and what you need. You may find out you have passions and hobbies you didn’t realize you had or felt so strongly about. You’ll find that you’re more confident about who you are and in turn, have more to offer and talk about with people.
What Are a Few Examples of Self-Care?
- Eat Well & Exercise // taking care of your physical body is just as important as your mental state. In terms of exercise, try to find physical activity that makes you feel relaxed. For some people that’s yoga or walking, and for others it can be lifting. For me — it depends on the day! If I’m anxious, I like to do something intense. If I feel like I need centering, I try yoga.
- Talk It Out // With a friend, a colleague, a therapist, or a family member. Whomever you can trust and relate to.
- Journal or Write // Even just jotting down words or a few sentences can feel like an emotional release.
- Do What You Love // Make sure you schedule time to go to your favorite class, try that restaurant you’ve been dying to try, or see a friend you’ve wanted to spend time with.
- Get Some Sleep // You can’t take any of the steps listed here if you’re not sleeping well. Follow these tips to get healthier sleep tonight.
Do you have any daily or weekly self-care rituals? What do you do to take care of yourself?
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