Today we are going to talk about self-care and why you need to be practicing it. Self-care is extremely important on your path to health and fitness. Some people are a natural at this and others have to truly make it a practice and schedule time for this. Its okay whichever group you fall in.
What is self-care?
If you Google “what is self-care,” you will get all types of definitions from many different sources. In my opinion, self-care is caring for yourself. A very simple explanation to say the least. One way to think about it is what flight attendants will tell you before lift-off. You are always told to put your oxygen mask on FIRST before you help others in case of an emergency. You need to take care of yourself in order to be able help others.
Self-care and self-love are different and we will talk about self-love later.
Why does it matter?
You are many things to many different people. A mom, a spouse, a daughter, a friend, a co-worker. These people need and depend on you in different ways. In order to help them out, you need to be taking care of yourself. Maybe your kids need you right now. If you haven’t been taking care of yourself and keeping yourself healthy, you aren’t going to be able to help them as well as if you are practicing self-care.
“For those of you who struggle with guilt regarding self-care, answer this question: What greater gift can you give to those you love than your own wholeness?”
― Shannon Tanner, Worthy: The POWER of Wholeness
What are some examples?
Some examples of self-care are:
- getting 7-8 hours of sleep
- eating enough throughout the day and not skipping meals
- getting regular doctor checkups
- regular movement/exercise in your life
- scheduling a girl’s night out or a relaxing evening all to yourself
- practicing a hobby you enjoy (photography, crafting, writing, etc.)
- taking a lunch break each day instead of just working through lunch
- getting outdoors to enjoy nature
- getting enough water throughout the day
Self-care is different for everyone. Self-care for you might be getting regular manicures. However, that just doesn’t work for me. However, I need my regular hair cut and color. Self-care for me is getting enough alone/downtime. Self-care for you might be chatting with a girlfriend daily.
How often should I do it?
DAILY! You need to be indulging in self-care daily. If you aren’t currently practicing self-care, doing all these things (and more) might be overwhelming. Pick one or two to start with. Maybe you need to start with getting enough sleep and remembering to eat. Maybe you want to add some outdoor time to your self-care routine. It doesn’t need to be long or complicated. Sitting outside enjoying your morning coffee or evening wine might be exactly what you need.
Take your calendar out now and plan some self-care time. Doesn’t matter when.