Why is self care important? Self care is essential for our own self-development. It allows us to cultivate aspects of ourselves. In caring for ourselves, we demonstrate ultimate love and compassion to self. Self care also helps us to see more of who we are, without the projections and expectations other people may have of us.
In a world full of diverse ideas and opinions, facing adversity is almost unavoidable. And, when some of these ideals are internalized, it can really weigh on our self-esteem and how we treat ourselves. It’s vital that self care always be displayed especially when experiencing a rather difficult time. In most cases, self care is an effective tool in being more resilient. We find it easier to overcome challenges which may have felt immensely exhausting otherwise.
In experiencing a time where self care was absent, I understand the major difference that T.L.C. (Tender Love and Care) makes in our lives. With this in mind, you can trust these guidelines on self care.
In understanding and following the ins and outs of consistent self care, you will establish a healthy perception and relationship with Self. Moreover, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. Thus, through self care, you will be able to achieve this.
The following sections highlight the great impact self care has on every facet of our lives as well as how caring for ourselves affects the relationships we have with others. When we implement vigorous self care, life becomes much easier and more enjoyable. Here are some words on the transformative power of a good self care routine.
What Is Self Care?
Self care is the act of prioritizing yourself and your overall well-being. Moreover, with self care, you must adopt a mentality of self-importance. This doesn’t make you pretentious or self-absorbed. However, with self-importance, you understand that you are worth all the time and effort it takes to become the best version of yourself because you owe it to yourself.
A lack of self-esteem or self-importance is what usually inhibits and prevents people from giving themselves the adequate love and care needed to prosper in life. Such low self-esteem can be traced back to childhood trauma, abuse, bullying, and more. Our parents, school, and community are our primary and secondary sources of socialization. It is where we begin to develop our perception of Self.
Without being nurtured properly, this can affect how we view ourselves negatively. There are several adults who neglect Self and put the needs of others before their own. While it may seem noble, it is selfless nonetheless and of detriment to one’s self. So, it becomes essential to take the necessary precautions to implement self care by realizing you come first.
Setting Boundaries, Respecting Boundaries
As stated, much of how we see ourselves is shaped by the many experiences and projections we’ve internalized throughout our life. If we could all remember the first person who told us we were ugly or stupid, we begin to see that these were mere words that we gave power by choosing to believe.
And, with that same sense of ownership, we can choose to claim better things for ourselves through practicing intensive self care. One of the first demonstrations of self care is setting boundaries. You must set appropriate boundaries to ensure you get what you want in life. This demonstrates exceptional discipline and respect towards Self.
For example, if you know someone is toxic and exhibits unhealthy behavior, it’s important that you remove these kinds of people from your life. They aren’t going where you are trying to go. There are ways to see whether or not those around you have your best interest in mind. If anyone insists or imposes something that will put you in a compromising position, then you should reconsider your relationship with that person. Instead, set healthy boundaries and surround yourself with people who respect those boundaries. Boundaries are essentially safe guards put in place to help you achieve your goals. Without boundaries, obstacles become greater and more difficult to traverse.
Self Care Activities
Take Yourself to Dinner. Dress up in an elegant suit or dress and take yourself out on a wonderful dinner date. Treat yourself to whatever you want. In fact, make sure you get two desserts, on for you and you.
Pamper Yourself. Show yourself some extra love by pampering yourself. Treat yourself to a shopping spree and recreate your whole look. You deserve to feel just as special as you are.
Have a Spa Day. A spa day can include going to the masseuse and getting a deep tissue massage. Or, you may want to go to a nearby nail salon to treat yourself to a cute manicure and pedicure.
Repeat Positive Affirmations. Affirmations are definitive statements you can recite as a part of your personal mantra. Affirmations help to establish a healthy subconscious mind, filling it with optimism.
Read Inspiring Poetry or Quotes. Sometimes, a good poem or quote holds the strength to empower and uplift even the most pessimistic of minds. Immerse yourself into inspiring poetry and quotes whenever you’re in need of upliftment.
