What is Self Care?

Self care is the act of taking care of yourself. I learned about self care back when I was in graduate school, and how it is important to practice to avoid burn out in a career. Being a parent is a career, so it is important for us to remember that self care is important.

Self care is doing exactly what you need to do to feel the best all around. This includes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Each person has their own way to give themselves self care. This can be anything from getting your hair done to making time to exercise regularly to ensuring you have time to read each evening before bed.

Though it can be harder to practice self care as a parent, taking care of yourself should not be overlooked. There are many benefits that result from a self care routine. If you are not taking care of yourself, eventually it can lead to overwhelming stress and a lack of confidence, and these things can impact your relationships with family and friends.

To really understand self care, you need to understand yourself first. Ask yourself these questions to gain some clarity.

  • What are the things I need to do to feel complete?
  • What activities help me relieve stress?
  • Is there anything I can eliminate from my daily schedule that is preventing me from taking care of myself?
  • Am I happy with my exercise routine and am I eating healthy?

The way you answer these questions determines your self care needs. Once you have defined your needs all you need to do now is to add it to your schedule and do them to reap the benefits.

Self care even has health benefits. Let’s look at a few of the amazing benefits you’ll experience over time.

  • Increased Positivity – Adding these activities to your schedule will give you something to look forward to. Now you will no longer be thinking about how bad your day is and only be looking forward to reading that book in total silence or getting your nails done after work.
  • Increased Self Confidence – Your needs are now a top priority and that is a good thing. Self confidence will naturally increase because you are simply doing the things that make you feel good.
  • Improved Immunity – Self care allows you to give your body a break from stress, anxiety and emotional trauma which increases your immunity. Stress and depression can overload your mind and body which is crucial to reduce as much as possible.
  • Better Relationships – The more your needs are met the better your relationships will be with other people. When you are feeling down about yourself and don’t feel important chances are that’s what you are putting onto others.
  • Higher Productivity – All the benefits that have been stated above help with increased productivity at work and at home. Less stress, higher immunity, and higher self-confidence all help to boost productivity.

Self care can help you have more positive relationships with the people you love.

Remember, self care is all about you as an individual.

So, what you need to do to take care of yourself won’t be the same as your partner, friends, or family members. After a self care routine is put in place you will notice a significant change in your health and overall well being.

Self care is simply doing the things you like to do that helps you feel happy and healthy. There really is no limit to what self care is because it’s all about what you like doing for yourself and your personality that helps make you be your best self.

Don’t do things you think you need to do or what others say you need to do. Do what you know you love and want. It doesn’t have to require money or be anything extravagant. Meditate, get up early, read a book, or go for a jog are some simple ideas.

Why Is Self care Important?

Neglecting yourself and putting your needs on the back burner inevitably leads to an unhealthy life. Self care needs to be a part of everyone’s personal schedule and it shouldn’t be overlooked due to lack of time or because someone believes it’s selfish. Taking care of yourself is essential to having a healthy, productive, and happy life.

Self care is imperative because it prevents:

  1. Stress — As parents we definitely have our fair share of stress, and most everyone lives with stress in their daily lives but it’s important to try to reduce this as much as possible. Plenty of medical research shows that stress can cause many negative side effects. This includes headaches, low energy, aches and pain and even insomnia.
  2. Burnout – I mentioned self care as a way to prevent burnout earlier. It is another form of extreme stress that results in physical and emotional exhaustion, negativity, lack of enjoyment and the feeling of hopelessness. Burnout typically happens when people are overworked or during events that you feel you can’t control. Self care allows you to take a break from these activities that can result in burnout. Even if it’s a simple one-minute break where you just close your eyes and breathe, it will help reduce this type of stress.
  3. Negativity — It is easy to put everyone else’s needs over your own as a parent, but eventually doing this will turn just about anyone negative. The feeling of not being important and that their needs overpower yours is a horrible feeling. The fact is, the more your needs are met the more others needs will be met too. You will experience less bitterness and resentment towards others if you take care of yourself.

If you find yourself at any point feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just negative towards people stop what you are doing immediately.

You can easily take a few minutes to refocus your mind. Maybe you need to talk to your friends and family for a few minutes, look at a few pictures that make you happy, or practice some deep breathing. This will allow you to relax and adjust your attitude. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be if you just put yourself first.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more about information about self care. I’ll share some tips and ideas for how you can work self care into your life and also what I do for my own self care.

 

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What do you do for self care? I’d love to hear your ideas, comment below!

Click Here for Part Two of the Self Care Series: Tips and Ideas

If you liked this post you should check out:

How Yoga Makes Me a Better Parent 
Time Management Tips That Every Parent Needs