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What Is Self-Care And Why Is It So Important?

Self-care is a popular term these days, but it is still not adequately defined. Maybe you have seen it
listed in self-help books or magazine articles or have heard Instagram influencers telling you to
implement some self-care, but you still have no real idea of how you are supposed to apply it to
your life. It could seem a little 'airy-fairy' or ambiguous to you. Or, maybe, you are not convinced
that self-care is important and that actually, your time and energy are best saved for work and the
care of others.

So, just what is self-care, and why is it so important? Well, it is pretty difficult to define it as a
particular activity as there are so many, and like many things, there is no one size fits all solution.
However, here, we will look at what it is and why it is so important.   
Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License

What is self-care?

Self-care is a pretty vague term that covers just about everything you do that is about being good and
kind to yourself. We spend our lives caring for others and being kind to them, and the self-care
movement is about; recognizing when your reserves are running low and stepping back to fill them
up rather than letting them all drain away. After all, as the saying goes; 'you can't pour from an empty
cup'. 

It is important to remember, however, that not all that feels good is self-care. We may sometimes be
inclined to use unhealthy coping strategies such as narcotics, alcohol, over-eating, and generally risky
behavior. Such self-destructive behaviors may seem to help to control stressful feelings, but relief is
fleeting. If you feel like this is out of control, a womens rehab program may be the solution. Getting
your mental and physical health sorted and any destructive habits under control is probably the best
thing you can do for yourself in terms of self-care.

Why is self-care so beneficial?

Now we have a better idea of what self-care is, let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits that it can
bring you, both physically and mentally:

(1) Improved productivity. When you know how to say "no" to things that take too much out of you
and start finding time for things that matter the most, you slow down your life in a powerful way. This puts your aspirations into clear focus and lets you concentrate on what you are doing. 

(2) Enhanced resilience to illness. There is evidence that certain self-care behaviors can trigger
the parasympathetic nervous system.  Essentially, this means that your body is going into a
relaxing, restorative state, allowing it to improve its immune system and giving you better protection
against illness.

(3) Better self-esteem. If you frequently take time to focus on being nice to yourself and fulfilling
your own needs, you send a powerful message to your mind. Specifically, you recognize that
you matter and have an intrinsic value. It will go a long way towards avoiding negative self-talk. 

(4) Improved self-awareness. Practicing self-care means thinking about what you really want to do.
The process of figuring out what makes you feel excited and driven will help you understand
yourself a lot better. Sometimes this may also lead to a career change or a rediscovery of
previously neglected hobbies.

*contributed post*