Read a Good Book. Spend some of your time reading a good book. Books are like movies as they can give you a much needed escape from everyday stressors. However, a good book will allow you to learn much and utilize your imagination.
Give Compliments. Compliments aren’t always for others. Many times, complimenting others makes us feel good as well. It feels good knowing that you can make someone else’s day so much better by sharing a few kind words.
Volunteer. Spread your consideration by volunteering, helping those in need. Being of service helps us to fixate less on our own problems and focus more on the fact that we are making a positive difference in the world. This sense of accomplishment is especially empowering to the Self.
Clean Your Home. Get rid of things you don’t need or use anymore by donating them to charity. Our environment is a direct reflection of what’s going on in our minds. Keeping a clean and organized environment will help you to think more clearly.
Laugh. Laughing increases the release of endorphins, a wonderful feel-good hormone produced by the brain. When we laugh, we feel better. So, make it a priority to laugh more. Spend more time watching comedies.
Dance. Dancing is therapeutic for the body and mind. Musical is something everyone can become lost in, forgetting all about the day’s events and escaping into the mesmerizing sounds of music.
Hug Yourself. Show yourself love and compassion by hugging yourself. Intentional physical touch establishes a deep, intimate connection with ourselves. This form of self-soothing is especially therapeutic during moments of stress and anxiety.
Spend Time with Family. Surround yourself with people you love, people who you can be your authentic self around. Sometimes, quality time with family is all we need to be reminded of how fortunate we are.
Forgive Others. Forgiveness is more for ourselves than it is for anyone else. When we forgive, we release a huge burden, allowing us to fully heal.
Forgive Yourself. Just as you forgive others, it is equally important that you forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and we can’t reverse the things we’ve said or done. However, you can choose to do better and forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness shows immense compassion towards Self.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a powerful form of meditation that allows us to become the observers of our life instead of taking things personally. In performing mindfulness meditation, you will begin to see things objectively.
Take a Hot Bubble Bath. A hot bath will help relieve those tense muscles. It’s a great way to unwind after a busy, hectic day.
Attend a Therapy Session. Sometimes, we need a little extra help and there’s nothing wrong with that. A therapist can be a huge asset in self care and self-development. Therapists usually provide a variety of effective methods for healing from more extensive conditions pertaining to mental health.
Make a Self Care Jar. A self care jar is a really great addition to your self care routine. In short, a self care jar is a jar where you place pieces of paper, each piece having a self care activity written on it. Each day, you can pull out one or two self care activities from your jar.
Start Journaling. Journaling helps you to get all the mental clutter out of your head. To journal, you want to write down whatever is on your mind the most. There are also journals with prompts that can help you organize your thoughts and emotions.
Use Self-Reflection Cards. Self-reflection cards are a fun way to get to know more about yourself. These questions prompt you to think about your values and beliefs. Thus, these cards incite a very important conversation with Self.
Be Honest with Yourself. Honesty is the best policy, even when it comes to honesty with yourself. Honesty is a virtue in every relationship. So, it only makes sense you maintain honesty with self. Be honest in your reasoning and in your judgement.
Reward Your Efforts. Keep yourself motivated and focused by creating a reward-system for your efforts. Create milestones for projects and weekly goals. For each milestone, make sure you do something special to commemorate your efforts. For example, after you achieve your fitness goals, buy yourself a new wardrobe.
Take a Break. Know when to step away. Although you may have responsibilities, one of your first responsibilities is to prioritize your health. Overworking can lead to extreme fatigue and burnout. So, remember to take breaks as needed.
Watch a Movie. Get some delicious popcorn and get comfortable with a movie you’d like to watch. Movies take us into an entirely different world. It’s like a getaway without the stress of having to leave the couch.
Get a New Look. Revamp your entire look. You’d be surprised how subtle changes can transform your whole appearance. So, try some new highlights or wear a color you don’t normally wear. This will boost your confidence and help you to see yourself in a new light.
