Effective self-care is much more than sneaking a very occasional indulgent pleasure or self-perceived excess. If this is your understanding and application of self-care, you are missing out on most of the possible benefits.
Self-care should be routine, not just in times of duress. It is by the habitual application of effective self-care that we build the emotional resilience to deal with the daily challenges that we call ‘life’.
Let’s look at a few aspects of life which are enhanced by regular, routine self-care activities.
Mind, Body and Spirit
Self-care enhances mental clarity and focus, promotes physical health and wellness and allows spiritual growth and empowerment. Taking time for yourself is crucial for self-awareness and leading a life full of purpose and meaning.
Just getting through each day isn’t enough; self-care allows us to look beyond today and tomorrow and see a bigger picture.
The Balancing Act of Work vs. Home
If you work in an office or at home, there has to be balance or one is bound to eventually be neglected. Self-care enables us to effectively prioritize and feel good about our decisions.
There’s a difference between being overworked and working hard. Being overworked leads to disorganization, diminished focus, depleted energy and the possibility of all sorts of health issues.
When we have a healthy self-care routine, we are more apt to say “no” to the things we simply aren’t prepared to take on. We have a clear idea of what the schedule will allow and where to draw the line.
Quality Alone Time
For many of us alone time is pretty much non-existent. And it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way. You need time alone with yourself to reflect, to breathe, to rejuvenate your soul.
It’s not selfish, it’s imperative. Whether you schedule an entire day devoted to being alone or if you’ve got 30 minutes to hide in a closet and read a book, just do it. Be alone and be okay with yourself.
Restored Feeling of Self
Ego gets a bad rap. The ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem and self-importance. It’s part of our identity. And when it’s not completely inflated to the level of narcissism, it’s perfectly healthy… and necessary.
Self-care helps us find ourselves again. It paves the road to restoring our feelings of worthiness and our self-image. We begin to be more confident in our abilities and less concerned with the subjective opinions of others.
More to Give
It’s cost effective and a time-saver to drive a car on a full tank rather than stopping multiple times a week to refuel. Think of your mind, body and soul as the vehicle and self-care as the fuel.
Sure, you might make the finish line, sputtering and running on fumes, but if you had a full tank when you started out the finish line would be much easier. When the fuel tank is full, there’s more of you to give. To everyday operations. To loved ones. To yourself. To virtually every aspect of your life.