Self-care is the practice of individuals looking after their own health using the knowledge and information available to them.
There are a few different categories of self-care:
- Emotional, such as self-talk, weekly bubble baths, saying “no” to things that cause unnecessary stress, giving yourself permission to take a pause, or setting up a weekly coffee date with a friend
- Physical, such as prioritizing sleep, adopting an exercise routine you can stick with, choosing healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones
- Spiritual, such as attending a religious service, spending time in nature, meditating, incorporating regular acts of kindness into your day, or keeping a gratitude journal
Here are some of the potential benefits of developing a self-care practice:
- 1. Healthy relationships: Prioritizing your social life without sacrificing your ability to take care of yourself allows you to be fully present when you have time with a loved one, leading to stronger bonds.
- 2. Illness prevention: Having a strong, healthy body and mind may help curb health conditions made worse by stress. It may also potentially boost your immune system.
- 3. Improved self-esteem: In addition to developing positive self-talk, the act of setting aside time to take care of yourself may help increase self-esteem. Additionally, developing positive reinforcement from within improves the health and happiness of all of your relationships.
- 4. Physical health: Certain forms of caring for yourself focus on improving physical health, which may subsequently aid mental health. A regular self-care regimen may lead to deeper sleep and increased strength.
- 5. Reduced stress: Many self-care practices aim to reduce stress, increase resilience, and encourage relaxation. Reducing stress can also help with work-life balance, mental illness, and burnout.