What Is Self-Care and Why Is It So Important

Let’s clear up a common misconception. Selfcare is not about being self-indulgent or selfish. Adulthood is overrated and a great many people utter this statement out of frustration. And it’s no surprise. Being an adult can often come with overwhelming responsibilities such as meeting targets at work, keeping your home in top shape, and let’s not mention those that have kids. Little beings that completely rely on you and you alone. When you add certain social activities and other planned engagements that demand your time to the mix, you will quickly relish in the opportunity to trade places with your youngest child who has not one care in the world. But let’s be realistic. The only way to be at peace with yourself is by embracing the numerous responsibilities and by taking time to focus on what really is essential. This includes selfcare.

So what is selfcare?

Selfcare means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well (your wellness), you can help and care for others, you can do your job, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.

Selfcare is a general term that describes everything you deliberately do for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. “Oh, that’s easy”, you say? Well, let’s just see about that. As simple as it may sound, many pay very little attention to selfcare. Therefore, “deliberately” is one of the most important word in the definition of selfcare. You literally have to be conscious of your well-being before you can actually achieve selfcare. Simple acts such as not checking your emails or even your phone before bed, because you know it affects your sleep, extend to more important decisions such as going for a holiday or booking a massage when you feel you need one.

If you think you’ve been hearing more about selfcare now, you’re right. According to Google trends, the word “selfcare” being searched has more than doubled since 2015. The need for more selfcare is obvious. We have a serious epidemic of anxiety and depression in the world, and everybody can feel it.

So why is selfcare important?

Essentially, selfcare is about maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself, and looking after yourself so that you can pass on your good vibes to others. There is a saying – “you cannot pour from an empty cup” which basically means that if you are not filling up your own cup with things that you enjoy, how can you expect to fill up the cup of those around you? Whilst some may deem this as selfish, it really couldn’t be further from the truth. When you pay enough attention to your own wellbeing, you are not only considering your own needs, but those around you as well. You’re reinvigorating yourself so that you can be the best version of you as possible, especially for the people around you. All those around you will benefit from the positive energy you give off, so it is a win-win solution for everyone.

Here are some selfcare ideas for you to try:

Be a healthy eater

Your diet plays a huge part in selfcare. We are not saying though that you should be eating cake, chocolate and other yummy items all day long, just so that you feel good. Constantly indulging in your favourite food and drink items is not selfcare, but enjoying good, healthy foods that build your body are essential. Nutritious but beneficial foods are one of nature’s greatest gift to us, and so we should enjoy them, in moderation.

Pay special attention to your physical health

The body and mind have a unique connection, and it is difficult to be in high spirits when you don’t necessarily feel good about your body. This is why physical health is essential to selfcare. Regular exercise increases the levels of serotonin (a chemical messenger that’s believed to act as a mood stabiliser) in the body, thus it ultimately improves your mood and energy. Anything that gets the body moving and makes you feel alive is good, but if you are doing it for selfcare – make sure that it is something you love, otherwise you will not stick to it for very long. Sticking to something that is ultimately going to lead to the results you are looking for will be the greatest fulfilment in the end.

Get some decent sleep

When you are sleep deprived, it takes a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. Too many people spend more time working and little time sleeping. It is recommended that adults get a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep every night, as your body needs time to rest and rejuvenate itself. If you are not getting a solid 6-8 hours, the occasional nap can help too. It will also aid the body in feeing more refreshed and will help improve concentration levels too.

Change your mindset

These days, more often than not, people tend to focus their attention to the negatives and bad karma that life throws their way, as opposed to appreciating the beauty that is all around us. When you experience a bad breakup or have an argument with a friend or family member – all you can remember is how badly the person hurt you in that situation. We tend to forget all the good in the relationship and the amazing experiences shared together. It’s so important to cherish the good memories even if the bad one’s attempt to consume you. Take the time to meditate or be still and appreciate everything and everyone around you. Change to having a grateful mindset and see how your life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

Learn to say “no”

Very often, we fear what people are going to think of us if we disappoint them. We often say yes to things we don’t want to, to not hurt the feelings of others. When you do this, however, it is at the expense of your own peace and wellbeing. You are only human and you cannot possibly make everyone happy. Saying yes to everything is bad for your emotional health, but can eventually take it’s toll on your physical health when you land up burnt out doing everything that everyone else has asked you to do.

Find things that make YOU happy

This may seem easy, but have you ever actually asked yourself what you enjoy?

Who are the most important people in your life and why?

How do you want to be remembered when you are gone? Will they remember the material items you managed to get them because you worked so hard, or will they cherish the memories that you created together? Keeping your priorities at the forefront of your focus is key. This should also help you in making decisions about how you spend your time every day.