Self-Care 101 | What is Self Care and Why is it Important

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As you’ve probably noticed, self-care has become a pretty trendy thing lately. People post a picture of being at the spa with #selfcare but it is actually much simpler than that.

I’ve talked about self care a little bit here on my blog but I haven’t really dived into why it’s important. So let’s do that shall we.

a guide to self care | self care isn't selfish

What Exactly is Self Care?

Self care, put simply, is taking care of yourself. And taking care of yourself means recognizing your own needs and taking steps to fulfill them.

Those needs can be part of your physical, mental, or emotional health. Either way, self care is all about listening to yourself and making sure each part of you is functioning at its best.

Only you can know what you need at any moment, so it’s up to you to ensure that those needs are met.

What is not Self Care?

Often people think that self care is selfish, but trust me when I say, it absolutely isn’t selfish to be taking care of yourself. In fact, it’s much more difficult to take care of others when your own health is being compromised.

Self care is not about spending money for a spa day every week or ignoring your chores so you can binge Netflix all Saturday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I even spend half a day binging my favorite show every once in a while. In fact, I just did that yesterday. I hadn’t given myself a break from work in a while and I felt drained. I knew my brain just needed a mental break for a few hours.

Just remember, it’s all about balance.

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Benefits of Daily Self Care

Self care is essential to your well-being. You need to take the time to support and care for yourself or you’ll fall into a state of burnout.

Here are some benefits of practicing daily self care

  • Slowing down and taking time for yourself can actually make you more productive. Think about it; if you only got 5 hours of sleep last night, do you really think you’ll be able to stay focused long enough to get stuff done? Probably not. (trust me, I’ve tried)
  • Daily self care can actually boost your energy levels and your immune system. Which means fewer sick days and more getting stuff done.
  • You’ll also learn to reconnect with yourself. You will start to pay more attention to things you love to do and make you happy.
  • It can reduce anxiety and stress. When you feel taken care of, both physically and mentally, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed.
  • You’ll have more to give to others. It’s really hard to be fully present for your family and friends if you are running on an empty cup. The better you take care of yourself, the more you can give to others.

Self Care for Every Area of Your Life

There are many ways to practice self care in your life. Everyone will have their own requirements when it comes to taking care of themselves. But if you’re new to this whole thing, then start by focusing on these three areas of your life: physical, mental, and emotional.

1. Physical

News flash! If you want to live a long and healthy life, you have to take care of your body. And your physical wellness will affect all the other parts of your life too. 

Not getting enough sleep? That can lead to mental burn out. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical self.

Here are some ideas to practice good physical self care:

  • Getting enough good quality sleep
  • Getting exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Drinking enough water every day

Remember physical self care doesn’t mean taking on crazy workout routines or setting up a strict diet. Just make sure you are focusing on your physical health so your body doesn’t shut down.

2. Mental

Mental self care is about checking in with yourself. Discover what things trigger you and how you can best overcome them, rather than letting them bottle up inside. 

It’s also about learning your mindset and how you view the world. It’s important to work on having a more positive outlook on life so that you don’t dwell on the hard things when they come up.

Some ways to practice mental self care:

  • Journaling with journal prompts
  • Meditating in a state of gratitude
  • Go for a walk to clear your head
  • Read a book about something you’re interested in learning more about

The past year I’ve really focused more on my mental self care and it’s become much easier to look on the brighter side of situations. It won’t happen overnight, but with practice, your mindset will shift.

My favorite mental self care practice is journaling. Read more about it: How to Start a Journal

self care

3. Emotional

Oftentimes mental and emotional health are combined but when talking about self care I like to separate them a little. 

While mental self care is about exploring your mindset, emotional self care is about learning your emotions, allowing yourself to feel them, and finding healthy ways to cope with the uncomfortable emotions.

So yes, I’m telling you sometimes all you need is a good cry. Allow yourself to feel the emotion (anger, sadness, jealousy) for a bit. You are human, and bottling up those emotions won’t do you any good.

Some ways to practice self care:

  • Talk through your emotions with a friend or family member
  • Watch a tv show that makes you feel good
  • Journal with the intent to discover why you are feeling certain emotions.

Is Self Care for Everyone?

The short answer is absolutely but just remember that self care will not look the same for everyone. However, it’s still important to make it a part of our daily life. 

One type of self care may be really beneficial for me, but may not be for you. Make sure you are working with your body and doing stuff that you enjoy, not just because someone else told you to do it.

How to Implement Daily Self Care into Your Life?

Remember self care doesn’t have to be a full spa day. It can be as simple as going for a walk in nature, or sitting in silence for 5 minutes just breathing. 

I recommend picking a few self care activities for each day of the week. Or pick a couple to do almost every day.

For example, I journal every morning to start my days. It clears my head and sets me up for the day. That’s my form of self care for the morning. Then before bed I meditate for 5 minutes to calm my brain down before going to sleep.

For more self care activities ideas, check out this blog post: 20 Cheap Self Care Activities

Final Thoughts

See, self care doesn’t have to be super complicated. Just make sure you are taking care of yourself every day so that you aren’t pouring from an empty cup.

What are your favorite self care activities? Let me know in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “Self-Care 101 | What is Self Care and Why is it Important

  1. Journaling is probably my favorite self-care activity. I love to “talk” things out with myself in written words. Because I keep a record in my journal on things I am thinking or feeling, I can go back later and do a deep analysis after I have had some time to let it pass.

  2. Self-care is a necessity especially these days. I have to tell myself that I am not selfish because I am doing something for my well being so o don’t feel guilty.

  3. I learned the hard way the benefits of self-care. I neglected myself for years and now have to manage the results. I encourage entrepreneurs to remember that their energy is not infinite and their minds/bodies/spirits require that rejuvenation. I’ve made self-care a priority and part of my daily routine.

  4. I cannot overstate just how much my life has improved from prioritizing my self-care. It may come naturally to some folks, but for me, self-care was often viewed as a treat or a reward. At most, I was using it as a bandaid solution after experiencing burnout.

    But now that I incorporate self-care into my daily life – treating it more like a daily vitamin – my stress levels are the lowest they’ve ever been, I’m more productive, and most importantly, I am the happiest I’ve been in years!

    Self-care – it works 😉

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Hey, I'm Alyssa

Early Morning Bad*ss, Personal Development Enthusiast and Productivity Addict

I am here to help young women, just like you, navigate the ups and downs of you personal growth journey.

As well as help you establish your perfect personalized morning routine so you can have more me-time.

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~ Alyssa

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