The Importance of Self-Care: What It Is & What You Can Do To Get Started Today

You’re sitting at work with a busy week ahead. You have two huge meetings, a project deadline, loads of paperwork, and your calendar is jam-packed with a busy social schedule. So what do you do? Naturally, you cancel everything you feel may be “impertinent”, such as your gym session, massage, yoga, dinner with your friends and may even skip lunch here and there.

Life is busy. I know this.

As a wife, mother of two, entrepreneur, physician and educator, life doesn’t seem to ever slow down and we end up on this hamster wheel that is sometimes near impossible to get off of. Before we know it, self-care becomes non-existent. That gym membership goes unused, your meals consist of quick non-nutritious snacks and even sleep takes a backseat.

Truth be told, self-care is crucial for your overall health; physically, mentally and emotionally.

What is self-care?

Simply put, self-care is just that: caring for yourself. It’s setting everything aside to focus on you and you only. It’s leaving work behind, letting the kids or grandkids entertain themselves for a while, forgetting about the stresses of everyday life and taking the time to do something for yourself.

Self-care is not indulgent or selfish. Self-care is necessary and I personally like to call it SELF-PRESERVATION.

Do you think self-care isn’t important to your health? Think again!

Here’s why you should never forget about the importance of self-care:

  • Self-care improves your relationship with yourself. It produces positivity in your life, boosts your confidence and is a reminder to yourself that you are also important to others.
  • Self-care helps you perform better in the workplace. A simple lunch break, walk around outdoors or a phone call to a friend during the workday can help you from overextending yourself in the office. The stress that comes with working too much can leave you feeling unproductive, disorganized, emotionally drained and burnt out. Practicing a healthy work-life balance helps to ensure that your mind stays sharp and you stay motivated. You will actually be a much better team player or leader if you exercise self care.
  • Self-care reduces stress. Too much stress can be incredibly detrimental to your health. We now know that stress is the #1 killer. By practicing self-care you can cut out the negative effects of stress, improve your mood and boost your energy levels.
  • Self-care helps you focus on what’s most important. We all have responsibilities: paying the mortgage, changing the oil in our car, getting groceries for the family. It is so crucial to remember that taking care of yourself is also one of your top responsibilities. Give your life more purpose than work, laundry, bills and cleaning house. Take a minute to enjoy (and I mean enjoy) your coffee or tea. Find a new hobby. Take a bubble bath. Do something that takes your mind off of the everyday stresses of life and allows you to enjoy being you.
  • Aside from mental health, self-care is important for your physical wellbeing. Eating healthy, exercising daily and getting adequate sleep are all important aspects of self-care that allow you to focus on your physical health.

15 Simple Self-Care Habits You Can Start Doing TODAY:

  1. Get active: Walk, jog, run, cycle…whatever it is that gets your blood pumping-do it!
  2. Meditate: Practice deep breathing for at least 5 minutes per day. My favorite free apps to do so are Calm and Insight Timer. Download them and try them for FREE.
  3. Eat something nutritious: Enjoy fresh fruit, veggies, or even a protein shake.
  4. Make a list: Organizing your thoughts by using a handwritten list can help you better process your priorities.
  5. Take a bath: Relax in the warmth of a hot bath. Add one cup of Epsom salt to help your body detox and absorb the relaxing mineral magnesium.
  6. Take your vitamins: Relaxing nutrients such as magnesium and Tranquility can help you focus your energy, prioritize your tasks and be more productive throughout the day.
  7. Take a digital detox. For one hour out of your day, leave your phone in a different room, turn it on silent and don’t touch it. You’ll immediately feel relieved knowing your notifications will not interrupt you for the next 60 minutes.
  8. Read a book. I don’t mean on a Kindle or an audio book. I’m talking about a hard copy of a book with real pages you can turn. Allow your mind to flee the everyday stresses of life by absorbing yourself in a good book!
  9. Find something to laugh at. Whether it’s a funny email you were sent, something silly your child or grandchild did or a funny television show, laugh heartily at least once a day.
  10. Enjoy dark chocolate. The mood-boosting endorphins produced from dark chocolate help you to relieve stress and instantly feel better.
  11. Reach out to a long lost friend. Making a phone call or sending a quick text to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while can be healing. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone know you’re thinking about them and can really help improve your relationships with your friends and family members.
  12. Enjoy that cup of green tea. It’s so easy to do 50 other things while you’re enjoying your morning brew. Turn off the television, put down your phone, shut off your computer and enjoy every sip, not to mention the powerful antioxidants! My personal favorite is Raspberry Green Tea, which you can check out here.
  13. Take that first step towards regaining your health. If you’ve been feeling fatigued, stressed, and like your health is slowing going downhill, I encourage you to do one thing today to turn that around. Something as simple as testing your symptoms for hormonal imbalance may give you some insight as to what you may be experiencing.
  14. Treat yourself! You deserve to feel good in your own skin. If you’re not happy with your skin, enjoy a facial. If you would like to see less fine lines and wrinkles, schedule your appointment for Botox. If you want to feel better in your own skin, perhaps a fat reduction or body sculpting treatment can boost your self-esteem. Just do whatever it is that will make you feel better about being you!
  15. Last but definitely not least, start TODAY! Begin practicing self-care TODAY – right now – and be consistent with it. Before you know it, you will begin to see the difference it makes in your life!

I challenge you to get started today – right now! Leave a comment below and let me know what one thing you will do to begin practicing self-care today. I look forward to reading all of your responses!

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