Self care isn’t just important. It’s absolutely necessary!
It could and should be a part of your daily, weekly and monthly routine, in big and small ways. Today I’m talking about why self care is so important. But first, a quick definition… I love how this blogpost from the Money Crashers sums self care up...
"Self care is a very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. And in this case, overall health includes not just the physical, but the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual components of an individual’s well-being."
It’s necessary for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health
Self care is so much more than just a bubble bath. It’s topping up your tank in whatever area you need - whether that be getting an early night because you’ve had a busy day, taking 10 minutes in the morning to meditate or pray, or calling a friend to get some support and encouragement about a difficult situation.
Sometimes, it’s doing the basic things like brushing your teeth or cooking a meal, when you’re having such a hard time that’s the last thing you want to do. To deliberately and consciously choose to act with your mind, body and soul’s wants and needs at the forefront of your decisions.
In a nutshell, if you want to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself - you need to choose self care every day.
It’s the opposite of selfish
Self care always goes back to one of my favourite RuPaul quotes...
"If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else!?"
Particularly amongst women, I think there’s still a huge misconception that self care is self indulgent - it's an occasional treat, and is seemingly a bit OTT and selfish. No, no, no! It’s the opposite of selfish. Self care actually allows you to give more to others - to have the physical and emotional energy to be a kind, loving, thoughtful and generous human.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, and if you’re running yourself into the ground, not only are you doing yourself a huge disservice, you’re probably going to find the people around you are missing out as well. Whether that’s your relationships suffering because you have no energy and can’t engage in conversation, or you aren’t allowing yourself to deal with some hardship and are taking it out on others. You might just be really busy and overworked that you can’t find time for important people in your schedule.
When you deliberately carve out that time for you, and in doing so become the kind of positive, uplifting and supportive person others love to be around - that is the opposite of selfish.
It makes you more productive
Sounds a bit of an oxymoron, but taking more time out for self care will actually make you more productive in the long run. I personally put this down to A - Having more time to reflect on what really matters, which in turn means you only say yes to the work and other commitments that are truly right for you and your path. Along with B - More rest and energy, so when you do sit down to get sh*t done, you’re ready to smash it and are less likely to procrastinate.
I totally understand the resistance to this one, in a world where we’re taught that being busy 24/7 is the way to be, and anything other than that is not leading us to success. However, try your best to push against that resistance. Work to let go of those societal expectations and limiting beliefs around success.
Once you find more of a balance between productivity and self care (a balance that is so unique to everyone), you’ll likely find you can get just as much, if not more done, in less time.
It keeps you in tune with your intuition and inner guidance
I think it’s so important to stay connected. Whether that’s to the Universe, God, whatever spiritual guide you feel called to. Or even just feeling connected to your surroundings, your mind and your own inner guidance and intuition.
When it comes to a cross road in life - a big decision, a huge opportunity, something completely changing your circumstances - your gut instinct will rarely steer you wrong. So many of us struggle with making these huge decisions, and part of that I believe is we are disconnected from our true selves and our innate wisdom and power.
We are so caught up in consuming hours and hours of social media, blogposts, TV, other people’s opinions - we aren’t regularly re-connecting to what we really want, and who we really are.
Self care is a great way to make that connection on a regular basis. Not only will acknowledging the needs of your mind, body and soul quickly get you in tune with that voice, it also gives you the physical space to have that conversation.
Whether it’s a walk, the gym, meditation, prayer, a spa day, a weekend away, even just 20 minutes to yourself in the kitchen to cook your favourite meal. Making that time for self care and shutting out the world for a moment allows that guidance to be heard loud and clear.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
Okay, we’ve got gradually more ‘woo’ as we’ve gone along in this blogpost. But I truly believe that if everyone made time for self care, and realised the potential they have to change the world they live in - we’d have a whole lot more love and happiness to share around.
Think about someone you know who makes time for themselves - they might dedicate so many hours a week to their favourite hobby, or always be off on fun adventures, or seem really content breaking the mould and pursuing something that nobody else you know is doing. Someone who is clearly making time to fill up their tank and feed their mind, body and soul. How does that person make you feel? I bet they make you feel inspired, motivated and maybe slightly envious!
When we live our lives on purpose, and consciously make time for self care in a way that feels good for us, we are inspiring others. We are encouraging others. We are showing others that it’s important, and necessary, and that they too are more than worthy of that time and care.
Choose to be that light and positivity in the world. Break the mould of “busy”. Choose something more for your life.
More connection. More joy. More calm. More space.
As cheesy as it might sound to some, it can all start with you deciding to take an extra 15 minutes a day for yourself. That 15 minutes can not only change your day, it can change your life, and inspire others around you to change theirs.
I hope today’s post has inspired you to consider the importance and necessity of self care. Once you know how important it is for you and your wellbeing, hold onto that belief, internalise it and allow it to stay with you during those moments you need to be reminded the most.
Push against the resistance of ‘busy’, or feeling selfish, or thinking “I need to be productive”. You won’t regret it!
How are you going to give yourself 15 minutes this week?
What can you do to top up your tank in a small way?