Get Crafty. Invest in some art supplies. Arts and crafts is shown to be a huge stress-reducer. In fact, there are even coloring books made specifically for adults.
Go to the Park. Get some fresh air. There’s a lot of things we can live without, but air isn’t one of them. The park offers a nice and quiet place for you to exercise and collect your thoughts.
Make a Gratitude List. Gratitude allows us to see more of what we like about our lives. Sometimes, people can be wrapped up in the pessimism of what they don’t have. However, gratitude helps us to shift our focus towards more optimistic horizons. With optimism, we have greater energy to pursue what we desire.
Listen to Music that Motivates You. Sad songs tend to bring gloomy emotions. Find and play music that gets you excited and motivated. Music is universal and undeniably irresistible to the ears, especially when it’s music you really love. So, play more of it!
Perform Breathing Exercises. Poor breathing can contribute to feelings of confusion, impaired cognitive function, and decreased fitness performance. Breathing exercises are a great self care activity. Start with a simple but effective exercise such as box breathing to see the benefits of breath work as it pertains to your overall health and well-being.
A Life Without Self Care
A life without self care involves a life unfulfilled, a life where one still feels a sense of lack as if something is missing. In neglecting self care, we allow ourselves to go through unnecessary pain and suffering. If we do not care for Self, then we can not expect for others to. How we treat ourselves is one of the first things other people notice when getting to know us.
What words do you use towards yourself? Are they kind words or words filled with judgment and self-deprecation? A lack of patience and compassion towards Self makes our losses seem even graver because there is that inner critic in us waiting to scold us on our mistakes whether large or minor.
Without self care, we find ourselves living for others, abandoning the dreams of our hearts. Instead of seeing all of the possibilities and power to make our wildest dreams come true, our mind is bombarded with an overwhelming belief of why we can’t make our dreams come true. And if left unattended, the heart stops dreaming and it becomes harder to believe that there is a better life that awaits you. And, even if there is, there may be that part of you that believes you may not deserve it.
Benefits of Self Care
We have listed all of the benefits of self-care here. Be sure to practice self-care regularly to experience the full effect of these benefits.
Your self-image is the perception you have about your personality, appearance, and abilities. When you practice self-care, you automatically improve something about yourself whether it be a skill, talent, character trait, physical attribute, etc.
When your self-image is enhance, your confidence receives an immediate boost because your perception of Self is improved. You begin to look at yourself with more respect and admiration.
Self care gives us better context for how we should treat ourselves. It allows us to work at a higher capacity because we are no longer giving of ourselves from an empty cup. Self care replenishes us and gives us the energy to share this new version of ourselves with others.
Once we see that we are capable of accomplishing a set goal, we are more confident in our ability to complete even bigger goals. Thus, we aim higher and higher each time.
You no longer look at the glass as half empty. Instead, you are more emotionally resilient in the assurance that the opportunities are within reach. And, with this new found confidence, you feel more emboldened to reach farther than ever.
Self care fosters a growth mindset and dismantles a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence, traits, and personalities are all fixed traits that we inherit and cannot develop or grow. However, a growth mindset is the exact opposite. A growth mindset acknowledges that you can develop and cultivate all of these things through your efforts. And, such efforts include self care activities.
Life becomes less stressful when we feel in control of our thoughts and emotions. In fostering self care and self love, big issues begin to appear a lot smaller. And, we are able to recover much faster.
You will perform at a higher capacity, producing a better quality of work. Self care puts you in the position to be the best version of yourself, utilizing all of your potential to complete any given task. With less stress, a clear head, and feeling regenerated, your productivity will experience a huge bonus.
Self care is an undeniably powerful and much needed asset when it comes to manifesting the life of your dreams. Our environment says a lot about the condition of our mind. However, the condition of our mind also says a lot about the environments we find ourselves in. In implementing self care rituals and activities, you can begin to mold your mind into a powerhouse of transformative abilities.
To begin transforming your life for the better, take the first step towards improving your personal relationship with Self. Try at least 2 to 3 of the aforementioned self care activities per week to begin your journey towards self-development.