We can all be guilty of feeling guilty when we put ourselves before others, but at times it DOES need to be done. We can’t always do things for other people, no matter how much we enjoy doing it, and not put time aside for ourselves. In fact, in order to be there for others as best we can, we need to take care of ourselves and put us first.
What is self-care?
Quite simply, self-care is what it sounds like. It is taking care of yourself, in whatever way that may be. For some, it may be taking 30 minutes of the day and going for a walk, with no distractions, no one else, just you, nature, and your own thoughts. It is the act of consciously doing things for yourself to preserve, or improve your mental or physical health. It can also take the form of almost anything, such as:
It can even be putting the time aside to get your haircut, because this is something you do for your own wellbeing. Whatever you do to care for yourself, it also doesn’t have to be the same thing every time of everyday, every week. You can vary it slightly depending on your mood, or what it is you need to do to look after your physical and mental health.
Self-care is just as important as looking after others, if not more.
A lot of us fail to set time aside for self-care, because we always think it is more important to help others before we do something for ourselves. We actually feel guilty if we do put ourselves first, which is madness. If we want to look after others and do things for other people, we need to put ourselves first at times. There is no point feeling guilty about this, because it is all part of the journey of life. It is also highly likely that your guilt will last longer than the person you think you ‘let down’ by putting yourself first. Just remember, you will never let anyone down by putting self-care first. If you asked them, chances are they would feel proud of you for doing so. It takes strength to recognise the importance of self-care.
Why do it?
Ultimately, we are the only person who is in charge of our own life. Therefore, if you are feeling down or lost, or just not quite right, whilst others can help, only we can sort ourself out. We are each individually responsible for our own happiness. Other people can boost our mood, but we can’t rely on them to make us feel happy. This is also unsustainable as we can’t always be with someone and they too will experience their own problems. Therefore, we must prioritise doing things that allow us to step towards being the happiest, most stable version of ourselves, and self-care is part of this.
There are plenty of other reasons why self-care is essential. It might seem like a relatively new concept, but it has in fact be around for hundreds of years, it is just more recently that people need to be reminded to do it. Self-care helps boost physical and mental health. It helps to reduce stress, which contributes massively to how you feel inside your head as well as how you feel inside your body.
Another key component of self-care is its ability to improve your self esteem. Your self esteem is your perception of your own worth and how you feel about yourself. Taking time for yourself, to do things that help you relax and feel more positive, will set you in a good mindset to aero towards being able to accept who you are. You may not completely love yourself (who does?), but it will allow your to be more accepting of the person you are. Self-care enables you to be more present, therefore you will potentially spend less time worrying about other people, and more time being content within yourself.
There are so many more reasons why you should incorporate time for self-care into your life, but these were just a few.
I’m not saying we should all love ourselves, as this can be extremely difficult, but what I am saying is we should dedicate time to ourselves, so we can step towards being as happy as we can within our own skin and allow time for our minds to be calm and accepting of ourselves in the chaotic world.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!