Indulgent baths, hot cups of tea, books, lazy days on the beach or even a 5-minute nap on the sofa – you’ve probably heard the term “self-care” used a lot lately. It’s become a popular buzzword in the media and in personal development circles. However, you still may be unclear on what exactly it means, why it is so important, and most of all, how you are going to squeeze in relaxation time when you’re fighting to find enough time for work and nurturing your personal life. After all, who can tell a teething baby to stay patient a little longer while mama gets her nails done? Self-care does involve taking care of yourself, it actually goes much deeper than merely the indulging spa-parts. Read on to learn what self-care is, why it matters, and how to get started doing it.
Self-care covers a lot of areas concerning caring for yourself. It involves nurturing your body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on building yourself up so that your internal resources don’t become depleted. Mostly, self-care is being as kind to yourself as you would be to someone you care about. Treat your body as if it belongs to someone you love. It requires you to show yourself some compassion and encourages you to be vulnerable with others, asking for help you when you need it. What doesn’t fall under the umbrella of self-care are self-destructive coping mechanisms such as using drugs, drinking, gambling, or retail therapy. These things only make you feel good in the short-term.
The Benefits of Self-Care
There are lots of benefits to practicing self-care. Embracing this concept can be difficult for those who’ve always emphasized the welfare of others, especially if you are caring for small children who need our attention to thrive and survive. However, giving all your energy to those around you without filling your own back up leaves you depleted and empty. That’s no way to live. If you want the very best for your kids, taking care of yourself should be your number one priority.
Spending time and effort on yourself rejuvenate and energizes you. Taking time to indulge in your interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the world. You are setting a perfect example to your kids and showing them that they too should care for and love themselves while growing up. You also teach them that they are allowed to set boundaries for themselves, which will be an invaluable lesson when it’s their turn to be responsible adults. It also teaches you a lot about yourself and provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself. Self-care helps you better cope with stress and to prioritize what’s important to you. You’ll be better able to take care of others when you also take time to meet your own needs.
Examples of Self-Care
There are countless ways to add self-care into your routine, without needing babysitters or hours for yourself. Even napping half an hour on the sofa is considered self-care, if that is what your body needs. The key is to choose activities that are most enjoyable to you and provide you with the most benefits. Going for a walk in nature is great for those who enjoy the outdoors, and you can take your kids with you. Other forms of exercise like yoga, running or going to the gym work well, too. Click here to get yoga videos you can do at home with your kids around you for only $1/mo for 3 months. My children even join in sometimes, which is super-good for them!
Boundaries is another biggie for me. Spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, but so can saying no. Allowing yourself to decline invitations or favors when you’re feeling run-down is a big part of caring for yourself. Treating yourself to a favorite, affordable indulgence like a movie, manicure, or ice cream cone are all excellent examples. The same goes for taking a bath or meditating. These are just a few of the ways you can easily incorporate self-care into your life.
Now you know what self-care is and what it’s important. You’ve also got some ideas of how to get started, so you’re well on your way to adding this useful practice to your life. What to take your self-care even a step further to boost the happiness-factor in your life? Grab my free e-book below!