What is self care and why is it so important

What Is Self-Care And Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is a popular topic these days, perhaps you keep seeing it mentioned in self-help books or magazine articles and yet don’t have a clear sense of how you’re supposed to add it to your life.  Or you maybe not be convinced that regular self-care is important. You may even believe that your resources are better spent working for or looking after others.

What Is Self-Care? The Definition of Self-Care
Self-care is a broad term that encompasses just about anything you to do be good to yourself. In a nutshell, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s partly about knowing when your resources are running low, and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away.  Meanwhile, it also involves integrating self-compassion into your life in a way that helps to prevent even the possibility of a burnout.
 
However, it’s important to note that not everything that feels good is self-care. We can all be tempted to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, alcohol, over-eating, and risk-taking.  These self-destructive activities help us to regulate challenging emotions,
But the relief is temporary.

Benefits of Self-Care
 
The most obvious benefit relates to mood and energy levels. But research shows wider ranging benefits as well.

Top 6 Benefits of Self-Care

Better productivity. When you learn how to say “no” to things that over-extend you and start making time for things that matter more, you slow life down in a wonderful way. This brings your goals into sharper focus and helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing.

Improved resistance to disease.  There is evidence that most self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). What this means is that your body goes into a restful, rejuvenating mode, helping it to fortify its immune system.

Better physical health. With better self-care often comes fewer colds, cases of flu and upset stomachs. Less stress and a better immune system can surely help you feel more physically able and strong inside and out.

Enhanced self-esteem. When you regularly carve out time that’s only about being good to yourself and meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious.
Specifically, you treat yourself like you matter and have intrinsic value. This can go a long way toward discouraging negative self-talk and your critical inner voice.

Increased self-knowledge.  Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you really Love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself a lot better. Sometimes, this can even spark a change in career or a reprioritization of previously abandoned hobbies.

More to give. When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish. In truth, self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate to others as well. Giving compassion is a bit like filling a bucket; you can’t fill someone else’s if you don’t have enough of your own!

Types of Self-Care
One of the main excuses people make for ignoring articles about self-care is that they just don’t have time. The great news is that there are many different self-care practices, and none of them are especially difficult or require a lot of planning. The trick is to find some that you genuinely enjoy and that fit with your life and values. Once you start adding self-care to your life, you’re likely to become fiercely protective of that time and wonder how you ever managed without it!
 
Here are the five main categories of self-care, along with explanations of how they help you. We’ll also look at specific self-care examples within categories over the coming weeks, which should get you thinking about activities you’ll particularly like.

1. Sensory
Sensory self-care is all about helping to calm your mind.  Today’s practice will be an example of a slow mindful yoga practice to help you connect the mind with the body.  To help you feel what goes on in the body during your practice. Developing your interoceptive sense.
 
When you are able to tune into the details of the sensations all around you,
it’s easier to live in the present moment. And when you’re in the present, you can
more effectively let go of resentments related to the past or anxieties about the future.

2. Emotional
When it comes to your emotional health, one of the best self-care tips is to make sure you fully engage with your emotions. When you face them head-on, this actually helps with stress.

3. Spiritual
If you’re not religious, you might be tempted to skim-read this section or skip it altogether. However, spiritual self-care isn’t just about believing in a deity. It’s applicable to atheists and agonistics as much as to religious people.
 
Spiritual self-care is about getting in touch with your values and what really matters to you.  Self-care tips for depression often stress that developing a sense of purpose is vital to your spiritual health.

4. Physical
The importance of self-care definitely extends to purely physical aspects of your health. Physical activity is vital not only for your bodily well-being but also for helping you let off steam.

5. Social
Finally, social self-care is another category that’s important for us all.
It might look different depending on whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. However, connecting with other people is necessary for happiness for a large diversity of people.
It helps you to understand that you’re not alone.
 
Over the course of the next 6 weeks we’ll go over in more detail each of these 5 types of self care.  I’ll share examples of how you might incorporate each of them into your life.
Remembering along the way that it isn’t necessary to do something in each and every category or to spend hours on self care each day or each week.  The most important lesson I hope will be to be able to identify one or two areas in your life where you could get the most benefit from a little self care and to begin the process of thinking of self care as an important part of your well being on and off the mat.
 

8 Replies to “What is self care and why is it so important”

  1. Thank you for this blog. I lkkr how you itemized top 6 benefits , and also clarified what can be misconstrued as self care and it’s actually not. Under spiritual care , the end of paragraph two, I believe you meant to add another word or phrase.

  2. Hi Nancy. All very good points. Put your own oxygen mask on first. I would love to see input from your community..

    Susan from Canada

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